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A Guide to Capodimonte Figurines

A Guide to Capodimonte Figurines

While the excitement may be lost on those porcelain lovers who aren’t avid collectors of true antique Capodimonte figurines, there are many individuals who know the value and appreciate the detail and skill used to create each individual piece of Capodimonte porcelain. For these people, it’s nothing to spend months searching antique stores, flea markets, and vintage retail outlets in the hopes of stumbling upon a long-lost porcelain Capodimonte figurine. This is especially so because the rarity of the actual Capodimonte figurines in the marketplace has increased their value exponentially. Capodimonte has shifted from becoming a royal porcelain brand to simply a style of gaudy and excessive décor more suitable for ornate Victorian style interiors. However, true vintage Capodimonte exudes far more than just exaggerated elegance.

The History of Capodimonte Porcelain

Capodimonte porcelain got its start centuries ago in Naples, Italy. It began with the King of Poland, and founder of the first hard paste porcelain factory in Europe, whose granddaughter, Maria Amalia, married King Charles of Naples. The marriage sparked an interest in King Charles of porcelain, and he set out to develop and eventually perfect his own formula for hard paste porcelain. Not satisfied with mediocrity, King Charles then set to find and enlist the assistance of the highest quality artisans to help him in his business venture. Equipped with the best craftsmen and artisans he could find, he established the Royal Factory in Italy, where these skilled workers produced a plethora of fine Capodimonte figurines and other functional pieces. From plates, vases, bowls, cups, jugs, and teapots, to snuff-boxes, and walking sticks with gold mounted handles, the factory in Naples produced some of the most intricate, elegant porcelain designs of its day. Eventually the factory moved to Spain, only to return several decades later to it’s original home of Italy, thanks to the king’s son, Ferdinand.

While during that period, little changed in the style and composition of Capodimonte pieces, they can be found in the form of just about any type or style of decorative object you can imagine. The antique pieces can be quite stunning, however most true antique Capodimonte figurines and pieces can’t be found on the market. Unfortunately for many avid collectors, the oldest, most valuable Capodimonte figurines have generally been preserved in stunning personal collections and various museums and can no longer be purchased. Still, there are a good deal of more recent antique Capodimonte figurines from this past century that can be just as stunning. These are typically what most collectors search for, and they can also have a high assessed value. Of course, with today’s society, it’s important to beware of knock-offs. Capodimonte is now considered a style as opposed to a brand so just because something is called a Capodimonte figurine, this doesn’t guarantee it’s a true Capodimonte brand antique. This is why it’s important to do your research and know what to look for before dropping a large check to purchase something that might not be what you expected.

The Most Popular Capodimonte Figurines

Capodimonte figurines are especially popular in current times in the form of small ornate gifts and figurines. They tend to be painted with pastel colors and real or painted golden accents, but some versions strive for visual accuracy and will use bolder hues as well. Capodimonte figurines have been seen on top of wedding cakes, or in the form of urns and trinket boxes, but are also popular as large porcelain flower bouquets set inside an intricate vase. Similar in style to Rococco, Capodimonte most notably features curls and swirls, blooming flowers, doves, religious details, and cherubs, all with a Victorian eye for elegance and abundance.

Whether designed and purchased for collections, decoration, or use, Capodimonte figurines are a style all their own. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re a true Capodimonte fan, there are plenty of options in both the antique and modern markets to fulfill your demands. And with a little digging, who knows? You just might stumble upon a centuries old treasure!

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