Pottery Mark Query - Looks like reverse N letter beneath glazing/pottery Jar

by Rachel Jene
(Colorado Springs, CO USA)

Pottery Jar

Pottery Jar

Pottery Mark Query - Looks like reverse N letter beneath glazing/pottery Jar:- The story is short. I picked this lovely piece up at a second hand store. I was told by an elderly shopper that it was an old ginger jar. A couple of employees/shoppers stated, "oh you got the vase!" I was and am quite content with its beauty.

It is a pottery piece, looks to possible???

has been hand created?

Blue and white with the Lion??

emblems in three D with ring in nose around top of jar.

Bottom of jar has what appears to be a sea shell mark and in two separate places what appears to be a hand inscribed (elevated underneath the glaze) a backwards letter N???

Also what appears to be a roman numeral IV and at the edge almost like a tooled (knife?) number 5.

Any help on this would be grand!

Best regards and thanks.


Reply by Peter (admin)

to Pottery Mark Query - Looks like reverse N letter beneath glazing/pottery Jar

Dear Rachel

Nice story! I like your pot - it is quite beautiful. It is not an area I am that familiar with, but a 6th sense tells my it is a quality object.

I think you might be best to just contact one of the online experts listed below on this one.

Thanks for being a friend to the site.

Please let us know what you find out.

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 Pottery Mark Query - Looks like reverse N letter beneath glazing/pottery Jar

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ginger jar with shell mark and backwords N
by: Anonymous

I was wondering if you found out anything about the jar.... I have one similar with the same marks on the bottom but a bit more colorful of jar

Pottery Mark Query - Looks like reverse N
by: Peter (admin)

Further comment by Peter (admin) on Pottery Mark Query - Looks like reverse N letter beneath glazing/pottery Jar....


Thanks for the nudge on this one. Interesting to have researched this a bit further.

Following another thread about some unusual writing on a pottery mark which turned out to be written in the Cyrillic alphabet (it was an old Russian factory called Konakova), I used my new found knowledge to good use because I recognised this reverse N letter immediately as the Russian letter for "i" (pronounced "ee", as in see).

Logically, this means that the factory marking may be from a company whose name begins with 'i'.

I looked up listings of Russian factories whose name began with 'i' and found only one.

It was the ikonnikov factory of Moscow (I.A.Ikonnikov Imperial Porcelain Private Manufactory, Moscow Gubernia) and appears to be very old established and its wares of high value.

The name, when written in Cyrillic looks like this "Иконников" or "NKOHHNKOB" (this is the nearest a western keyboard can get to it - the two N's are reversed).

Sadly, there is virtually nothing online about this factory and also nothing in my books (which are general rather than specialist). It would therefore need specialist books or knowledge to find out about their markings, confirm their history, and confirm if the reverse N mark on the base of your vase was, in fact, an Ikonnikov marking.

What makes searching for this factory more difficult online is the fact there appears to be a Russian silver maker operating at the same time in the 19th Century of the same name, and there is also a famous author, a painter, a famous olympian shot putter of the same surname Ikonnikov.

continued below/......

Reverse letter N on base of vase
by: Peter (admin)

continued from above......

If these vases did turn out to be made by Ikonnikov porcelain, (and remember my first reaction, which I said in my original reply was "I like your pot - it is quite beautiful.... a 6th sense tells me it is a quality object") they are valuable objects.

I found only two items sold online attributed to this factory and both fetched mind boggling amounts of money for what they were. Both items were character figurines dating from the 19th Century in bisque porcelain and one sold for $3873 USD (estimate was $800 - $1000), and the other sold for $5030 USD.

My recommendation is to get these vases checked out asap. It may turn out they are not by the 'Ikonnikov' Imperial Porcelain Private Factory, Moscow, but if they are, you may have something of value.

Here's what to do - either go direct to your nearest top international auction house (Sothebies, Christies etc) and ask for an estimate on how much they think this would sell for. If this is difficult as you are not near a big town, I offer this equivalent service online. The difference being, these guys charge when they do the online services as it is in their own time, so to speak. If you see them at the auction house it is part of their day job, so this service is free and part of what these auction houses do day to day.

The websites of the big auction houses do claim to offer this free service out via email, but in my experience, you either don't get a response, or of you do it takes 2 months. Then you get a stupid answer like "has decorative value only".

With my service, you are paying for convenience and speed and ease, put it that way (in other words, pay them and they buck up their ideas somewhat - Remember the Antiques Roadshow guys charge massive fees the the TV companies to give "free" appraisals to the public).

For more information about my "Roadshow" service, go here:-

The ”Bring in the Experts” antique china and collectibles evaluation page

Go to this page, read about the service, fill in the form and send in photos. You pay no money upfront.

Peter (admin)

pottery mark looks like a reverse N
by: Anonymous

I have taken more photos of my jar with them markings on them and would like to post but know where....


please post here:-


I have almost identical vase
by: M Baxter

I recently bought this matching vase at an estate sale. While doing research I came across your inquirery w/picture, and was amazed how similar the two are. Have you found anything else about who made them, or what they are worth? email mt at sfsymba@gmail.com and I will send you a photo of the said vase.

Thank you
M Baxter

I also have a jar like this
by: MJW

I just purchased a similar jar at a consignment store. The top "artichoke" and the foo dog/lions are forest green. The flowers etc are pink, sky blue and turquoise. The marks on mine are "IV" made with a sharp instrument and a seashell with "MM" or "NN" or "HH" or a combination. It seems like the marking underneath the glaze is another IV much larger than the other. Have you found out anything else about your jars?

by: Anonymous

Was there any progress on finding information on this jar as I have one also

Almost same jar NEW
by: Raquel G.

I have a similar jar. Mines has a B on the bottom and a seashell imprint with the letter M. My email is rg1829@gmail.com

Almost same jar NEW
by: Raquel G.

I have a similar jar. Mines has a B on the bottom and a seashell imprint with the letter M. My email is rg1829@gmail.com

Backwards N in china
by: Nicky

Im glad i came upon this post. I 3 have vintage plastic made in china christmas ornaments, they are knock offs of Hummels..2 of the 3 have a backwards N.
I know this is a ceramic site but am really curious about this topic.

Very Similar NEW
by: Joni B

I have a vase with these markings that is made in the same style with different colors. Did you ever find out who the maker is and the value?

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