The Pottery and Porcelain Marks China Chat - English Section

An Introduction to English China & Porcelain Marks

English china production has a long history going back several hundred years.  Pot factories needed both clay and coal.  Historically there were three main centres of production where the combination of resources were readily available. 

Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Derbyshire fitted the bill and so became the centres, the former being the biggest.

Organised marking of wares for marketing reasons only became standard in the Victorian era of the mid to late 19th Century.

Early marks were dots and squiggles, on splendid earthenware chinoiserie before the elaborate cartouches of the Victorian mid-period began to trumpet proud ownership.

There was no true porcelain being made in the UK until the 1750's despite desperate attempts to make the white gold.  Worcester were the pioneers of porcelain production, following on from the lead of German Company Meissen.  It took 40 years for the English to catch up with the Germans.

Staffordshire came into its own in 1799 when the firm Spode developed a stable recipe for bone china porcelain.  The rivalry had truly begun. 

Meantime, Derby amalgamated with the famous London firms of Chelsea and Bow, who had moved lock, stock and barrel to Derby in 1784.  Derby, like Worcester became porcelain marks specialists.

Recognising porcelain marks on old (early 1800's) Staffordshire wares

A fancy old solid looking plate, or pitcher, or cup (not transluscent or thin) with no pottery marks and a crackled old glaze over blue & white or Imari (chinoiserie) patterns is likely to be Staffordshire early to mid 1800's (unless it's a modern Chinese fake, in which case it will more than likely have a crusty old-looking made-up mark).

Whereas the words 'bone china' indicates modern English - likely early to mid 20th century.

The word Royal often suggest 20th century too, although the first warrant was as far back as the 1850's.

So how do you tell bone china from porcelain?

Bone china is very distinguishable from European porcelain being whiter (less grey in the body) and having a quite characteristic method of glazing and decoration.

If the stamp says the actual words 'bone china', the item is likely 20th century.

The ox bone in the bone china makes it actually harder and more translucent as well as whiter than European porcelain, but because it is fired at a slightly lower temperature, actually the two bodies are probably just as strong as one another.  I don't suggest you test this theory.....

The Word 'Royal' on a China Backstamp

 I saw the word 'Royal' on a plate the other day and it made me think - surely there must be a time when this dishing out of warrants to put on posh porcelain marks was started.

When did our nobility start ennobling our nicest porcelain marks?

Well, after 1850 is the date you are looking for..... Yup, nothing says 'Royal' before 1850.

Then only a few fab firms had the privilege of warrants yet some didn't bother to use it in their names (Wedgwood, Coalport, Paragon for example).

Later in the 20th century, lot's of people started to use it when they shouldn't really have and we have an influx of Royal this's and that's.

Use my A - Z listing of makers to check them out.


Nothing Could Be Finer Than a Nice Bit of Bone China



Now, I hear you ask "bone china"? Surely the term bone china must be as ancient as the hills? Not at all. Bone china was invented in 1799 (by Spode) but the term didn't actually come into general usage until the 20th century.

The Staffordshire Knot

This stems from around 1850, as does the British diamond shaped kite registration mark. However, there was a fad for the Staffordshire knot mark in the later part of the 19th century. So see a Staffy knot and think late Victorian, generally speaking.

You can search ALL THE POSTS using the search box to find your answers or freely browse the archives as you wish (scroll down to the lower part of this  page).

find out the value of your item

So get to know the 'mark' forums and come back to use them often and participate whenever you can. Help and be helped.


Search for your mystery pottery marks:


If you can't find anything, to post your own query click here....




1. China Chat - English Marks

Below are the China Chat archives for English Marks.

