A KPM painted porcelain portrait plaque of Rembrandt’s father originally painted by Rembrandt himself. Germany, late 19th century
Marks: (scepter), K.P.M.,
Measures: Plaque height 9.5 inches, width 7 inches (24.1 x 17.8 cm)
Framed 15.5 X 13 Inches
The Royal Porcelain Factory in Berlin (German: Ko¨nigliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Berlin) (KPM) was founded in 1763 by Frederick II of Prussia (Frederick the Great). Its actual origins, however, lie in three private enterprises, which, under crown patronage, were trying to establish the production of “white gold” (i.e. porcelain) in Berlin from the mid-18th century onwards. Although it produced a variety of decorative and table wares, Berlin Porcelain is best known for its manufacture of decorative porcelain plaques, which were popular among the buying public from circa 1840. Square, ovoid and rectangular “blanks” were sold to independent decorators, who would paint scenes from famous paintings onto their surfaces. From circa 1870, exotic scenes, scantily clad characters from ancient classical myths and sentimental religious tableaus also became popular. Since decorative plaques were in high demand, they were produced in varying quality by a number of different factories. Berlin Porcelain plaques are considered of higher quality than most.