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English Bone China - History & Hallmarks

Updated on October 13, 2008

Vintage English Bone China - History & Hallmarks

English bone china is amongst the finest bone china in the world. Steeped in historical mystique, many potteries are all but forgotten in Great Britain. It was commonplace for a pottery to be bought by a larger pottery. Over time the history of acquisitions can become very complicated and confusing to collectors. I will attempt to clarify those historical acquisitions and unravel the complex relationships of English potteries.

Research is a critical step in the online sales process. When I acquire a new piece of china at auction, I do extensive research on each piece. Over the past two years I have accumulated a vast amount of information about English bone china, including how to identify certain potteries and even how to date some pieces by the style of hallmark. I have some very unique pieces that I have not been able to find for sale anywhere else on the internet. As I research new pieces, I will share my findings with you, so check back often as I acquire new pieces. Most of the pieces discussed here will be available for sale in my catalog and I will provide a link to each item. Emporium Catalog. Visit us at Collectible Treasures our shopping gateway.

What is Bone China?

Josiah Spode, The Father of Bone China

Have you ever wondered where bone china got it's name?  Josiah Spode is credited for originating bone china about 1800 in England. The basic formula for bone china has remained the same for two centuries and consists of (6) parts bone ash, (4) parts china stone and (3 1/2) parts china clay. Bone china has many desirable attributes. It is easy to make, does not easily chip and produces a lovely white ivory color.

Josiah Spode began producing pottery in 1761. His early pottery was called creamware because it was a delicate cream-colored earthenware. In the mid 1780's he began making a fine white-glazed earthenware called pearlware which was often covered with a blue transfer print. In the early 1800's Spode pottery took on the simple elegance of the Regency period and often used topgraphical views using a type of transfer printing known as the bat-printing technique. Henry Daniel, of Spode developed new decorating techniques such as enamelling, lustre decoration and basalts. Spode continued to be a dynamic force in the manufacturer of fine bone china. Spode and the later Spode Copeland Hallmarks are helpful tools in identifying the age of a piece of Spode china. The single word SPODE is indicative of china made circa 1780-90.

Spode Regent Y6941 

Rare Ruby Bone China Trio

3 Sets Available none available

ChinaSearch store offers the 3-pc set in very good condition for $74.00 BPS (about $148.00 USD) 

My Great Stuff on eBay - Collectible Treasures at Bargain Prices

Quality antiques and collectibles from around the world are offered at bargain prices. 100% satisfaction guarantee. 7-day return policy.

Adams (William Adams & Son)

Staffordshire Pottery since 1650

The Adams family had potteries in Staffordshire as early as 1650. At that date two brothers, William and Thomas had separate ventures in Burslem. Today, William Adams and Company, with large potteries in Tunstall is managed by members who are the 11th and 12th generations in direct descent from the original 17th century Adams of Burslem. Read more about the Adams China Co. history in this comprehensive article.

This ironstone plate is Calyx Ware and is in the Ming Toi pattern. The impressed mark ADAMS was used between 1845-1964. Based on the hallmark on the back, this plate is dated pre -1965. This bread and butter plate sells for $9.99 on  This plate is available for purchase and is deeply discounted due to the loss of transfer on the rim. $2.99 plus shipping.

Great Stuff on Amazon - English Bone China

Books on antique and vintage bone china.

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    • imagelist lm profile image

      imagelist lm 

      5 years ago

      Great info thanks...

    • jolou profile image


      8 years ago

      I love English china. I've got quite a few things. They are harder to find now.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      i really enjoy china's culture, they have survived the same way for thousands of years with lots of tradition.

      vegan chocolate

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      great looking pottery, its a real special part of asian cuisine and history!

      used engine

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      english bone are my bulldogs favorite, he eats them like their candy.

      heart health

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      English Bone what an interesting lens.

      racing seats

    • CrypticFragment1 profile image

      Tammy Winand 

      10 years ago from McleodGanj HP India

      just linked you to my lens The Beauty of Blue Willow!

      5 stars; please return the favor!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      i stand up for vintage!

      hid bulbs

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      5*! :) Plus I added a link from my Old Country Roses lens, since you've expounded better on what bone china actually is.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Kind of crazy thinking it has bone in it, even if it's ash. 5 stars for a new topic of conversation I can bring up to my friends. :)

    • Classic LM profile image

      Classic LM 

      11 years ago

      Hello Stranger, this is a 5* lens! You are welcome to submit it to my group Antique Art! If you can, please rate my lenses! Tks

    • ctavias0ffering1 profile image


      11 years ago

      Wonderful lens Sharron, I want to learn more about china but it's such a big subject.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Anothe great lens Sharron.

      Although fine china is not my strong point, but its all very appealing and the pics are great.

      keep up the good work.

      ( Maybe i can get you to mine ROFLMAO)

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      oooo...pretty! Great job, girl! Hi 5*! sylvia

      The Boutique Shop Online

    • The-Bard profile image


      11 years ago

      Super lens.

      Great pics.

      It's all very appealing indeed!

    • SharronMirikitani profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago

      I love fine china and Spode is one of my favorites. I have found that the average person doesn't know much about vintage china patterns and I hope to change that with my informative articles on English bone china. Please visit my website


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