Royal Bonn Vase

Q: I have been going through some items that belonged to my late mother and came across this vase. It's marked "Royal-Bonn" on the bottom, along with the words "Ars Nova" in quotation marks. I can't find any information about it.

A: Royal Bonn is a trade name used by Steingutfabrik Franz Anton Mehlem (Franz Anton Mehlem Earthenware Factory), a company founded in Bonn, Germany, in 1836. Villeroy & Boch bought the factory in 1921 and closed it in 1931. The painted words "Ars Nova" or "Art Nova" (New Art) are found on Art Nouveau vases made by the factory. The woman pictured on your vase is similar to a woman pictured on a JOB cigarette-papers advertising poster done by Alphonse Mucha in 1898. The value of your vase depends on its size as well as the decoration and condition. A 12-inch vase with a similar design made in about 1900 sold for more than $2,000 a few years ago. Your vase could be worth that much.

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