Mystery of Royal Grafton 1834 L 
Dear Peter and all Since I was a poor young thing living independently I shopped at thrift stores for pretty pieces of china. My first "set" of china …

Bone China Plate with (SF/SL?) Old Royal Bone China stamp 
The mark: SS, SF or SL Hello, I have recently purchased a small selection of bone china including a teacup and a plate from a church hall charity sale. …

Mark Identification - English - Crown with feathered wings, and knot below 
I have recently been dealing with my late great aunt's belongings and have come across some beautiful china. I have a teacup, saucer and side plate …

"Bone China Made in England" hand painted cup saucer - H1490 
This lovely little dinner set was a present from my husband's Godmother for his 21st birthday in the 1970's. We really love it. Such a gentle pretty …

Six petaled flower impressed mark on very old family tableware service featuring neat hand insignia decoration 
Six petaled flower impressed mark on very old family tableware service featuring neat hand insignia decoration:- Hello Peter, I'm Victor, from Portugal, …

Pottery Mark Query - Bee with extended wings on aesthetic decorated plate 
I picked my plate up at a local antiques shop, it was in a basket along with other stuff being sold off cheap. It caught my eye immediately. When I got …

Studio Pottery Marking - H in Circle, not Hull Studio Art Stoneware Lg Bowl 
Hi there, I am so happy I came across your website. I think it is great that you help identify marks. I would be lost if I had not found you. Can you …

Masons Ironstone or Regency Ironstone? - 3 footed, faux handled 'blue & white' glazed pot 
Masons Ironstone or Regency Ironstone? - 3 footed, faux handled 'blue & white' glazed pot:- Hi am confused ..and new to all of this....Having gone to …

"Wheel of the Year" china pattern 
"Wheel of the Year" china pattern:- Many people recognize and respond to this pattern on a deep and sometimes unconscious level as it symbolically represents …

Variation of Standard Royal Worcester mark on stag head vase 
Variation of Standard Royal Worcester mark on stag head vase:- I am puzzled about this large stag-head vase (12" tall) that I bought recently at an antiques …

Blue & White pot with TWO diamond registration marks 
Blue & White pot with TWO diamond registration marks:- Hello all, I would appreciate your help. I recently purchased a small item because I thought it …

Pottery Mark query - Initals 'OP ENGLAND' within a shield and the Inital 'B'underneath 
Pottery Mark query - Initals 'OP ENGLAND' within a shield and the Inital 'B'underneath:- Hi, I recently have been helping my Nan to clear out her old …

ADAMS "CAPSCO 1959" conflicting mark / story 
ADAMS "CAPSCO 1959" conflicting mark / story:- Hi, I have a tea cup and saucer set which I bought from a lady who's sons, who served in Germany during …

Pottery Mark Query - Blue 5 point crown with T symbol inside circle underneath and number 5074 
Pottery Mark Query - Blue 5 point crown with T symbol inside circle underneath and number 5074:- Hello, I have been given this biscuit/cracker barrel …

My taunting jug!! - Marked GH&C or HG&C or HG&C backstamp in circle {Editor says try GH & Co} 
My taunting jug!! - Marked GH&C or HG&C or HG&C backstamp in circle {Editor says try GH & Co}:- Hi there, I have an interesting job sourcing objects …

Pottery Mark Query - Crown above the word HARDY with a laurel leaves surround 
Pottery Mark Query - Crown above the word HARDY with a laurel leaves surround:- Antique either black & white or black and cream soup tureen with lid and …

Set of 3 Blue and White Heavy Pottery Pitchers, illegible mark looks like 2 lions rampant or lion & unicorn 
Set of 3 Blue and White Heavy Pottery Pitchers, illegible mark looks like 2 lions rampant or lion & unicorn:- I recently purchased this set of 3 very …

Ceramic marks C & Co. Ltd London on pair of Posy Dogs 
Hi Forum members - I have recently acquired a set of two small vases and would be interested to know more about them if anyone can help me. They were lurking …

Bisto Serving Platter - what is the pattern name, why the numbering system? 
Bisto Serving Platter - what is the pattern name, why the numbering system?:- I believe this is from my granmother's cupboard and my mom kept it hidden …

"Pottery Mark Query - British Kite Mark - R and IV with 5, 1, M, and 3 
"Pottery Mark Query - British Kite Mark - R and IV with 5, 1, M, and 3:- Tea cup set, cups have Triangle mark with IV on top, 5 at 12:00 position, 1 at …

