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Marks and Signatures on Pottery, Porcelain, and China
Identifying a mark on a piece of pottery or porcelain is often the first step in researching the value of these antique and collectible pieces. This guide provides marks found on both antique and contemporary collectible pottery and porcelain from the United States and other countries and includes dating information and a brief history relating to the companies included wherever possible.Continue to 2 of 56 below.
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This mark used ca. 1944 to 1951. A raised Alamo U.S.A. mark was also used.
The company made utilitarian art pottery and bathroom fixtures. Bought by Universal Rundle Corp. in 1951.
Reference: Potteries Across Texas websiteContinue to 3 of 56 below.
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Mark Ca. 1892 to 1905.Continue to 4 of 56 below.
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Bawo & Dotter (Elite Works)
This mark was used under the glaze by Bawo & Dotter on whiteware "blanks" the company produced after 1900. Pieces decorated by Bawo & Dotter usually have a red shield-shaped decorating mark over the glaze as well.
Other marks were used by Bawo & Dotter as well, all referencing "Elite" in some way. A similar mark without an underscore beneath ELITE and no "L" above France was used ca. 1896 to 1900.
Note: Kovels' New Dictionary of Marks refers to an Elite mark as that of Guerin-Pouyat-Elite LTD, however, most dealers refer to the Mary Frank Gaston attribution in The Collectors Encyclopedia of Limoges Porcelain of Bawo & Dotter. A mark used after 1920 by this company does refer to Guerin-Pouyat-Elite LTD. suggesting a later partnership or merger with Guerin-Pouyat.Continue to 5 of 56 below.
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Bawo & Dotter (Elite Works)
Overglaze decorating house mark used by Bawo & Dotter. The mark shown here was used from 1896 to 1900. A very similar mark with Limoges in block letters and France was used from 1920 to 1932. This mark without France and Limoges in block letters dates to the 1880s.
Other marks were used by Bawo & Dotter as well, all referencing "Elite" in some way.
Note: Kovels' New Dictionary of Marks refers to a similar mark as that of Guerin-Pouyat-Elite LTD., however, most dealers refer to the Mary Frank Gaston attribution in The Collectors Encyclopedia of Limoges Porcelain of Bawo & Dotter. A mark used after 1920 by this company does refer to Guerin-Pouyat-Elite LTD. suggesting a later partnership or merger with Guerin-Pouyat.Continue to 6 of 56 below.
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Bawo & Dotter (Elite Works)
Red overglaze decorating house mark used by Bawo & Dotter with green underglaze white ware mark above it. The red mark shown here was used from around 1900 to 1914, with some versions containing the wording "Bawo & Dotter" above the mark. Many similar Bawo & Dotter marks just say "Elite" above the shield.
Other marks were used by Bawo & Dotter as well, all referencing "Elite" in some way. The first similar red decorating shield mark appears to have been used in the 1880s.Continue to 7 of 56 below.
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B & H Limoges
Blakeman & Henderson, a decorating company, commissioned high-quality porcelain, including dinnerware, from the Limoges region of France in the late 1890s to early 1900s.
This mark is seen in green, gray and red.Continue to 8 of 56 below.
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Mark ca. 1950s.
One of a number of marks on Blue Ridge pieces.
Reference: Kovels' New Dictionary of MarksContinue to 9 of 56 below.
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A number of different marks were used by Buffalo Pottery, most featuring an American bison somewhere in the logo, and all indicating the date the piece was made. Buffalo made both semi-vitreous and vitreous wares, and some pieces indicated the type in the mark.
Deldare pieces have their own unique marks identifying pieces as part of this line. Buffalo’s Blue Willow dinnerware pattern was marked "First Old Willow Ware Mfg. in America," according to Warman’s Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 39th Edition edited by Ellen T. Schroy.Continue to 10 of 56 below.
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Sticker used from 1937 to 1942.
Gladding McBean & Co. acquired the Catalina Island Pottery Co. and its molds in 1937. The sticker shown was used on art pottery made by Gladding McBean & Co. from 1937 until 1942 when the Catalina Pottery Art Ware line was discontinued due to war production, according to the gmcb.com website. Oftentimes these pieces will bear another mark such as "Catalina Pottery U.S.A." but the stickers were worn away with cleaning and use.
Note: These pieces should not be confused with those made by the original Catalina Island Pottery Co. at the original island factory off the Southern California coast from 1927 to 1937. Those are most often marked "Catalina" or "Catalina Island" incised into the bottom of the pieces. Catalina Island pieces are more highly prized by collectors and bring higher prices than those marked "Catalina Pottery."Continue to 11 of 56 below.
