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M&Z Austria Cake or Desert Set

Posted Saturday, June 10 by Brian

I have twelve plates, six inches in diameter in perfect conditon. In the back of the plate are numbers in printed: 1044 15 and in red, handwritten 6224. Also the Austrian symbol with M&Z in green. This came from my great grandmother in Belgium, it came with a larger serving plate, this one is chipped.

I would like to have the history of these as well as what are their values. Thank you so much. Marianne

MZ Austria Cake Set.jpg
China marked M&Z, or just MZ Austria, was made by a company called Altrohlau. They were in business from 1884 to about 1945 when the company was nationalized. They were prolific manufacturers and the quality varies greatly, with most being of average to below average quality. They also sold "blanks" or undecorated pieces to other companies and for the amateur china painting market.

Your set with one large plate and 12 smaller ones is considered a cake or desert set. Slices of cake or pastries would go on the large plate to be served to each person on the smaller plates. The numbers are for the shape of the mold (impressed) and the specific decoration (red hand written). These were popular from about 1900 into the 1930's. It more attractive than most of the MZ Austria pieces that I see.

I can't tell from the photos if the pieces are completely handpainted, or if the background was painted, decals applied, and then highlighted by hand. This was a fairly common practice used by factories to keep the costs down.

As to value, it depends to some degree on whether they are completely hand painted or only highlighted. But even if all hand painted, the value will still be below a comparable set made in Limoges, France. Austrian china has never achieved the same price level as Limoges. The chip on the main plate also holds down the value. If all handpainted the set might bring about $100. If the set is decaled and highlighted it would be more in the $50-$60 range.

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