Capo di monte bells

Capo di Monte Bells

A couple of years ago, I found a Capo di Monte bell and some other pieces, and as I already had a beautiful black and white and gold Capo di Monte treasure chest, I decided it would be interesting to know more about this Italian porcelain. The bells and other pieces labeled Capo di Monte were made in Florence, Italy, by the Genori family. The factory was known as the Doccio factory.

By Anne Spaulding, American Bell Association member

King Charles III of Spain was the King of Naples. In 1736, Charles III of Bourbon established a pottery factory on the grounds of his Capo di Monte Palace in Naples. It lasted until 1759 when Charles III was recalled to Spain as their king. When the King moved to Madrid, Spain, he took with him ship loads of the Capo di Monte staff and their families, tons of equipment, and more tons of porcelain past to start a factory in Madrid, Spain. This factory lasted until 1812 when it was destroyed by the British. The factories in Italy and Spain were the most distinguished in Europe.

In 1771, the factory in Naples was revived by his son, Ferdinand IV. The French controlled this factory from 1806 to 1854, when the French made a formal abolition of the Naples factory.

Capodimonte Italian Porcelain Factory Marks

Click to enlarge

Capo di Monte moulds were sold to the Genori family of Florence with the right to use the Capo di Monte mark. The factory was known as the Doccio pottery works. The designs were in high relief of cupids, nymphs, and deities in color, and arabesques in gold. The Capo di Monte marks is in gold. Many spurious manufacturers have made imitations. Deceptions have been made in Frankfort and Berlin, Germany, and Paris, France. The real Capo di Monte made in Naples and Madrid were never marked. The Genori Doccio factory used the letter N with a coronet above it. Some pieces were marked by a fleur-de-lis roughly made in blue or red. In 1780, the mark was the initial of King Ferdinand – F. F. 0 under a crown of blue.

To determine if yours is a genuine Capo di Monte antique, examine the face of a cupid using a magnifying glass. This reveals tiny dots executed with a brush to give the flesh a natural look. Also, the Genori work lacks the careful and exact modeling of figures that the old Capo di Monte figures have.