Avon Pottery Mark Query

by Rob Ackerman
(San Diego, CA, USA)

Avon Pottery Mark Query

Avon Pottery Mark Query

Avon Pottery Mark Query:- Hi, Thank you for the opportunity to pose a question and for your assistance. I have this old plate, just the one, and can't seem to find any information about it; and maybe it's just a plain old plate, too. It's been up on a shelf in my Mother's kitchen as decoration for approximately 30 years. I remember her telling me she wasn't sure what it was, but she was sure it was not a product of the more familiar name of Avon. She gave me the plate as a remembrance of the house we grew up in because I liked it so much. Unfortunately she's not here anymore to talk with about it. I believe she got it in a box lot of stuff at a yard sale in Pennsylvania.

The plate is 9 3/4" in diameter; heavy in weight like thick china or stoneware, cream color, with millions of age lines throughout it; it has a very shiney finish all over and the decorating colors are very rich purples, pinks, yellows and greens with lighter variations of the same. The pattern is the urn, flowers, leaves, wheat and some other greens, and there is a little dragonfly buzzing around.

The back side is a plain, aged cream color. The mark is a rectangular box with scrolly detail, purple color, approximately 1 1/4" x 1/2" in size, with the word AVON inside. Just underneath it, outside of the box are the capital letters J F. Also, about 1/2" below that is the capital letter P stamped into the plate, with no added color.

I attached a couple of photos, one of the mark and one of the plate. Please take a look and let me know what you think. Again, thank you very much for your time and your help!




Maker now identified as Furnival. To read Rob's latest reply which solves the Avon pottery mark mystery, please click here - 'Staffordshire Pottery Furnival'. Original discussion still laid out below unedited.


Reply from Peter (admin) below - just scroll down


antique china values

Reply by Peter (admin)

To:- Avon Pottery Mark Query

Hi Rob

Thanks for your kind words about the site which you took the trouble to write in a personal email to me – and thanks for becoming a ‘friend’ to the site by joining the Newsletter list.

I like the story of the “plain old plate” and how it takes pride of place due to the fact it was given to you by your Ma in remembrance of the house you grew up in.

‘Avon’ china is a difficult one to pin down for several reasons, but we’ll have a go. It may just be worth getting one of the specialists at my 'Bring in the Experts Team' to shed some light, depending on how happy you are with my research. Remember, I’m no expert; I just have some good books handy.

The first thing to say is that research online is hampered by the fact that Avon is a commonly-used term unrelated to pottery or china – you have the famous cosmetics company of course (who my wife works for) and also it is the UK county I happen to live in. Most of the famous name porcelain makers have a pattern called ‘Avon’ (not to mention the not-so-famous ones). There is also a famous pattern engraving called ‘Avon Cottages’ used by many china makers.

However, I have a hunch your plate is by one of the makers calling themselves ‘Avon’, rather than a pattern. Now, that’s also not so easy because there are a few different makers called ‘Avon’ both sides of the Atlantic. There also appears to be more modern cheap Chinese imports using the term 'Avon' to mark their wares, so collectors should be wary of these items.

Ok, first here’s a list of the UK and US manufacturers calling themselves ‘Avon’.

By the way, none of the marks shown in the books at my disposal quite matches your pottery mark. This means your mark and therefore your plate is uncommon and probably early by the look of it, and might well be valuable to a collector.

Avon Ware (The Avon Art Pottery), Staffordshire, UK, founded 1930+ to present times

Avon Faience (Vance), Tiltonville, Ohio, USA, 1880-1908

Avon Faience Company, Wheeling, West Virginia, 1902-1903

Avon Pottery, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, founded 1886-1888 (often just marked with the singular word 'Avon')

I would very much like your humble little plate to be associated with this latter company. Why? Because you would be laughing all the way to the bank!

Let's explore the company's unique history:-

The Avon Pottery of Cincinnati, Ohio was a unique and short lived firm founded by the first, and arguably the greatest of all American ceramic chemists - Karl Langenbeck. Items are very rare and, actually are really museum pieces. The items are prime examples of the ceramic chemists’ art with fine examples of yellow Ohio clay being used in combination with white body and superb glazes to get the most subtle and sublime pieces known to US pottery making.

After 1888, Karl took some time out to write famous book, still available today called "The Chemistry Of Pottery" (1895). Shortly after, Langenbeck became the driving force behind the early success of the Rookwood Pottery of Cincinnati, Ohio (1880-1965).

The Rookwood Pottery was founded in 1880 by Maria Longworth Nichols. Nichols retired in 1890 and Karl Langenbeck joined the firm in 1895 after finishing his book and 18 month Avon plant experiment.

Prior to his joining the Rookwood Pottery, Karl Langenbeck also found time to join J B Owen as chief chemist to the fledgling Owens Pottery Company c.1891 in Zanesville, Ohio. He helped set this firm on the path to becoming one of the most successful US ceramic companies of that era. During the same period Langenbeck joined with Herman C. Mueller to set up the Mosaic Tile Co. of Zanesville, Ohio.

However, one of Karl's main claims to fame was to be the mentor of famous American ceramic artist Artus Van Briggle. Van Briggle was apprenticed to Langenbeck at the Avon factory as a young lad, and then worked with him again at the Rookwood plant.

Just go to my China Replacements page and follow the top link to ebay to see just how much work by this artist fetches, especially under the Rookwood pottery mark. We are into the thousands of dollars rather than hundreds in some cases.

So, I don't want to get your hopes up or anything, but I think you had better find out quick who exactly made your plain old little plate. If it was Karl Langenbeck's Avon Pottery, I would start contacting museums! It would be quite a story and I hope you share it with us right here.

Peter (admin)

p.s. The following page is a 'must see' if you are researching fine china - for value and identification:-

Researching the identity and value of antique and vintage fine china.

Please post comments below which you think might be helpful……

Comments for Avon Pottery Mark Query

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Flow Mulberry Furnival Plate
by: Beverly Donofrio

Hi Peter and Rob

I am writing to comment on Rob from CA's query about his Avon plate. I have a platter from my great-grandmother's service that is the exact same pattern, except the color.

His was multi-colored and quite beautiful. Mine also is beautiful, but only one color, a reddish-burgundy. Mine was marked on the back with Furnival along with Avon. I found it identified as Flow Mulberry Ware, and so assumed they all were the mulberry color.

Thank you for all the interesting information you added, plus the follow-up. I have to say, as an ardent Antiques Roadshow watcher, I was a little excited when you mentioned the company in Ohio, but when you didn't include Furnival, I knew it was too good to be true!

I love your site, this is my first visit and I'm sure I will be back many more times!

thank you for reading...

Beverly Donofrio

Pitman, NJ

Avon Furnival Oval Platter
by: Kayti

Dear Peter

I was so surprised to see the picture of the platter that Rob sent you. I also have this platter that you said was the pattern AVON by Furnival. Mine is more of a oval shape. I have often wondered where it originated. It was also given to me by my mother. I had no idea it was as old as it is.

Thanks you for your website.


Furnival marks/backstamps
by: Christine

www.thepotteries.org has an enormous amount of information regarding many British brands.
Furnival backstamps, and info are included.

First time I've seen your site - was looking for Avonware China information Very impressed! In Australia we have to rely heavily on the 'net for a lot of information about antiques.

Furnivals became part of the Wedgwood Group.

Good luck with dating your pieces


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