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Pottery Marks/Hallmarks Identifying Them Just Got Easier!

Updated on April 28, 2017

Stop In And Check Out Old And Solds Feature Pottery Marks/Hallmarks

Need Help With A Pottery Mark/Hallmark?

Article By Sharon Stajda

Pottery Collectors today are interested in many kinds of pottery, and porcelain makers. Pieces from literally all over the world. It's often very hard to identify old pottery. Most pottery companies marked their wares with a mark/hallmark, some did not. Companies also changed hallmarks from time to time, this also leads to problems when one is attempting to identify a given piece. The process of identifying a piece of pottery can lead one to great frustration. As a rule pottery pieces were marked, to show the company of origin. Some hallmarks or mark, were actually incised into the clay, some stamped into the piece, while some marks were painted onto the piece, or a company transfer was used to leave that all important hallmark...Some marks contain extra letters, and numbers, and strange symbols, along with the name of the country. All of these added marks can add up to confusion for the person trying to identify a given piece.

I collect antique pottery, so I have felt the pangs of frustration first hand. I have put this article together to help my readers, perhaps understand hallmarks a bit better, and be better able to identify pottery, with a lot less frustration?

Have a hallmark you are having a hard time identifying? Stop in at Old And Solds "Guide To Pottery And Porcelain Marks" Old And Sold has added an entire book on very old hard to find hallmarks and marks to the site. You will find hallmarks from all over the world. It's a great place to add to your favorite list. Old And Sold is Fee free - so don't fret about fees. Check Out www.oldandsold.com



Reproduction - Can You Tell the Difference?

As long as there have been antiques, there have been fakes and reproductions. But telling the two apart can often be difficult even to the trained eye of an expert. But antiques, however, have become fashionable and as a result many of them are being copied or reproduced as fast as can be. Like copies of clothing and jewelry, many pseudo-antiques are so cheap-looking as to be obviously shams. But there are clever copies, too, on which time and effort have been spent to make them look authentically aged. Because fakes and reproductions look so much like antiques themselves, particularly to those who know little about the real ones, people who want to buy or sell old things, should do all they can to learn how to tell a fake from the real thing.

How To Decipher British Registration Marks. It's Easy

Dating English Registry Marks: Mark I: Used from 1842-1867

In 1842 England started to offer registration of it's decorative designs for pottery, china, wood, paper, porcelain, and glass. I have added charts below help you along with leaning the method of how the British marked their wares. These charts can be useful in identifying your wonderful British antiques.

Information such as when given a design was registered. Keep in mind -- not every piece made in England held this mark, and remember the date is just when the design was registered. For example a given piece of pottery may have been long in production before it was registered, so may not hold the mark. An item with a registry mark or number would be protected from other companies duplicating the design.

English Registry Marks:

The following two diamond shaped marks were used from 1842-1883:

Mark I: Used from 1842-1867

Each letter on the diagram represents one of the tables below:

A. - Materials

B. - Year

C. Month

D.-Day of the Month

E.-Bundle Number

A. - Materials

I Metal

II Wood

III Glass

IV Ceramics

V Paper Hangings

VI Carpets

VII Printed Shawls

VIII Other Shawls

IX Yarn

X Printed Fabrics

XI Furniture

XII i Other Fabrics

XII ii Damasks

XIII Lace

B. - Year

A 1845 O 1862

B 1858 P 1851

C 1844 Q 1866

D 1852 R 1861

E 1855 S 1849

F 1847 T 1867

G 1853 U 1848

H 1843 V 1850

I 1846 W 1865

W 1865 X 1842

J 1854 Y 1853

K 1857 Z 1860

L 1856

M 1859

N 1864

C. Month

A December

B October

C January

D September

E May

G February

H April

I July

K November

M June

R August

W March

British Registration Mark Used from Years 1868-1883

Each letter on the diagram represents one of the tables below: Mark II: Used from 1868-1883

A. - Materials

B. - Year

C. Month

D.-Day of the Month

E.-Bundle Number

A. - Materials

A. - Materials

I Metal

II Wood

III Glass

IV Ceramics

V Paper Hangings

VI Carpets

VII Printed Shawls

VIII Other Shawls

IX Yarn

X Printed Fabrics

XI Furniture

XII i Other Fabrics

XII ii Damasks

XIII Lace

B. - Year

A 1871 X 1868

C 1870 Y 1879

D 1878

E 1881

F 1873

H 1869

I 1872

J 1880

K 1883

L 1882

P 1877

S 1875

U 1874

V 1876

C. -Month

A December

B October

C January

D September

E May

G February

H April

I July

K November

M June

R August

W March

Can you Decipher this British Registry Mark?