China Mark Query - Plain Royal Ascot Mark With 'Solian Ware' Also 
China Mark Query - Plain Royal Ascot Mark With 'Solian Ware' Also:- I came across this set when a friend asked me to help her purge some items from her …

Circular Pottery Mark with initials R.H. and an S (R H & S), also ALASKA 
Circular Pottery Mark with initials R.H. and an S (R H & S), also ALASKA:- Hi all, I recently found a dish with a mark I have never seen before. It's …

Serving Platter Makers Mark - Griffin and the initials under it TST 
Serving Platter Makers Mark - Griffin and the initials under it TST:- I have an oval serving platter from my grandmother that has a makers mark with one …

Pottery Mark Query - Johnson Bros Wash Basin 
I have a Johnson Brothers wash basin ca. 1893-1900. I have already identified the bowl itself, but I just came across this website "CountryChicInspirations", …

Large Wash Bowl/Picher Ridgway Bow & Arrow Pottery mark query 
Large Wash Bowl/Picher Ridgway Bow & Arrow Pottery mark query:- My Grandmother gave me a large pitcher and bowl about 40yrs. ago. The pattern is in …

CompleteTEA SET Inheritance - stanley fine bone china england est 1875 
Complete TEA SET Inheritance - Stanley fine bone china England est 1875:- We have a near complete tea set (one saucer missing) as part of an inheritance …

Pottery Mark Query - heart inside a pentagon OR heart in a house 
Pottery Mark Query - heart inside a pentagon OR heart in a house:- Hi, Bought the vase in a Charity Shop because I liked it. It is 10 inches high, top …

Seeking pattern name on RS Pottery Mark 
Seeking pattern name on RS Pottery Mark:- I have just a few pieces of china which I am seeking the pattern name so I can hopefully acquire more. I was …

Pottery Mark Saying "Bristol - then Founded- then Crossed Swords Device - then 1652 - then England" 
Pottery Mark Saying "Bristol - then Founded- then Crossed Swords Device - then 1652 - then England":- Two earthenware or delft plates from my late mother …

LOWESTOFT VASE MARKED WITH X 
Hello Peter, I am Bill from Trenton Ontario, I had my sisters vase evaluated today January 21st, it is geniune,I sent you some pictures,they are under …

Unknown Crown Pottery Mark on Pie Vent Chinaman 
Unknown Crown Pottery Mark on Pie Vent Chinaman:- I collect pie birds/vents/funnels. I am the proud new owner of a pie vent, which has me stumped. My …

Pottery Mark Query - Lion & unicorn "M. & Co." underneath 
Pottery Mark Query - Lion & unicorn "M. & Co." underneath:- I received this piece from my dad, it was likely one of my grandmothers. I found a Trenton …

ROYAL STAFFORD CLOVELLY SET 
ROYAL STAFFORD CLOVELLY SET:- Hello, I am a little confused because I have ROYAL STAFFORD CLOVELLY SET as in an attached photo. I would like to know the …

Alfred B Pearce & Co Heathcote China 39 Ludgate Hill London E.C. 
Alfred B Pearce & Co Heathcote China 39 Ludgate Hill :- Hi, I bougth this lovely set at a carboot sale. I have tried to find something about it on internet …

Gray's pottery stoke on trent wall vase 
Gray's pottery stoke on trent wall vase:- When clearing out my mothers house after she died I found a wall vase, on the base it says Gray's Pottery in …

Need help identifying "England" EIT mark 
Need help identifying "England" EIT mark:- I have 4 of these plates that were left by my husband's first wife. She didn't want them and he believes that …

Impressed anchor mark on (English?) porcelain figure 
Impressed anchor mark on (English?) porcelain figure:- Hi all, Have been visiting this site for some time but this is my first post. My name is David …

Pottery Mark Query - Old Chamber Pot, "G" Inside Star 
Pottery Mark Query - Old Chamber Pot, "G" Inside Star:- Hello... I found a really pretty chamber pot that has managed to stump nearly everyone to whom …

