Identification and Price guides for Antiques & Collectibles

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MARKS ON CHINA & PORCELAIN TABLEWARE - Identify maker and age


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identify chinaware marksChinaware is practically always signed with manufacturers' marks that reveal the country of origin and when they were made. Because most marks on china are stamped, many collectors refer to these as "backstamps". Identifying these marks are a sure way to learn on their history and the most important step is appraising their value.

Prior to and for the most part of the 19thC, dinnerware & tableware were made of thick porcelain or stoneware, often referred to as "earthenware". When enhanced for strength using special manufacturing techniques such as those developed by many companies in the Staffordshire region of the UK, they're called "ironstone", which however do NOT contain any iron, but their thinner body can classify them at best as "fine stoneware". However, most Fine China is made of porcelain, particularly Bone China. For an explanation of these variations of ceramic materials and proper use of related terms, please see our article on types of porcelain.

In addition to makers marks, most china services are also identified by a Pattern name or number. However, these are not necessarily unique because many companies may have used the same name or number for a different design, but can help in narrowing down the list of potential makers. Knowing both the maker and the pattern can be instrumental in matching tableware in order to complete a set or replace a damaged piece. For an extensive list, see our china patterns descriptions to help you in cross-referencing company names with patterns.

Serious collectors should always consult reference guides to identify a china service or a set of tableware, particularly if they could be potentially old and their worth is significant. You can use our extensive research tools to help you recognize marks on chinaware produced worldwide and from all periods or styles.

To learn more about our porcelain & chinaware research services, please check out our marks reference guide - marks4ceramics - to gain unlimited access to the most comprehensive and updated list of worldwide identifying symbols and porcelain companies' trademarks. Our experienced specialists can also answer your questions directly and for free when you need some extra guidance or have doubts (members only).

In addition to pages for marks & hallmarks, our research tools also include a price guide to help you evaluate your collection and be certain that you are not paying high when buying or asking too low when selling. Below are a few examples.


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  • SHOZAN OCCUPIED JAPAN CHINA SERVICE: Approx.
    109 pieces to include 11 dinner plates 12 soup bowls 16 salad plates 15 bread plates 16 desert bowls 15 cups 16 saucers large platter small platter open vegetable bowl gravy ... [more like this]
  • 1914 American Soldier's Republic of China
    Service Decorative Sewn Silk Display: Flags. "In Rememberance of my Service in China / 1912 - 1914". 1914-Dated Early Republic of China Service, American Soldier's Military ... [more like this]
  • A HICKS & MEIGH STONE CHINA JAPAN PATTERN
    DINNER SERVICE printed in blue and enamelled with long tailed birds, flowers and a scene, the service including a soup tureen, cover and stand with cobalt and gilt handles, ... [more like this]
  • 46 pc. China Service for 8, elegant floral,
    made in Japan, most excellent. ... [more like this]
  • OCCUPIED JAPAN NORITAKE CHINA SERVICE FOR
    12: 79 pieces to include 12 each of dinner plates, soup bowls, bread plates, dessert bowls, cups and saucers. There are 11 salad plates, gravy boat, creamer, sugar, covered ... [more like this]
  • Sale 428 Lot 982 * A Chinese Porcelain
    Partial Dinner Service 20th century decorated with roosters amid polychrome foliage on a white ground, comprising 12 teacups, 12 saucers, ten dinner plates, and eight salad ... [more like this]
  • MASSIVE MILITARY PHOTOGRAPHIC ARCHIVE, MOSTLY
    WWI-WWII, AMERICAN, ALLIED, GERMAN, JAPANESE.This archive is a lifelong collection of the consignor who has a publishing company and had hoped to publish photo history books ... [more like this]
  • COLLECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS OF CHINA, INDIA,
    CEYLON, EGYPT AND NORTH AMERICA LATE 19TH/EARLY 20TH CENTURY 87 PHOTOGRAPHS OF CHINA, predominantly taken in Hong Kong and Shanghai, where Schröder was based for some ... [more like this]
  • Occupied Japan Moriyama China Diner Service
    SetFrom the estate is a very nice c.1945-1952 Made in Occupied Japan Moriyama China 7 piece diner service set with floral rim and center with gold trim. The set includes the ... [more like this]
  • TWO PARTIAL DINNERWARE SERVICES Both 20th
    century. The first a 22-piece French tin glazed earthenware dinner service consisting of: a covered soup tureen, nine soup plates, four dinner plates, two undertrays, two ... [more like this]
  • A G L ASHWORTH & BROTHERS IRONSTONE JAPAN
    PATTERN DESSERT SERVICE AND A DINNER PLATE EN SUITE, transfer printed in iron red, painted in underglaze blue and enamelled with a landscape in panelled cavetto and brocaded ... [more like this]
  • A FRANCIS MORLEY STONE CHINA COBALT GROUND
    DESSERT SERVICE printed and painted with a Japan pattern and richly gilt, the service including a comport 18cm h, impressed mark and/or printed royal arms, painted 3/1212 ... [more like this]
  • Fleming, Ian--Sir Fitzroy Maclean Bt Casino
    royale. 1953. First edition, first issue (without Sunday Times review), dust-jacket slightly frayed at extremities and lightly soiled; Live and let die. 1954. Second impression, ... [more like this]
  • A partial English stone china dinner service Hicks
    & Meigh first quarter 19th century Lightly transfer printed and hand colored in a rich 'Japan' pattern comprising twenty-five plates, (diameter 9 1/2in) and twelve soup ... [more like this]
  • ASHWORTH BROTHERS IRONSTONE 'JAPAN' PATTERN
    7686 DINNER SERVICE, CIRCA 1890-91. , Comprising a well-and-tree platter, oval platter, 12 soup plates, 27 dinner plates, 14 luncheon plates, impressed crowned ASHWORTH ... [more like this]
  • A G L ASHWORTH & BROS IRONSTONE JAPAN PATTERN
    DESSERT SERVICE richly decorated in predominantly cobalt, gilt and iron red, the service including a comport, 19cm h, impressed REAL IRONSTONE CHINA, printed royal arms and ... [more like this]
  • FUKAGAWA JAPANESE FINE CHINA IN THE GOLD
    BAMBOO PATTERN 501: Arita Japan discontinued in the 1950s. Approx. 150 piece service for 12 include 15 dinner plates 12 salad plates 15 bread 12 soup bowls 12 dessert bowls ... [more like this]
  • An extensive eighty five piece Spode 967
    Japan pattern dinner service c.1810 comprising a large oval meat platter thirty two dinner plates fourteen dessert plates fourteen side plates thirteen soup bowls nine dessert ... [more like this]
  • Sango Hampton Porcelain Dinner Service:
    Sango Hampton porcelain dinner and tea service for 22. Marked: Sango China Japan Hampton 3758 SKU: 03255 Follow us on Instagram: @revereauctions Condition Please contact us ... [more like this]
  • A JAPANESE BUDDHIST PRIEST ARMORIAL MON WOVEN
    SILK BROCADE KESA ROBE, TACHIBANA FAMILY MON, 18TH/19TH CENTURY, : SILK BROCADE KESA ROBE, TACHIBANA FAMILY MON, 18TH/19TH CENTURY, of rectangular form and a conforming ... [more like this]

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