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The earliest Capodimonte wares were unmarked. This is the first fleur de lis mark used by the Royal Factory in Naples, Italy stamped in either blue or gold.
The fleur de lis mark was later revised to a thinner version.
Beginning in 1771, Capodimonte began using the crown over the Neopolitan N mark. This mark was used through the early 1800s when the Royal Factory closed.
Other companies began manufacturing porcelain in the Capodimonte tradition after 1925. Some of these pieces are marked with other company names or foil stickers in addition to a stamped variation of the crown over the Neopolitan N mark.Continue to 12 of 56 below.
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The earliest Capodimonte wares were unmarked. This is the second fleur de lis mark used by the Royal Factory in Naples, Italy stamped in either blue or gold.
This mark replaced a fatter version of the fleur de lis mark.
Beginning in 1771, Capodimonte began using the crown over the Neopolitan N mark. This mark was used through the early 1800s when the Royal Factory closed.
Other companies began manufacturing porcelain in the Capodimonte tradition after 1925. Some of these pieces are marked with other company names or foil stickers in addition to a stamped variation of the crown over the Neopolitan N mark.Continue to 13 of 56 below.
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This is the original crown and Neopolitan N Capodimonte mark used by the Royal Factory. The earliest Capodimonte marks were variations of the fleur de lis.
Other marks by companies who carried on the Capodimonte tradition since 1925 also contain some variation of the crown over N mark, but the one shown here was the only mark used by the original Capodimonte factory in Italy from the late 1700s through the early 1800s (some sources indicate a closing date of 1817, others purport 1834).Continue to 14 of 56 below.
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Coiffe Limoges France
Mark as shown, known by collectors and dealers as Mark 3, was used ca. 1891 to 1914, and also without Limoges above the star during the same period.
Star mark without the words "Limoges" and "France" above and below was used prior to 1890. Mark with "Made in France" above star used 1914 to 1920s.
The Coiffe factory made many porcelain blanks decorated by other companies so many times an accompanying mark will identify the decorating factory. Coiffe blanks were also exported to the United States for use by both novice and professional china painters at the turn of the last century.
Reference: The Collectors Encyclopedia of Limoges Porcelain.Continue to 15 of 56 below.
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Crown Potteries Co. Made in U.S.A.
Mark used on majolica, ironstone, semiporcelain and white granite. The company was in business from 1902 to 1962.
Reference: Kovels' New Dictionary of Marks.Continue to 16 of 56 below.
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De Sphinx Pottery
Variations of this mark used ca. 1929 to 1931. Company established in 1836 by Petrus Regout.
The firm was noted for its transfer-printed earthenware.
References: Kovels's website and Kovels' New Dictionary of Marks.Continue to 17 of 56 below.
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Doulton & Co.
This crown mark used ca. 1885 to 1902.
One of a number of marks on Doulton pieces.
Reference: Kovels' New Dictionary of Marks.Continue to 18 of 56 below.
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Fulper Ink Mark
Mark used c. 1910 to 1915 by Fulper Pottery Co.
This was the first mark—FULPER in a rectangle—used by this company using the Hobo typeface. It is commonly referenced by collectors and dealers as the Fulper “ink mark.” Fake ink marks have been found drawn with a black marker on pieces not made by this company. Astute collectors confirm authenticity prior to investing in a pricey item purportedly made by Fulper.Continue to 19 of 56 below.
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Ca. Mid-1800s through the 1920s.
This "sunburst" mark is one of several used by Gebruder Heubach on bisque porcelain dolls, piano babies, and other figurines. This particular mark is sometimes very faintly incised into the porcelain with the sunburst being the most recognizable attribute and the H and G lettering barely legible. The same mark can also be found ink stamped on the bottom of some piano babies and figurines as well. The mark shown here was found on a piano baby figurine.
Gebruder Heubach also used a square mark with HEU over BACH and Gebr. Heubach on their character dolls as well. These marks, along with the sunburst mark, are usually located on the back of the neck on dolls.Continue to 20 of 56 below.
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Original company founded in 1894. A number of different marks were used over time.
This is one of the most commonly found Grueby Pottery marks.Continue to 21 of 56 below.
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Ca. Late 1800s to 1942 (See information below for more on the Quimper "HB" mark.)
The "HB" mark was first used on pieces made by the Hubaudiere-Bousquet factory in Quimper, France in the mid-1800s, and has had many incarnations. Subtle differences in these marks can lend to more accurately dating this type of pottery, according to information provided on the Old Quimper website.
