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Antique Furniture

Why the marks are important

The ceramic trade mark has great importance enabling dealers and collectors to trace the manufacturer of any marked object, AND to also ascertain the approximate date of manufacture and in several cases the exact year of production, particularly in the case of 19th and 20th century wares from the leading firms which employed private dating systems. With the increasing use of ceramic marks in the 19th century, a large proportion of European pottery and porcelain can be accurately identified and often dated.

General Rules for dating marks

There are several general rules for dating ceramic marks, attention to which will avoid several common errors.

Printed marks incorporating the Royal Arms are of 19th or 20th century date.

Printed marks incorporating the name of the pattern are subsequent to 1810.

Marks incorporating the word 'Limited', or the abbreviations 'Ltd', 'Ld', etc., denote a date after 1861, and most examples are much later.

Incorporation of the words 'Trade Mark' in a mark denotes a date subsequent to the Act of 1862.

Inclusion of the word 'Royal' in a firm's title or trade name suggests a date in the second half of the 19th century, if not a 20th-century dating.

Inclusion of the abbreviation 'R N' (for Registered Number) followed by numerals denotes a date subsequent to 1883.

Inclusion of the word 'England', 'Germany', 'France', 'Italy' in marks denotes a date after 1891, although some manufacturers added the word slightly before this date. 'Made in England', 'Made in Germany' and so on, denotes a 20th-century date. Use of the words 'Bone China', 'English Bone China', etc., denotes a 20th-century date.

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