Can you identify this pottery mark?

Want To Play A Game? If so, work on deciphering the British registry mark I used in Photo above.

Don't feel up to deciphering at this time? Check out answer at very bottom of this page.

So --- Which information would best fit the above Registry Mark?

See results

Dating A Piece Of English Pottery - Via Coat Of Arms

The Royal Coat Of Arms was only used by businesses which had the privilege of being a holders of a Royal Warrant. Today, Royal Warrants are granted to people or companies who have regularly supplied goods or services for a minimum of five consecutive years to members of the Royal Family.

In the late 19th and early 20th century many potters who did not have a Warrant, both in England and also foreign firms also included the Coat Of Arms as part of their mark. It is speculated by a business owner that by including the Royal Coat Of Arms in their hallmark, it would add some sense of importance and value to their wares. The same way many potters use the name "Royal" as part of their name or trade mark.

It was Queen Victoria who ensured Royal Warrants gained the prestige they now do today. During her 64 year reign Queen Victoria, and her family were responsible for granting more Royal Warrants than ever before - more than 2000.

The Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom have evolved since the 1100s, and reflect the history of the Monarchy, and of England.The Coat Of Arms has remained unchanged since Queen Victoria.

The shield shows the various royal emblems of different parts of the United Kingdom: the three lions of England in the first and fourth quarters, the lion of Scotland in the second and the harp of Ireland in the third.

The photo is that of the Coat Of Arms Under Queen Victoria.

The shield is supported by the English lion, and Scottish unicorn.

The plant badges of the United Kingdom - rose, thistle and shamrock - are sometimes displayed beneath the shield.

Pre-1837 The Coat Of Royal Arms Sported An Additional Centre Shield

George III - From 1801 the Coat Of Arms of England occupied the first and fourth quarters, the arms of Scotland the second, and the arms of Ireland the third.

For the house of Hanover, there was an escutcheon overall,(a center shield over a large shield).

When identifying a piece of pottery that's hallmark clearly uses England's Coat Of Arms. Look for the escutcheon (Shield over shield). This will help you date the piece, as to was it produced before 1837? Before Queen Victoria changed the Coat Of Arms or after the Arms was changed by Victoria.

Answer to quiz.

Answer To Quiz ...

Hey... I hope you enjoyed my little quiz. I ask that you please take time to Lens Rank this page. You will find the stars at the top of the page. If you feel real energetic -- leave me a blurb in my guestbook.

Answer to quiz.

Answer # 4

Metal, 1875, October, 28th, bundle # 1

Reader Feedback

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    • profile image

      Alice 14 months ago

      Hi Sharon!

      I've some porcelain that my grandfather left me years ago! I didn't find the marks in your list!

      Could you please help me to find the right brand?!

      Can we keep in contact ?! :)

      Best regards

      Alice

    • profile image

      liz 2 years ago

      hi - i have an oil bottle - i have been told its from the 1800's - its blue and white 4 sided with a spout and lid with a cork attached - i have also been told its delft ware but i can hardly read the markings - it is a black marking with what looks like a tree at each edge leaning into a shield with 3 white and 2 black strips under that it says delft then it becomes illegible then under that a swirly pattern - on its right it looks like a 6 with a stoke above it - can you help me identify it??

    • profile image

      Vanessa 2 years ago

      I have a large vase/pot with 4 French 1301-5 made in England written on it.. I'm trying to figure out if it's worth anything and who made it thanms

    • profile image

      mmtinga 2 years ago

      I have a pottery bottle with a pour spout on top. It appears to be a glazed brown earthenware. It has an oval at the bottom of the bottle with Mellor Brothers Bottle Makers and across the middle of the oval is Eastwood Pottery near Nottingham. I have tried to research it but am coming up short. I purchased it about 25 or so years ago. Any help would be appreciated.