Birks Sticky Label with 1764 'W' Crown Mark on Figurine bought in 1950's Germany 
Birks Sticky Label with 1764 'W' Crown Mark on Figurine bought in 1950's Germany:- Help me i need answers! My grandma brought back a figurine for my …

'JM & Co' pottery mark on two-tone Jug 
'JM & Co' pottery mark on two-tone Jug:- I bought this several years ago in a car boot sale for a few pounds. I believe it is 19th Century but there are …

Pottery Mark with 2 Crescent shapes a 5 or an S, a 7 or an axe, 4 in total under glaze 
Pottery Mark with 2 Crescent shapes a 5 or an S, a 7 or an axe, 4 in total under glaze:- My Great Great Grandmother was a Worts. The vase came from England. …

Pottery Mark query - 'Old English' above crown. Johnson Bros England By. Gold handpainted 'H' well away from stamp on back 
I don't know a lot about this cream small (12 quarter inches long) oval platter with gold scalloped edged gilding. It has been my grandmothers for all …

Pottery Identification - W C or C W mark 
Pottery Identification - W C or C W mark:- A great great Aunts wedding collection 1858 ish we think. We would love to know what it is and whether we could …

LORD NELSON WARE STAFFORDSHIRE ENGLAND 
LORD NELSON WARE STAFFORDSHIRE ENGLAND:- any ideas as to how old this is? It is a cream drinking mug with a glamour girl on the front with her hands …

Pottery mark query - "Sunderland Ware" 
Pottery mark query - "Sunderland Ware":- About 15 years ago my nan passed away leaving a few bits, which i have kept. I have been trying to find out more …

lovely studio art pottery bowl with illegible handwritten signature 
lovely studio art pottery bowl with illegible handwritten signature... found this beautiful bowl in mum's cupboard recently and wondering if its art deco, …

Impressed Wedgwood and J O K Pottery Mark Query with P and S 
Impressed Wedgwood and J O K Pottery Mark Query with P and S:- hi i bought this some time ago at a car boot an have tried to find out some info but to …

Unusual Royal Worcester Barr Pottery Mark 1896 
Unusual Royal Worcester Barr Pottery Mark 1896:- Does anyone have any information with reference to this RW factory Mark. I have acquired several pointers …

Pottery Mark Query - Diamond kite with R in the middle and a tied Ribbon in a circle or Q shape 
Pottery Mark Query - Diamond kite with R in the middle and a tied Ribbon in a circle or Q shape:- Hi, I received this piece from my Aunt - I have no idea …

Crown Ducal Pottery Mark - Florentine Picardy 
Crown Ducal Pottery Mark Florentine Picardy:- Hi, Our family have a tea service by Crown Ducal who I can't see mentioned elsewhere on your site. Can …

C & S Ltd or G & S Ltd on Pottery Mark 
C & S Ltd or G & S Ltd on Pottery Mark:- It is a black glazed pottery tea service, with a border. Inside are light brown twirls, with alternating …

Pottery Mark Query - PPC England Fox Teapot 
Pottery Mark Query - PPC England Fox Teapot:- I am in posession of two of what looks like teapots with a fox hunt and the spouts and handles are a foxes …

Staffordshire Ware Cottage Pottery Mark Query - Stafford Knot W K 
Staffordshire Ware Cottage Pottery Mark Query - Stafford Knot W K:- At a local thrift shop, I purchased three pieces. Two are Staffordshire Ware poodles, …

Grannies Tea Set S & C Bell China 
I inherited an old tea set that I believe belonged to my Granny who resided in Aberdeen. It has six large plates, six small plates, six teacups and saucers …

Pitcher and Basin-Pottery Mark 'Grecian GL' 
Pitcher and Basin-Pottery Mark 'Grecian GL':- I have this Pitcher and Vase I bought at an estate sell. The pitcher has this mark on bottom. I can't find …

Name and Manufacturing Date of a Woods Ivory Ware Pattern 
In our first home together, my husband and I found a box of china. After asking everybody we could think of if it was theirs, we kept it, and have had …

Parrott and Company "Coronet Ware" 
Although my Grandfather was from England, I "believe" my mother purchased most of her collection of bone china teacups and saucers here in Canada but I …

makers stamp two fish or s 
found this great studio bowl think its english but can not find makers stamp anywhere any ideas!!

