Bavarian fine china, or porcelain, began to be produced in southern Germany in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and followed the European china trend of delicate floral patterns and gold gilt highlighting. Bavarian china was made by companies such as J&C; Trianon Bavaria, Z.S. & Co., Heinrich & Co. and Old Nuremburg, among others. Identifying the source of Bavarian china patterns requires a little research but is fairly easy to accomplish.
Turn the item over and look for the maker's signature. Many of the china manufacturers stamped their china pieces with a signature, such as Z. S. and Company, Old Nuremburg and J & C Bavaria.
Look for a maker's mark with a symbol if the company name is not spelled out. For example, a crown over uppercase "H&J C" stood for Hertel, Jacob and Company and usually indicates an item that was made in the early 1900s, while a crossed sword with the uppercase letters "JPSV" stood for Johann Seltmann items that were made around 1900.
Find an online gallery of Bavarian mark stamps and signatures to help identify the marking on the china piece. One example of a helpful website is My Granny's Attic Antiques.com.
Visit your local library or bookstore to view reference books that provide detailed information about Bavarian china patterns, such as "Know Your Tablewares: Their bodies, their shapes, their designs, some old, some new: American, Bavarian, Danish, English, French, Irish," by Dana King Gatchell.
Look at resources that list china manufacturers and their patterns to correctly identify Bavarian china. One such website is Replacements.com. When searching for a specific source, click on the "China" tab on the main page and follow by clicking on the first letter of the manufacturer's name. This will bring you to a page of pattern names and numbers made by that company. To view a certain pattern, click on the unique number or name or click on the sidebar to the left of the pattern names to view a gallery of patterns made by that company.