    • profile image

      mpotthast 3 years ago

      I have a large heavy white bowl but it doesn't have a stamp in the traditional sense that I'm used to but rather just a name stamped into it and is dated 1868. The only letters I can make out are "akin". Any thoughts on who may have made it?

    • profile image

      burgandy10 3 years ago

      I have a bulbous vase with hallmark of 2 bars in shape of an x with crown at top R. on left side C. on right side and havana under the hallmark -- anyone know where this is made age or any info -- thanks Bill

    • profile image

      Janpec 3 years ago

      I have a vase with 190 embedded on the base and an N in white.......any information on these would be appreciated

    • profile image

      lynn-anderson 3 years ago

      Do you have any info on pottery marked "Belgique"? Many thanks.

    • profile image

      grandmarulz 3 years ago

      I have a pottery piece with a circle with a c in it and another circle with a 73 in it.The vase is dark blue with a green glaze dripping down can you help please and thank you

    • profile image

      emma-tuck-98 3 years ago

      I have a soap holder ceramic with a big angel and a small angel on the side....there's a V or L at the buttom....can you pls help me identify....thanks

    • profile image

      nuella 3 years ago

      I have a 4" dia white porcelain basket in a weave with roses and leaves. the mark on the bottom is a crown above a plain shield with three elongated leaves. A number embedded is 4275. Any ideas? Thanks

    • profile image

      larsbars 3 years ago

      Hello. I have set of brown stoneware goblets with what looks like an acorn leaf stamped on the bottom. Any idea how I can identify them? Thanks.

    • profile image

      Doc_Holliday 3 years ago

      This is an interesting topic. A bit like code-breaking but easier.

    • profile image

      amycorp 3 years ago

      What an interesting lens! Thanks so much!

    • profile image

      ToplineP 3 years ago

      Fantastic lens, answered all my questions.

    • profile image

      KTPT13 3 years ago

      Cool lens. Very informative.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      @anonymous: I have a jardiniere with similar markings, French 1301- l or 6 , but then it says made in England. Is yours the same? Have you been able to find any more information

    • profile image

      LUMOSE 3 years ago

      Great lens, very interesting.

    • profile image

      jpmny999 3 years ago

      This is all very interesting. I really learned a lot of new things.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have a white vase with blue flowers and a Z on the bottom. Anyone know who made it and the year???

    • profile image

      jura 4 years ago

      Great information about pottery Hallmarks , it is a real good lens .

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have a set of enameled hand painted plates with a red stamp in bold NIPPON below a red stamp of what looks like a cupcake (?)... can you identify this stamp and advise me how / where to get a value on these items. Thank you so much.

    • profile image

      mistaben 4 years ago

      Loving the information on this lens. Great stuff.

    • profile image

      Margot_C 4 years ago

      This is all very new to me. Thanks for such an informative lens. I love pottery and didn't realize how important marks and hallmarks were. Great info and a great reference.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have a round pottery vase that I found while cleaning out my fathers house I can't read the signature. Dichcron. Or something. No date. I can email you picture and tracing I did if you thinkitwouldhelp

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have a plate with the initials SB&S on the bottom. Can you help me identify it, please/

    • profile image

      Sojourn 4 years ago

      Very interesting. I think I have a couple of old pieces that were handed down to me that I've never really researched. I'll have to check them out. Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      have a white a 10 inch pottery bowl with E&R inc. ERPHILA, CZECH0-SLOVAKIA mark and a number in the bowl side3582

      I would like any information I can get including value.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have a clock to and two matching vases, Clock has 81S Athens on base and vases have 190 England on their bases. The marks are raised in the mould. My father in law bought for mother in law in 1924 I believe, and as they were bordering on poor, I would imagine cost nothing and worth nothing. just interested in the origins.

