Stash it or trash it? Let's find out

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Sylvia van Staden of Boknesstrand, Eastern Cape writes: I’d love to know more about this beautiful tea set and the drinks and cigar case. Can you help?

Ainsley Taylor of Stephan Welz & Co. replies: This tea service dates from the early 20th century, when porcelain wares were very much a prized possession and it was common practice for independent decorators to acquire pieces from well-known manufacturers and either decorate them completely, or embellish the piece with their own touches.

This is exactly the case with this lustre tea service. The mark identifies it as having been painted at Porzellanmalerei Parbus, a small decorating studio in Bavaria owned by Leni Parbus, who began decorating porcelain as a hobby but expanded to open her own studio in 1904.

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