Yes, you love it, but how confusing is it to find out how old your favourite Aynsley china item is?
Aynsley have changed their marks many times over their 200-plus year history. In fact many early pieces had no mark at all. In the late 1800s (from about 1860) the name AYNSLEY was impressed in the base of some pieces. The early printed marks from this time to around the 1880s looked like these:
Then from the 1880s and 1890s you might find marks like these:
In the early 1900s (until around 1920), these were used:
Then these during the 1920s to the late 1930s (later ones to the right):
The marks illustrated above were generally in black or green.
In around 1924, there was an additional dating system introduced, which makes it possible to determine the actual year of production, but this was not applied to all pieces. A number was printed (not handwritten) below the backstamp, starting from 1 in 1925, and continuing until the late 1950s. The illustration below shows this mark for 1954. To determine the year, add the printed number to 1924 - eg 1924 + 1 = 1925; 1924 + 23 = 1947; 1924 + 30 = 1954.
In the 1960s the backstamp colour was changed to blue, although there are some pieces which have marks in pink, or black, or in the same colour as the china. Aynsley china is still in production.
ORCHARD GOLD AND FRUIT PATTERNS
There is sometimes confusion about the age of the well-known fruit design. The hand-painted items (like the one illustrated above) were made to compete with Royal Worcester and other manufacturers, and were mainly painted by Doris Jones and Nancy Brunt, who worked at the Aynsley factory from the 1930s to the 1960s. Most of their pieces are handfinished over a transfer design. In the 1960s, the Orchard Gold design was introduced, to overcome the cost of the handpainting process. It was at this time that the name "Orchard Gold" was given, to avoid confusion with the earlier handpainted pieces.
Many Aynsley patterns do not have names, but usually have a number which may be handwritten on the base. You may find the name (if any) indexed on the websites of china identification or matching services such as Replacements Ltd.
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