pottery mark query T. Forester Ltd - Phoenix - T F & S 
pottery mark query T. Forester Ltd - Phoenix - T F & S:- Hi i have acquired a pair of vases T.Forester Ltd, Phoenix works. Nankin. I have searched everywhere …

pottery mark R & D below lion standing on left hind leg 
pottery mark R & D below lion standing on left hind leg:- I have 12 plates and 12 saucers, cups and sugar bowl etc. it is a daisy type design, edged with …

Pottery Mark Query- W LOWE L 
Bee mark on old charger Pottery Mark Query- W LOWE L (with LILY pattern) Mr. Holland, thanks for replying. Here is the photo of my earthenware plate's …

Studio Pot Mark Query - +en "L" 
Studio Pot Mark Query - +en "L":- Someone told me that this was a Leach pot, but I can't find the mark anywhere. Could you let me know who's mark it …

Dating Minton mark - B4 1/2 
Dating Minton mark - B4 1/2 Query:- I have a set of 4 plates that I recently bought online. The seller did not know the maker or date, but I have identified …

LORD NELSON POTTERY - DATE OF POTTERY MARK 
LORD NELSON POTTERY - DATE OF POTTERY MARK:- I FOUND THIS PLATE CLEARING MY MOTHERS LOFT COULD YOU TELL ME ANYTHING ABOUT IT. Jerry ===================== …

John Heath Staffordshire decorator circa 1825 
John Heath Staffordshire decorator circa 1825:- My great great grandfather is John Heath who was a pottery decorator in about 1825 at Staffordshire. …

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 …

Pottery Mark Query - Tiny Blue Sun or Star? 
Pottery Mark Query - Tiny Blue Sun or Star?:- Hi, I bought a 6 piece cup and saucer set at a car boot sale recently. I have searched high and low to identify …

Pottery Mark - Royal Imperial F-handled Soup Plates & Saucers 
Pottery Mark Query - Royal Imperial F-handled Soup Plates & Saucers:- My mother was given this set of 5 handled soup dishes and saucers in 1955 as a wedding …

Crown over blurry green mark on snake handled vase Query 
Crown over blurry green mark on snake handled vase Query:- Trying to help a friend identify this mark. In addition to the marks visible in this photo, …

Crown Pottery Mark With an 'M' Above Query 
Crown Pottery Mark With an 'M' Above Query:- hi, can you identify this pottery mark backstamp which is on the bottom of a tea pot? thank you Jilly …

'E.B' - FOLEY BONE CHINA GRIFFIN POTTERY MARK QUERY 
'E.B' - FOLEY BONE CHINA GRIFFIN POTTERY MARK QUERY:- I HAVE A 9 PIECE SERVICE, 2 CUPS, 2 SAUCERS, 2 SIDE PLATES, JUG, SUGAR BOWL AND LARGE PLATE. CREAM …

Grosvenor China Query 
Grosvenor China Query:- I have recently inherited some decorative china tea cups and saucers, all of which are made by different companies except 2. The …

STANLEY CHINA ENGLAND POTTERY MARK 
STANLEY CHINA ENGLAND POTTERY MARK QUERY:- My maternal Aunt, a WW2 War Bride from England, is now 91 and living in Canada. Recently she gave me what remains …

POTTERY MARK - 6 Pointed Star China Ware with CSC 
POTTERY MARK QUERY - 6 Pointed Star China Ware with CSC:- I HAVE A BEAUTIFUL 10" X 9 1/2" GOLD TRIMED PLATE WITH SMALL PINK ROSEBUDS AND OTHER LIGHT PASTEL …

Samuel Radford China Dish - The Rest of the Story 
Samuel Radford China Dish - The Rest of the Story:- Peter was kind enough to identify the mark on the back of this dish as that of Samuel Radford (click …

Unknown Pottery Mark (England) - {ed. Identified as Samuel Radford Ltd} 
R S or S.R. Unknown Pottery Mark (England) - {ed's note: Identified as Samuel Radford Ltd}:- I can't seem to find the name of this maker. I know from …

