Published by: Gourmet Sleuth
Last Updated: 02/28/2020
I've bought and sold a few different Orlik pot de creme cups and sets over the last 20 or so years. Although I am an experienced enthusiast I'm not a porcelain expert. My quest for information on Alfred Orlik first started when I was having trouble trying the read the mark on the bottom of a pretty little Limoges pot de creme cup (this one). As it happens the font style on the Orlik logo has a "K" that almost looks like a "be". You can see it for yourself below.
Alfred Orlik was born Vienna, Austria August 14, 1878. His brother Louis (Alois Louis Orlik) was born three years before him in 1875. . Around 1899 Louis started a pipe making business that included making cigarette holders which were branded under the name of L. Orlik Ltd. Around 1907 Alfred joined his brother in the venture and the brand was changed to L & A Orlik.  They added pipe bowls to mix around 1923 and later, around 1933 diversified further and added pipe cases and leather pouches to their line of goods. .
Orlik came to the United States from Vienna in 1914 . Alfred became the purveyor of the Orlik pipe and smokeware products in the U.S. but soon expanded into other high-end giftware. We know that he maintained a shop at 421 Madison Avenue as early as 1943 as referenced by this passage in the New Yorker Magazine 1943.
Alfred Orlik, 421 Madison Avenue (49th) : His porcelain is as beautiful as ever. Flowery porcelain cigarette lighters to go on the table along with the demitasse, in familiar French patterns and colors or in the lovely Meissen rose on white, all with gold-plated Swiss fittings; $39.50. Ashtrays to match, $8.50. Individual Royal Worcester cigarette services, consisting of cup and ashtray, beautifully painted by James Stanton with pheasants (fine for a man’s writing desk or breakfast tray) at $29.50 or, with songbirds, at $21.50. Easel picture frames covered with modern French brocades, starting with the little Kodak size at $12.50. .
Any quick eBay search will net you hundreds of pipe and smoke related products with the Orlik name. Although there are fewer examples you will find many statues, plates, inkwell sets and some pots de creme sets. Mr. Orlik co-branded with some very well-established and highly esteemed companies to produce his products including Limoges in France and even Richard Ginori in Italy. . As you can see from the mention from the New Yorker Magazine, above he partnered with Royal Worcester as well. Just recently we saw the Orlik brand on a beautiful Italian Murano glass perfume bottle. I'm sure there are many more.
All of the examples of the pots de creme sets we have seen were from the same Limoges factory and all used the Olik mark as shown above. The cups were wonderfully hand-painted with flowers or birds or both in a variety of colors. The gold trim was sometimes more of a matte finish while others were brighter gold. It's doubtful they were originally sold without a matching tray. We have typically seen the complete sets to include a set of 6 cups with the matching rectangular tray. The one exception was a set shown on Liveauctioneers.com which has 12 cups with a matching larger tray and features yellow and other mixed color flowers.
This set of Orlik pot de creme cups has a more matte finish to the gold trim and hand painted flowers, Limoges, France.
The gold on this Olik cup has a brighter gold trim and still displays beautifully hand painted flowers, Limoges, France.
A pretty set of 8 Orlik pot de creme, Limoges, France, yellow, pink and blue floral. Sold on eBay, seller unknown.