Antique Majolica – Knowledge By Sight Will Payoff

Daryle Lambert’s 31 Club Blog 


Antique George Jones Majolica Butterfly Cheese Keeper with very slight damage sold on eBay April 27, 2008 for $4,500.

This wonderful colorful pottery known as “majolica” has been reproduced time and time again since the 14th century. As a kid I was always interested in watching films where the ground in great cities of the world were excavated, and the archaeologists uncovered wonderful vases and pots. Many of these had interesting designs, but it was the colors that caught my eye.

Majolica is produced by covering the body of a piece with an opaque, tin enamel, hiding the color of the clay. Whenever a Majolica dealer is set up at an antique show, I can’t pass their booth without stopping in.

Today’s Majolica Collectors have a wide range of items to choose from, so there is plenty of opportunity to form a rather substantial collection. My daughter, Dana, just became interested in these wares, and when Marsha found the oyster plate that I just wrote about yesterday, I remembered Dana’s interest. You see the oyster plate is Majolica.

But we are first in the business to make money, then, if we make some good buys and sells, we just might find ourselves being able to form our own collections from the good trades we’ve made. I told you once that when you follow my lead, you will know where the money is made. So, I’m telling you today, majolica is an area where you can still make some serious money. But you need to be on the inside track and know the secrets.

Many people are afraid to invest in Majolica for a couple of reasons. First, so much of the Majolica is unmarked. Second, it’s still being produced today and they might not know a vintage or antique piece from a current one. This fear keeps many people from investing in it and gives us a tremendous advantage if we seize the opportunity. Once you see and study the real thing, you won’t be fooled after that.

A book that I’d like for you to purchase, and it’s perfectly fine to buy it “used,” is The Collector’s Encyclopedia of Majolica. (There’s links to any of the books I mention at the end of the Blog). This is an older book, but its price makes it a great value compared to the other majolica book prices. Another fabulous book, though pricier, is Majolica: A Complete History and Illustrated Survey. Cindy says Abesbooks has a better buy on this today. These are single, used copies so they go quickly.

It’s also a good idea to get up close to some of these items, so next time there is an Antique Show in your area, make every effort to get there. In fact, I can’t stress enough the importance of attending Antique Shows. You’ll get a close up view of some of the finest examples of most of the items I write about. Nothing replaces a real encounter with an authentic piece.

I said that most majolica wasn’t marked but there is still a lot of it that is marked. For example, one of the best known names in majolica ware is George Jones. If you come across his pieces, just shout “WOW.” Most people would recognize his pieces if they ran across them. Here’s why: There might be an English registry mark on it. His mark might be as simple as a very small circle with a “J” that passes through the C. Two other English companies you might recognize are Minton and Wedgewood. These companies produced majolica wares.

Here are just a few examples of values in marked majolica: George Jones Game Pie Dish – Fox crouching near dead bird – Jones 1875 – 11 inches – $8000. Garden Seat – Birds and Floral – Jones 18 inches – $15,000. I think you’re getting the idea. The wonderful thing about majolica is that there are always willing buyers, yet there are so few people who really know the better pieces.

I’m waiting for Marsha to call me because I might even have a bigger surprise in store for her. The oyster plate she picked up might be George Jones

Join with like-minded 31 Club Members and put a turbo charge on your treasure hunting skills. Get FREE Mentoring. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to make high profits and continue to grow your money buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.


Collector’s Encyclopedia of Majolica
At Abesbooks (BEST VALUE)
At Amazon

Majolica: A Complete History and Illustrated Survey
At Abesbooks (BEST VALUE)
At Amazon

George Jones Ceramics: 1861-1951 by Robert E. Cluett
At Abesbooks
At Amazon

Majolica International Society – History of Majolica


4 Responses

  1. need to know origineof 4 tiered oyster holder with 26 oyster containers, on a swivel base. cannot find any info…..could it be american? with thanks

  2. Hi Judy

    I would have to see it.


  3. I have a small collection of what I thought was called barbotine. I am now told by someone that the term barbotine is just the french word for majolica. The stuff I look for was apparently produced by Haviland in Limoges, France. It is in the impressionistic painting style and at its’ best has big flowers hanging out of it. Rumor has it that later to be famous painters worked there including Emil Galle. I am going on an antiquing trip to Europe this winter with the group at and will be really trying to find some more of this pottery. My first question is: where can I get more info on this form (books, websites, experts) and secondly I would appreciate any tips on “secret” places where it can be found in Europe. I will shop the street fair at Arezzo in Italy, The huge fairs at Swinderby and Newark in England and then the Paris flea markets and auctions. I’m really excited about the tour. It’s not one of those tourist trips. Check out the website for the trip. I hope to hear from You or one of your fellow bloggers. Thanks, Felicia

  4. Thank You

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