Maker’s Marks on Serving Piece and What They Mean

Makers’ marks on the 
undersides of teacups, 
saucers, plates and other pieces of dishes and 
silverware have been used for centuries.
They can tell us roughly when a piece was made
who made it {what manufacturer} and 
in the case of silver and pewter
the content purity of
the precious metals used in a
piece’s production.

Makers’ Marks

Those little stamped, painted or impressed marks 
can tell a lot about a piece of pottery or silverware.
They are a manufacturer’s registration marks
showing that a piece came from their company.
A lot of “copying” was going on between potteries.  
Blanks were often created at one pottery 
then sold to others who would decorate the
blanks with their company’s designs.
Multiple marks can be on the backs
of your china pieces.
This occurs in silver production, too, which is 
why you will sometimes see up to
four distinct markings on your
fine silver trays and other fine silver and 
pewter serving pieces.

Colors ~ What do they mean?

Whether black, green, blue or another color
those colors signify in what year
a piece was produced.
Often a maker would keep the same
“stamp” but just change the print color.

I have a book about Royal Winton china and 
in it the author’ speaks about colors 
signifying approximate date years
when pieces were produced.
To see some of their colored back stamps
please check out:

These backstamps are really fun to look at
then the more you look
time goes by and you may not realize that
an hour or more has passed!

This set came with 46 married pieces.

Just like people, you may find that your
new favorite china set or piece may come
with a few bumps and bruises.
But that’s okay.
We pick up the pieces, patch ourselves up
and get right back in the saddle.

The repaired creamer is the piece to the very far right.
This transferware set above has a creamer
which has had the handle repaired
but is still lovely nonetheless.

Finding complete sets of china in thriftshops
or antique stores is always a challenge.
Most are married sets and this one
is absolutely no exception.
I flipped all these pieces over and studied
those backstamps looking at the colors
and registration numbers.
Mine is a married set of two different
firings, but that’s okay.
They all go together.
Royal Winton’s June Roses, I believe ~ a lovely vintage teacup in my collection.  Now “for looks only.” 

Something to note

It’s important to have vintage china checked 
for lead leakage before eating anything hot off of it.
I was sick, really sick, about 10-12 years ago
because I was drinking hot tea fairly regularly
out of the above chintzware teacup 
that I had purchased online.
This chintz teacup was made in the 1930’s or earlier
and I was inadvertently poisoning myself.
Losing my hair in small clumps
vomiting once everyday
and diarrhea
became the norm for a month!
Only several years later did I realize
that that was what had 
made me so sick.

I’d never thought about the fact that 
it could be poisonous!
Not the way you want to lose 20 pounds
in one month
trust me on this one…

So, enjoy those makers’ marks
on your lovely china. 
The next time you pick up a china piece at an 
antique store or a flea market,
enjoy thinking of where that piece came from
and the many people who worked 
to create that “lovely”
you now hold in 
your hand.

Sharing with
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Blessings and Happy Teatime
to you,

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