    • Sharlee01 profile image
      Author

      Sharon Stajda 4 years ago from Shelby Township Michigan

      @anonymous: Thanks for visiting my lens. The mark sounds like a mark that was used by the A.G. Harley Jones company. Located in in Fenton, Staffordshire, England. The mark was used from 1907 - 1934.

    • profile image

      cherricopottery 4 years ago

      Wow that was a long lens! Very thorough. Let me know if you ever become interested in contemporary pottery marks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      HAVE A JARDINIER MARKED ON THE BOTTOM L FRENCH 1301-5 WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have a small dish with Lord Nelson Pottery written on it with a picture of Pears soap advertised on it,can you tell me anything about it.

      Thank You.

    • profile image

      drsalm 4 years ago

      Nice lens! Congrats! I even found something suitable for my nephew.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I didn't find what i needed either. Mine has two mermaids facing each other with the initials N-D under a crown. It is a Ceramic Style water pitcher. Not a big one but it is cute. I was hoping to find some help.

    • profile image

      rushfashion 4 years ago

      Great lens!

    • profile image

      Matt_Lowe 4 years ago

      Wow. Very informative. I guess I had never given much thought to the marking on various pieces of pottery.

    • profile image

      faber80 5 years ago

      very, very useful lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very Nice site I found My Mark in The U.S. section & very happy that it is a vintage Rookwood

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi - very interesting site. I would like to know the manufacturing companies in "bundle #5" of the British Registration Marks 1842-1867, since I have a couple of earthenware pots of that period, with the relevant mark.

      FYI, the correct heraldic term for the three lions on the royal coat of arms is "Three Lions, Or, Passent, Guardant" (it means that they are gold, walking, and looking at you!)

      cheers!

      Mike Joss

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have a charming moccasin. (Native American) in china/porcelain. On the underside is the word "creek". Any ideas? I do know it's at least 50-60 yrs. Old.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      hi, i have a deep royal blue vase with pink flowers and green leaves. It has a blue (same colour as the vase) letter "b" underneath. It has unusual patterns at the top and base. It's a little hard to describe but they look like up-side-down "spades" (as in a deck of cards) and pointy marks inside of the clubs....confused? They are a little hard to describe.

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 5 years ago

      Cool lens, I wasn't even aware that pottery had identifying marks. Were the British the only ones who came up with a registration marker in that time period?

    • profile image

      Godsgraciousgift 5 years ago

      It is interesting to read about pottery marks here on your lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have a porcelain cat. Jar (body) and lid (top). The only markings on it are the letter "L" (Written like Lavern does, in Lavern and Shirley) - cursive. The TOP has a number of 3 or 5 above the L, and the Jar part has a marking of 20 above the L. Its about 20 inches tall, and is white, with the cat being a light Brown/Goldish color.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great lens! Thanks for sharing it with all us fellow Squids! One big thumbs up vote left!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Informative lens, great information and interesting topic. Thanks!

    • profile image

      WorldVisionary 5 years ago

      Very informative lens! Thumbs up and an Angel blessing for you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Working in the antiques industry I know how important these pottery marks are. Great resource for people trying to ID a mark! Blessed.

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 5 years ago

      Love the links list. Very helpful for sellers and buyers of pottery, etc.

    • profile image

      PlayOutside 6 years ago

      nice lens....I will come back after garage sale hunting this summer

    • profile image

      spertz 6 years ago

      great lens

    • profile image

      WorldTravelers916 8 years ago

      i can stay in a hallmark store for hours looking at all the great stuff!

      miami hurricane hat

    • profile image

      Jasonb702 8 years ago

      Great lens Shar.. We all love your work...

      real estate italy

    • profile image

      by_the_sea 9 years ago

      Fantastic lens full of really useful information. You should check out my lense on

    • profile image

      Nicegoogoo 9 years ago

      Pottery is an age old trend.This lens serves as an introduction to Pottery Making Illustrated magazine, with featured drawings.You can see my breakups lens too.

    • profile image

      richardmackenzie 10 years ago

      What a fantastic lens! I have a lens with free self help stuff. Take a look and rate it for me. Thanks, Richard...

    • profile image

      cageybee 10 years ago

      Good lens. Keep up the good work!

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