Kate, does your picture on ceramic look anything like the picture in this thread here ?
This is something I was working on restoring a while back. It sounds similar to what you are describing. Not that I can tell you much about it, other than it is hand tinted, and was made around 1910 in or around Chicago Il.
If nothing else it could provide a reference point for others to see and understand what you are talking about...
I beleive the technique used to print images on ceramics in the olden days they used a silkscreen of the image and used china paint overglaze as the paint. ( some artist just used china paint and painted portraits with out the aid of silkscreen) Then kiln fired it. Vintage china paints are hard to come by and are highly toxic. They use lead as the flux. Most people will not fire lead based products in there kilns and I do believe in the state of California it's against the law. http://www.lagunaclay.com/ might be able to tell you what type of china glaze would be okay to use and if it is even available. To preserve what is left of the image on the plate I would not soak it or use any harsh chemicals or anything abrassive on it. I am interested in knowing what the colors of the glazes are? And if it is possible to show a picture of what you are talking about so we can help you better.
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