Q: We inherited a ceramic plaque that hung on my grandmother’s wall for decades. It pictures three Japanese women having tea and one woman holding a baby. There is a religious picture hanging on the wall behind them. The plaque is signed “Jos. Zasche Vienna.” Can you tell us something about it?
A: Josef Zasche was born in Gablonz, Bohemia (now Jablonec, Czech Republic), in 1821. He was a porcelain painter at the Vienna Porcelain Factory from 1844 until 1847, when he established his own workshop in Vienna. His paintings on porcelain, enamel and ivory often included religious themes. Some were copied from paintings in museums. Zasche died in 1881. His plaques sell for a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the subject and the frame.