Alfred Orlik Porcelain

alfred orlik limoges pots de creme cups

Orlik or Orlibe?

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 manufacturers mark 

Early Beginnings of the Orlik Brand

Alfred Orlik was born Vienna, Austria August 14, 1878.  His brother Louis (Alois Louis Orlik) was born three years before him in 1875.  [1]. 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. [2] 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. [3]. 

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. [4].
The New York Times reported September 25, 1944 that the Orlik shop moved from their Madison Avenue address to 680 Fifth Avenue. [5]  According the New York Times obituary his last company address 745 Fifth Avenue.  The 1940's was probably the heyday years for Alfred Orlik.  Mr. Orlik passed away from a cerebral hemorrhage on May 8, 1957 at the age of 78. [6] If appears the company dissolved at this point but we don't have any history beyond his death. 

Orlik Porcelain and Giftware

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. [7].  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. 

Orlik Pots de Creme

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.

orlik pot de creme cup  

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.

orlik pots de creme set of 8

A pretty set of 8 Orlik pot de creme, Limoges, France, yellow, pink and blue floral. Sold on eBay, seller unknown.

Other Orlik Porcelain Marks

Some of the examples we've seen of other Orlik porcelain included some statues from Italy and Germany.  In fact Alfred Orlik imported many porcelain pieces manufactured in Germany.  Sometimes the marks use the same font we show on the pot de creme cup example.  The German marks are typically less stylized.

orlik porcelain mark austria  

This mark for a piece made in Austria uses the Orlik mark similar to the one shown on the Limoges pot de creme pieces.

orlik porcelain mark germany  

This mark is commonly seen on Orlik pieces from Germany.

orlick porcelain mark statue germany 

A mark from a German porcelain piece with a similar font as the one used on the Orlik pots de creme pieces.

Resources

1.  "alfred orlik" Geni.com

2.  "the orlik brand" Pipearchive.com.uk

3.  "orlik" Pipeida.com

4.  "alfred orlik" Newyorker.com 

5.  "olik leases space on 5th avenue" New York Times

6.  "alfred orlik death" New York Times

7.  "orlik porcelain made by ginori" Icollector.com

author

Barbara Bowman graduated with degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Jose State University. As CEO of GourmetSleuth.com she spends most waking hours writing, cooking, eating, gardening and traveling.