Porcelain wares produced in the iconic blue onion patterns have been beloved for centuries. Featuring beautifully inglazed and under glazed cobalt blue designs set against crisp white porcelain, these striking pieces were produced by the finest porcelain factories. This wonderful Bohemia Ceramic Works dark blue onion tureen with lid and underplate is a striking example of this timeless, beautiful design.
Our three piece tureen set was produced using cobalt blue underglaze. This technique resulted in rich, vibrant, dark blue onion patterns on bright, unblemished white porcelain backgrounds. This ample vintage porcelain tureen has two fixed handles and stands 7" tall with the low, domed lid in place, and 4-1/4" tall without. Raised relief mould details add visual interest to the lid, while a large white sculpted round handle adorns the top. The tureen measures 12" from one white applied handle to the other. The large underplate measures 12" in diameter and has soft, scalloped edges. The tureen and underplate are marked with the Bohemia Ceramic Works' stylized "B", which is in the center of the words "MADE IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA COBALT UNDERGLAZED". In excellent condition, the tureen, lid and underplate have no chips, breaks, cracks, crazing or repairs.
BRIEF HISTORY: Although Meissen has been producing their distinctive blue onion pattern since the 18th century, its origins are much older. Similar designs were prevalent in 14th century China, at the same time that Chinese artisans had fully developed the blue and white porcelain technique. Meissen's blue onion pattern (Zwiebelmuster) is a European adaptation of the centuries-old Asian style design. And while many other porcelain factories followed Meissen, rendering their own version of an ancient Asian pattern, the basis for their designs remained largely unchanged. The same is true for the design of our Bohemia Ceramic Works porcelain.
The design of our porcelain tureen set is much like the Meissen blue onion pattern. The right side of the central motif on our serving set features the branch of a chrysanthemum which grows from a root, a large open flower at its tip. The small closed bud underneath this open flower resembles a lotus or aster from original Asian patterns, symbolizing time. The left side of the central motif features a thick bamboo branch growing from the root. It is entwined by a flowering, climbing plant which symbolically represents cohesion. The central part of the basic motif is dominated by a double sharply serrated leaf. This double leaf and the flower located above it are generally described as a peony bush, which symbolizes wealth, stateliness and growth. The border of this pattern features vining flowers, (a Lotus in original Asian patterns) interspersed with fruit. As with the pattern of our set, a fruit commonly found in the blue onion design is a peach. According to Chinese patterns, this decorative element symbolizes immortality - or at least a long life. The other fruit found on the border - which is the culprit commonly mistaken for the "onion" - is a stylized pomegranate. Can you believe that this design actually has nothing to do with the onion? Long used as a ceramic decorative element, the pomegranate fruit symbolizes fertility and abundant, healthy children.
Porzellanfabrik Bohemia Nuerohlau, (Bohemia Ceramic Works), located in Nuerohlau, Bohemia in 1921 (now Nova Role, Czechoslovakia) was originally in business between 1921 and 1944. Although there are more modern productions from Bohemia Ceramic Works, including their Blue Onion patterns, there is no clear history on the ownership of their mark after 1944. I have researched this exhaustively for months, and there is a great deal of conflicting information available. If anyone can provide me with any information on Bohemia Ceramic Works post-1444, I would greatly appreciate it.
The stylized "B" in the Bohemia Ceramic Works factory maker's mark remained constant throughout the years. Variations to the mark occurred during the partnership with Phillip Rosenthal between 1922 and 1926, then during the later rise of German nationalism, and again during the eventual fall to the hands of the Axis powers between 1941 and 1946. The modifications included a lion in the center of the stylized "B" mark and a crown which was added to the top of the stylized "B". Between 1941 and 1945, the porcelain factory - in close proximity to rich kaolin deposits - became a forced labor camp. During this period the stylized "B" contained within it the SS insignia of the Sig Runes, the symbol of theThird Reich's violently powerful military.
We also have the following pieces available in this handsome Bohemia Ceramic Works dark blue onion pattern:
1 - 3 piece tureen set identical to the one in this offering
1 - 10" round vegetable / serving bowl
2 - gravy boats with attached underplates
1 - 13-3/4" oval serving plate / tray
12 - 9" large rim scalloped soup bowls
12 - 7-3/4" scalloped salad plates
12 - 9" scalloped luncheon plates
Shipping for this large, heavy tureen set will be $80.00 to the 48 contiguous United States. Please contact us for a shipping quote outside of the lower 48 United States @ email@example.com