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Q:An old friend gave me a porcelain bowl that belonged to her parents. She always called it a "berry bowl." The bottom is marked with a stylized bird and "MZ Austria" and also with "H & C" inside a crown between the words "Imperial" and "Carlsbad." Please tell me what a berry bowl is, who made my bowl and when it was made.

A:Berry bowls are small bowls, 3 to 4 inches in diameter, that came in a set with a "master" berry bowl. Most antique sets were made with four or six small bowls. Berries or mixed fruits were served from the big bowl into the smaller bowls. Your bowl was made at a factory owned by Moritz Zdekauer in Altrohlau, Bohemia (now Stara Role, Czech Republic), in about 1909-10. The second mark was used by Hamburger & Co., a New York City importing company in business during the first decade of the 20th century. Many American importers bought porcelain from Europe and then added their own mark to each piece.


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