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 look at the mark or back stamp that the manufacturer put on the pieces. This usually comes in three forms.
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, 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.
Printed marks. This is the most likely category and most common. This is where the fun begins. We will be delving into this topic into detail in future posts as this is a huge study area unto itself. Some manufacturers changes marks every 5 to 10 years, some more frequently, 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 there are a couple of notes that may help.
If it has Germany then this is pre 1945, W.Germany is post 1945 – until 1990.