Elegant Antique Ceramic and Porcelain Figurines Charm the Spirit

Vintage figurines showcase changing modeling techniques and styles from antiquity to now, so you're on the right track when you search eBay antique porcelain figurines to shop for. One way to discover figurines that are perfect for your collection is to consider your favorite colours, poses, historical epochs, and materials before you decide on a purchase. Take the time to differentiate between antique ceramic figurines and antique porcelain figurines first.

How to distinguish antique figurines

The term ceramic figurines comprises three kinds of clay works: vintage porcelain figurines containing a high percentage of kaolin, earthenware with a lesser proportion of this clay mineral, and stoneware with the least. Let's focus on porcelain in your shopping experience on eBay:

  • Porcelain contains the least amount of impurities such as sand.
  • Porcelain is lightweight. Look for dimensions and weight given in the description, and see the manufacturer site for details.
  • Porcelain is durable because of its high kiln temperatures, which range up to 2,550 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Porcelain hardens after firing to display a melted and glassy surface before glazes are added.
What other qualities does a porcelain figurine have?

Look for a description or photo of the underside of the piece, which will have a hard and translucent quality. Earthenware or stoneware pieces show terra cotta, gray, or grayish white in colour, while porcelain displays a range of delicate pastels or dark hues. A good way to discern porcelain is if it sounds melodic when tapped with a fingernail or piece of metal.

Condition is an important factor when selecting a figurine

Condition plays a part in your selection unless the piece is rare, for example, one of a kind of part of a limited edition from a manufacturer or containing immense historical value. A figurine may be termed mint if it has never been out of its box, and most pieces are rated as excellent instead to distinguish them from the scarce mint pieces that have never been used. Perfect condition means that the piece contains no factory flaws such as glaze slip, glaze pop, kiln split, or peppering. Good and fair conditions are reserved for pieces that have age-related issues such as crazing, knife or fork scratches, chips, cracks, and stains.

What are some famous names in porcelain figurines?

In the 19th century, Karl Ens created exquisite figurines, in particular those depicting children. Sevres porcelain is named for the French city and known for its hard-paste technique in manufacture. Royal Doulton provides superb figurines in the English Staffordshire china tradition.