Dating English Blue Willow Porcelain Pottery

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Blue Willow of English origin is conceivably easier to date than examples from additional countries. Since such a huge portion of Blue Willow was prepared in England, collectors should be aware of numerous points which can assist in interpreting English marks.

A rope-like symbol fashioned like a bow is sometimes seen printed on English ceramics. The mark may or may not contain initials which can recognize the company of the manufacture. This symbol is known as the Staffordshire Knot because it was used by numerous potteries in the Staffordshire district of England.

An impressed or printed diamond sign with letters, numbers or just printed numbers either have initials “RD” are sometimes create on items alone or combined with additional types of marks. Such marks signify that the pattern or mold of the object was registered with the English Patent Office. Sequentially, to continue the particular pattern or mold from being coped by some other manufacturer, the diamond mark was instituted in 1843, and when decoded, the month, day and year of registration can be determined, this classification continued until 1883. In 1884, a consecutive numbering system starting with “RD1” replaced the previous technique. Common books on marks usually give the tables of decoding the diamond symbol. They also demonstrate what numbers the patents had reached on the first of January of each year starting with 1885 through 1900 with the consecutive numbering system. If and example has a “RD” number the falls between the numbers listed was registered sometime during 1885.

These English registry marks are frequently misinterpreted. The dates refer to the time of the design or shape was first register and not when a particular design was registered, so that the manufacturer would know what letters or numbers to put on the shape one can date exactly pieces marked, or from the registry number. Moreover, the correct year the piece was made can be recognized. The first pieces of the particular registered design or shape may have been completed during the shown by the mark, but not on the day of the month decoded from the diamond shape registry mark. Most importantly the identical design or shape may have been used for several years and the same registry mark would apply. Furthermore not all pieces manufactured from registry numbers and marks are useful only as a clue to the period when the patter or shape was first fashioned.

It is generally acknowledged that the word “England” in a mark indicates a date later than 1890. The McKinley Tariff Act of 1890 declared that goods imported to this country (and others) must be marked with a country of origin. Nevertheless some manufactures used England in their marks prior to that time. Also several pieces manufactured after that time might not be marked at all. An example would be all pieces in the 20th century are mark with the words “Trade Mark” and “Ltd” in English marks were not in use until after 1862

Many English potteries at certain periods in their history devised their own methods and codes for dating their products. Copeland, Minton, Wedgwood and Worcester are some examples. Detailed information on decoding these marks can be obtained from general books on marks

Written by Annette Nolan of AnnEpiphany of Wisconsin

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