Juliana

What makes some Dresden Figurines valuable?

There are a few reasons for the difference in prices. Originally, there was more than one company using the "Dresden" name to produce porcelain.

Differences in prices can be attributed to the age of the pieces, the size, the quality of detail, and specific studios that were operating under the Dresden name.

If I were purchasing a piece of Antique Dresden I would be looking for a much more simplistic mark with a light blue hue.

With that being said, your piece has a few things going for it. Although it is hard to accurately gauge the size of a lot of the items sold on sites like ebay it's easy to tell when they are not miniature and if it has 3 figures in it then you canguess how big the scene is going to be. Usually 5" at the base.

Take a look at the quality of details in two specific areas: the faces and the fingers. The fingers on your statue appear to have very poor detail and are quite "blobby" and undefined. Look at the left hand of the lady seated playing the cello. Look at how large the finger next to her pinky appears to be compared to the rest of them. (Side note, I think her middle finger is chipped, examine all of the figures hands closely for chips). If you look at their eyes and the lack of real detail (solid 1 color in their clothes) and compare it to some of the top examples of that sold on eBay, you can see what I am talking about.

I'm not an expert on Dresden or anything, but I deal mainly in antiques. You would really have to ask someone who collects these. When someone collects a thing, they have very specific reasons for it. I think as resellers it's hard for some of us to understand that mindset.

I hope this helps!

Juliana

So I have been searching for a new teapot. No, not the ones that our grandmother would bring out on visitis. Something a littl more modern.

I just picked up this beautiful Hario teapot and I've been brewing with it exclusively ever since, ignoring my poor porcelain pot that I got from my grandmother's estate.

What I have noticed is that I use my glass ware for only green teas as heat retention is less of an issue for a tea that prefers lower temperatures.

But honestly glass' benefit is more visual than best performance.

A gaiwan is also easier to clean.

If you want a true test, steep an equal ratio of tea side by side and see if there is a difference. I know I've noticed times I used glass the tea was much weaker.

For instance, if you drink puerh the gaiwan has the size advantage if you're brewing for one person, as puerh resteeps much more than other teas and 180ml would use a lot of leaf and produce liters and liters of tea, and might be too much for 1 person. 150ml is my max vessel size for one person.

Other types of tea would have the Hario size to be better. Apart from the size issue adressed before, pots are always a bit more ergonomical than gaiwans imo, less burns, less accidents, the heat retention might be more or less an issue considering what teas you drink and how you like them.

Pour time might also be a factor to consider. You can pour the gaiwan faster, probably. You can pour the gaiwan 1-handed. You might need your off hand to hold the lid on the pot.

The glass allows you to watch tea unfurl and expand and also look at the color of the liquor and brew it to desired strength.

Juliana

Porcelain is just another type of clay, one that doesn't have a lot of big grainy bits like earthenware. And this could be some other white bodied clay.

Usually you throw a bunch of stuff on the wheel and set it aside to firm up. You want to trim when the clay is "leather hard" so it actually takes some skill to keep track of where all of the work is in the process.

Porcelain, especially thin porcelain, can dry to leather hard pretty quickly though.

And sometimes on larger pots you intentionally leave the walls thicker towards the bottom so that the wet clay doesn't slump and deform as it dries. That could be why they are having to take off so much clay during trimming.

The neat psychedelic designs are basically there for the amusement of the potter, sort of like sand painting a mandala.

There's usually zero intention of keeping them on the finished pot, because they frequently don't look as good on a stationary pot as they do spinning. If there's designs etched on while trimming, they'll be a lot simpler, like 1-3 bands slightly below the lip of the pot or maybe a texture applied across portions of the surface.

Trimming also adds another satisfying but subtler element of design, which is that it allows you to basically re-shape the outside curvature of the pot if you have enough extra clay on it.

I love porcelain, it's really buttery feeling to throw, it's just more fragile before you fire it.

But even though I love throwing porcelain on a wheel the stuff you see in stores tends to come mostly out of molds. You take a plaster of paris mold, fill it up with porcelain the consistency of a milkshake. The plaster draws water out of the porcelain, drying just a thin skin from the outside in. You time it until the walls are as thick as you want them then you pour out the excess, it will shrink slightly and pop right out of the mold when it's dry.

They use that same process pretty much for any hollow ceramic, everything from mugs to scary clown figurines to toilets.