An interesting question, with many contradictory twists, a neat
research puzzle! I found my entry to the first part of the answer in
a book in my local library: "Marks and monograms on European and
oriental pottery and porcelain" by William Chaffers (Los Angeles:
Borden Publishing, ca 1930).
This was the vital clue: it established that it is not "Mennely" but
"Mennecy". It is a factory.
The entry reads: "MENNECY VILLEROY (Seine-et-Oise). This important
manufactory was established in 1735 by Francois Barbin under the
patronage of the Duc de Villeroy, at a spot called 'Les Petits
Maisons' on the Duke's estate ... (Barbin) was succeeded about 1748 by
Messieurs Jacques and Jullien, and the manufactory continued in a
flourishing state until 1773, when, on the expiration of the lease, it
was removed to Bourg-la-Reine. The mark (on the porcelain) is usually
It seems clear that the D.V. stands for Duc de Villeroy.
The above is confirmed by a Google search for Francois Barbin and
Villeroy, which led, amongst other hits, to the page Mennecy
Porcelain Manufactory at
Interestingly, another page, Mennecy pot pourri at
states that Barbin moved his factory from Rue de Charonne to the
dukes estate around 1748. Francois Barbin was succeeded by his son
Jean Baptist Barbin in 1750, and Jullien and Jacques took over in 1765
until the factory moved in 1773.
The search also brings up several sites in French. The page "Texte
porcelaine tendre francaise" includes two representations of the D.V.
It is worth noting that in Google, diacriticals are now critical. My
first search for Francois Barbin and Villeroy brought up no hits.
It was not until I inserted a c+cedilla in Francois that I got hits.
Hope this helps you. It sounds as if you could have a valuable piece
of porcelain there!
Best wishes, Read2live.