Pottery Mark Query - Teapot with Crown with Letter M above it 
Pottery Mark Query - Teapot with Crown with Letter M above it:- Can you identify the stamp on the bottom of our teapot? It's a (brown?) crown with the …

Pottery Mark on Base of Teapot 
Pottery Mark on Base of Teapot:- I received this from my grandmother before she died years ago. Could you give me any information about it? Thanks …

Pottery Mark Alert! Wedgwood & Co is NOT J. Wedgwood -  
Pottery Mark Alert! Wedgwood & Co is NOT J. Wedgwood - Old Milk pot Query:- I'm not sure what this pot has been used for, but I found it in an old apartment …

Gainsborough Bone China Pottery Mark 
Gainsborough Bone China Pottery Mark Query:- I have a dinner set, soup tureen,soup bowls 2 serving dishes and many more and on the underneath of each pottery …

'W over C' (Crown above) Pottery Mark Query - {editors note: Could It Be Wileman & Co, Foley China?} 
'W over C' (Crown above) {editors note: Could It Be Wileman & Co, Foley China?} Pottery Mark Query: I cannot find this mark anywhere online. This is on …

Antique China and Fine China is Great, But What About My Fosters Pottery? 
Antique China and Fine China is Great, But What About My Fosters Pottery?. I collect FOSTERS STUDIO POTTERY, OF REDRUTH, CORNWALL, ENGLAND and I think …

Pottery Marks - CROWN CHATEAU CHINA - Wild Bros? 
Pottery Marks - CROWN CHATEAU CHINA - Wild Bros? - Pottery Mark Query: I have a 6 Piece tea service with following china mark: A crown, and in the centre …

Would like to know the origin of the mark N. W. P. Co 
Would like to know the origin of the mark N. W. P. Co:- I have found your website to be EXTRAORDINARILY helpful! I have only been looking for about an …

Is this a "real" Grimwades Winton backstamp? 
The piece is a chamber pot purportedly in the "FILLIGRE" pattern. I say that with caution since it's a guess on our part that "FI is what's missing from …

Pottery mark query - Mason's Ironstone - Angled Crown Patent Ironstone 
Pottery mark query - Mason's Ironstone - Angled Crown Patent Ironstone:- Hi there! I have recently been able to 'go through' some of my late great aunt's …

Pottery Mark Query - Crownford English Urn "vase with a lid"  
Pottery Mark Query - Crownford English Urn "vase with a lid" :- this nice a piece (over 12" high vase) was bought from an estate auction it is numbered …

Butterfly vase retailed by Mortlock 
I would be grateful for any advise regarding this little spill vase in the shape of a Butterfly. It stands 5" high, 4" across and 3.5" across the base. …

Doulton Slaters Patent Creamer Jug 
Doulton Slaters Patent Creamer Jug:- i found this piece some time ago and just recently refound it,"cleaning out the cabinet"" and would love some help …

Artone Pie Vents 
After my initial post, trying to identify what turned out to be an Artone Pie Vent, I found another nice one. So, I thought I would post photos. Also …

Bell China & Grainger & Co Query 
Bell China & Grainger & Co Query:- Hi, I recently saved a couple of pretty things from being sent to the boot sale following a clear out. I have part …

C & W & H Pottery Mark found on the "immigrant trail" covered wagon trail over the sierras 
C & W & H Pottery Mark found on the "immigrant trail" covered wagon trail over the sierras:- saturday sept. 18th while on a hike my wife found this small …

Porcelain Marking X and 1 - Could Be Bristol or Crown Derby? 
Porcelain Marking X and 1 - Could Be Bristol or Crown Derby?:- We inherited a set of dishes that were from my great grandmother. The only markings on …

Pottery Mark - Whieldon Ware and F. Winkle & Co LTD Fish Tableware Query 
Pottery Mark - Whieldon Ware and F. Winkle & Co LTD Fish Tableware Query:- I have a gravy boat and two oval dishes with fish on and under neath it states …

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