In this post we will try to help answer the question, How old is my china? So how do we start? First we need to look at the bottom of the china pieces to find the mark or back stamp that the manufacturer put on the pieces. This usually comes in three forms.
- Impressed or Incised
- Hand Painted marks
- Printed (usually under the glaze)
Impressed or incised marks, are marks that are cut or punched into the porcelain. This was common with manufactures in the 1700s and early 1800s. To the right is an example of an early 1800s Royal Worcester impressed mark. It is a little hard to see, but it is a rounded mark around the center.
Hand painted Marks
Hand Painted marks were marks painted on the bottom of the pieces to identify the manufacturer and also sometimes the artist. Again, common in the 1700s and early 1800s. To the left is an example of a hand painted mark of Crown Derby dating to the late 1700s.
This is the most likely category and most common. Some manufacturers changed marks every 5 to 10 years, some more frequently and some less. For the big makers identified in the previous post, there are a number of easy to find sites to date your mark. Make sure you look at all the details of the mark, as sometimes there were subtle changes in the mark over time. If you cannot find any help, here are a couple of notes that may help.
Country of Origin:
If it has Germany then this is pre 1945, W.Germany is post 1945 – until 1990.
Dating china can be challenging, but is an important skill to ensure you identify china corrected in order to buy smart and sell well.
For all of the articles in this series, What is my china worth?, check out the links below.
Part 1 – What is my China worth – Introduction
Part 2 – What is my china worth – How old is it?
Part 3 – What is my china worth – Is it hand painted?
Part 4 – What is my china worth – Condition
Part 5 – What is my china worth – Pattern and decoration