China Chat
The Marks of Italy and Spain

The marks of Italy of course are dominated by the N mark of Capodimonte, Naples.  Capodimonte is not a single factory, but a style of decorative produce which has a particular type of fancy emotive Italian styling.  Most of this produce is a result of 20th century production, not earlier.

These 20th century marks, as well as the styling, is loosely based on that of the old Royal factory of Naples which was largely destroyed during the revolution and Napoleonic wars at the start of the 19th Century.

Some scholars date the end of the Royal Capodimonte factory to 1818 due to the sale of the moulds and equipment for 13,800 ducats. 

The new owners then sold their interests to Ginori in 1834.  Some scholars put the end of the genuine Royal Capodimonte production to 1806.

Whatever the date, Ginori picked up what they could salvage of the moulds and began making reproductions using the original coronet marks. 

No Real Capodimonte Since 1806?

So the tradition of wares being produced and called 'Capodimonte' continued without any real protection of what we would consider today as a trademark. 

The idea of Capodimonte as a marketing concept was revived in the 20th century with many different makers springing up.

When collectors write in and ask (which they frequently do) "is this a genuine Capodimonte piece?", I am not quite sure what they mean by 'genuine'?


  • Are they are looking for pieces made before 1806? 


  • Do they think there is a factory, after 1806, with rights to the name and the mark?


  • Are they looking for Ginori Capodimonte? 


  • Do they mean 'made in Naples? 


  • Do they mean 'made in Italy?


I would love a collector to explain. 

Perhaps there are certain makers with more of a claim to represent the Capodimonte style than others?

Whether there is any regulation of the use of this mark, your guess is as good as mine, but I don't think there is.

There would be very few items of genuine Capodimonte around today that wasn't housed in important collections or museums.


San Marco Figures of Italy

We have a really fascinating thread on the San Marco company.  Someone sent in some really stunning Dresden looking figures with this mark:-

This mark was found on exquisite Dresden lace looking figures like this one:-

I thought they were 19th Century German, but turns out they are Italian by  a company called San Marco, but I can't find anything else about them.

If anyone knows, please post on the thread below.


Other Examples of Italian Ceramics in Our China Chat Posts

Italy has many thousands of local makers of souvenir ware that has the appearance of a kind of art majolica. 

These types of local marks all tend to be written on by hand rather than marked with a printed backstamp. 

We have various posts on this type of ware.

The most fascinating one so far is about a mark which a helpful visitor  identifies as belonging to the 'Societ√† Luca Della Robbia'.  This is a great thread.


The Mystery of FG Pottery from Italy

see F G or G F Pottery

This mark is one of our longest outstanding mysteries.  We don't know who this is, please help!


For Spain Read 'Lladro'

The Rococo influence of Italian  Capodimonte can be seen in Spain where the original Royal Italian porcelain factory was moved to when the ruler of Naples became the King of Spain.  Decorative ceramics seem to be dominated by the Lladro company who seem to have swallowed up a lot of smaller makers. 

We have very little going on in term of Spanish ceramics China Chat, but we do have one or two interesting posts on small Spanish firms other than Lladro, like the thread about the 'Hispania' company.





7. China Chat - Italian, Spanish & Scandinavian Marks

Below are the China Chat archives for Italian, Spanish & Scandinavian Marks.

Italy Vintage Montrose Poodle Figurine 
Hi Peter I have been going to an antiques auction house for a few months now and the last one we went to was a ripper a lot of depression glass, ceramics, …

MADE IN ITALY T.K.C TX/?B 
Large brightly colored ceramic cat MADE IN ITALY T.K.C TX/?B:- Hello and thank you for taking the time to view my beautiful piece of pottery. I have …

Two exquisite porcelain lace sisters with an "N" under five point crown and stamped letter S 
Two exquisite porcelain lace sisters with an "N" under five point crown and stamped letter S:- Hello, I have one of two "sister" figurines given to me …

Back Stamp Query - 'Italy' Capo-di-Monte Trinket Box crown pottery mark with letters GNC inside a diamond 
Back Stamp Query - 'Italy' Capo-di-Monte Trinket Box crown pottery mark with letters GNC inside a diamond:- I have been trying to identify this little …

Hispania hand incised pottery mark and the initials v.c. 
Hispania hand incised pottery mark and the initials v.c.:- I have what I am suspecting to be a VERY OLD piece of German porcelain. It is a figurine of …

Rabbit on cabbage leaf from Bassano region of Italy 
Rabbit on cabbage leaf from Bassano region of Italy:- Hello, Peter. I have a piece of Bassano Italian pottery that was imported by the Meiselman Corporation. …

Pottery Mark Query on vase with initials S.L.R. and signature "gualdo" something "shire" and Made in Italy  
Pottery Mark Query on vase with initials S.L.R. and signature "gualdo" something "shire" and Made in Italy :- This item belonged to my grandmother July …

Ceramic/Porcelain Bowl with Duck Figure - Pottery mark of triangle with letters N P 3 on outside Hand Painted Italy 
Ceramic/Porcelain Bowl with Duck Figure - Pottery mark of triangle with letters N P 3 on outside Hand Painted Italy:- I need help identifying this piece. …

Pottery Mark Query - FBS in Circle, Italy, 15-201 
Pottery Mark Query - FBS OR BFS in Circle, Italy, 15-201:- Hi there, hope you can help me out. This vase has been in my family as long as I can remember, …

Pottery Mark Query - "Italy 1431" 
Pottery Mark Query - "Italy 1431":- Hi, I have recently inherited some pottery after my mother passed away. Some of the items are clearly marked from …

Italian Ceramic Clown Figurine Pottery Mark With Shield Wreath and Crown in a Circle 
Italian Ceramic Clown Figureine Pottery Mark With Shield Wreath and Crown in a Circle:- Found tall ceramic candle stick holder in the shape of a clown …

Pottery Mark - CERAMICA FRANCO POZZI 
Pottery Mark - CERAMICA FRANCO POZZI:- I am going through my china and porcelain stuff to see what to keep and what to throw out. I have had this plate, …

J with R Marking on tea set 
J with R Marking on tea set:- I have a tea set with the J combined with the R marking. Need help to identify. This set was purchased at an estate sale …

Capodimonte "N" Crown Pottery Mark - Giuseppe Armani, Florence Sculture d'Arte Studio Backstamp Query 
Capodimonte "N" Crown Pottery Mark - Giuseppe Armani, Florence Sculture d'Arte Studio Backstamp Query:- Hello, Can you help identify this piece and …

8" African-American dancers antique plate - crown & rope with "PR" 
I inherited this beautiful and unusual 8" plate from my mother-in-law many years ago. She lives in New York and I live in California. I think she …

Mystery Bust? Oriental woman with golden crown. Italian artist. 
About 15 or so years ago my brother was living in a house in Seattle Washington. One day he went up into the attic and stumbled upon something peculiar. …

Rorstrand Fleur de Lis LARGE Platter with the 3 Crown Pottery Mark 
Rorstrand Fleur de Lis LARGE Platter with the 3 Crown Pottery Mark:- This is the favorite of all my plates. It is a Rorstrand from Sweden (not much mystery …

Pottery Mark Query - Blue 'N' Under Crown on Lady Figurine Surrounded by Cherubs 
Pottery Mark Query - Blue 'N' Under Crown on Lady Figurine Surrounded by Cherubs:- This is an old figurine of my grandmother's. I do not know where she …


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