The very word Capodimonte still evokes passionate admiration in the world's museums and private collections. What is Capodimonte you may ask? Original Capodimonte porcelains were created by the Royal Manufactory of Porcelain of King Charles VII of Naples. The King erected his factory in 1743 on the grounds of his palace, which stood on a hill overlooking Naples. The name he chose for his porcelain was Capodimonte, which means simply "top of the mountain." Porcelain was made there for less than a century beginning in about 1745. Although quite a variety of pieces were made including elaborate figurenes and vases, the floral arrangements are perhaps the best known and most enduring concept of what capodimonte is or was. This is perhaps due to tradition that holds that Charles was allergic to the flowers in the palace's gardens, and that he had exquisitely fashioned roses and other blossons created so that he could enjoy perfect porcelain blossoms without suffering the discomforts of sneezing and weeping eyes.
In the early nineteenth century, years after the original factory no longer existed the Capodimonte crown began appearing on porcelains from Naples and elsewhere. It continues to this day and the very finest porcelains in the world bear the Capodimonte mark . Marsha has attempted to recreate this excellence in miniature in the one of a kind porcelian flower arrangements and china embelished with flowers. All of the flowers and leaves are individually formed by hand and assembled into these exquisite arrangements. To catch a small glimpse into how this is all done check out the Making Capodimonte
page in the information section.
After firing additional colors are added to the arrangements to enhance the depth and coloration of the porcelain. Photos cannot do these pieces justice. Because of their extremely small size they will appear slightly fuzzy when blown up onto your monitor. All of the photos shown were taken from a distance of about 2" away from these arrangements. Yes that is an american one cent piece sitting beside that arrangement, and that arrangement is one of the larger arrangements. The picture of the arrangement in the dome at the right is the same arrangement as that seen with the penny. The tiny domed piece above and to the right is about the size of a large vitamin capsule.
Marsha also places these tiny flowers on and in other pieces of her porcelain. The egg you see here contains a small arrangement much like the one in the tiny dome. The egg on its stand is a mere inch tall. The rear view of the egg shows the enamel and gold decoration which is handpainted on the outside of the egg. This egg also has a door that covers the opening in the front, which is also handpainted in enamel and gold. The door was removed for the photo. To see more of the lovely capodimonte style miniatures