The HB Quimper mark with dashes and dots beneath (as shown above) was employed from the late 1800s up to 1942.Continue to 22 of 56 below.
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Ca. 1968 to 1983.
The most recent HB mark used by the Hubaudiere-Bousquet factory in Quimper, France is "HB Quimper," with form and decoration numbers beneath. This mark dates from 1968 to 1983. Later pieces were made with marks that appeared on original factory pieces when they were reissued through 2004.Continue to 23 of 56 below.
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ca. 1925 to 1968.
This mark was used by the Jules Henriot factory in Quimper, France known for making faience pottery. The style made by Henriot and that of other potteries from this area is generically referred to as "Quimper" by collectors.
Henriot used a number of different marks beginning in 1891, with "HR" being the first. From 1895 to 1922 the factory used the "HR Quimper" mark. The example shown above was used from about 1925 to 1968, according to the Old Quimper website. After 1968, artist initials and/or decoration numbers were printed under the mark.Continue to 24 of 56 below.
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Hull Art U.S.A.
Mark ca. 1940s.
Mark used by Hull Pottery during the 1940s to advertise the prevalence of the company's popular art pottery lines during that period.
Reference: Collectors Encyclopedia of Hull Pottery by Brenda Roberts.Continue to 25 of 56 below.
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Johnson Bros. English Chippendale
The crown mark was used on various earthenware and ironstone dinnerware patterns since 1913. This is the current mark for the English Chippendale pattern.
Reference: Kovels' New Dictionary of Marks.Continue to 26 of 56 below.
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L. Hutschenruether Porcelain Factory
This mark was used on china (hard-paste porcelain) ca. 1955 to 1969, often in conjunction with the mark of Paul A. Straub who was a New York porcelain importer.Continue to 27 of 56 below.
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This mark was found on Homer Laughlin's Virginia Rose shape, Armand pattern, ca. 1950. The "50" in the letter/number denotes the year on this particular mark.
Reference: Kovels' New Dictionary of Marks.Continue to 28 of 56 below.
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Underglaze mark found on whiteware made by Laviolette from 1896 to 1905.
References: Kovels' New Dictionary of Marks and The Collectors Encyclopedia of Limoges Porcelain.Continue to 29 of 56 below.
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Lord Nelson Ware
Mark of English company Elijah Cotton on its Lord Nelson Ware lines. Black Beauty denotes the name of a popular chintz dinnerware pattern.Continue to 30 of 56 below.
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L.R.L. Limoges France
Mark of decorating factory Lazeyras, Rosenfeld and Lehman circa 1920s found overglaze on Limoges whiteware blanks. This is often referenced as Mark 3 by dealers, as found in The Collector’s Encyclopedia of Limoges Porcelain.
This decorating studio used a number of different marks, including those that read LR&L or L.R. over L.Continue to 31 of 56 below.
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Mark ca. 1940 through the mid-1960s.
Mark used on various stoneware and earthenware pieces.
Reference: Kovels' New Dictionary of MarksContinue to 32 of 56 below.
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Metlox Pottery Made in California
Ca. 1958 to 1978.
Poppy Trail denotes the Metlox pattern name. The same basic mark was used with a number of different patterns made by Metlox, with just the pattern name changing as applicable.
Additional Note from Anastacia Gibbs: "Many of the original Metlox marks which look similar to this one and are authentic are smeared. We have many pieces with this mark that belonged to my husband's parents and they were purchased here in California when the factory was still active."Continue to 33 of 56 below.
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Muncie Pottery Company
Ca. 1919 to 1939.
This company began as Muncie Clay Products Company in 1919. Muncie, a small company, only employed 20 people at the height of their production, according to research compiled by author Jack D. Wilson. Some of the most collectible Muncie pieces are the Art Deco designs resembling Ruba Rombic glassware conceptualized by Reuben Haley who also designed for Consolidated Glass Company. The company was reorganized and renamed Muncie Potteries in 1931, and eventually ceased operation in 1939.
While some Muncie pieces are not signed, those bearing the company's name are marked as shown here. Some pieces also have mold or finisher marks, usually handwritten, which can include a combination of letters and/or numbers.Continue to 34 of 56 below.
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Newcomb College Pottery (New Orleans, Louisiana)
The "N" within "C" mark is most often associated with Newcomb. Other marks: “Newcomb College" and an “N” and “C” on either side of a vase within a rectangle.
Newcomb College Pottery was made by women students at Newcomb College incorporating local materials and decor inspired by Louisiana's flora and fauna in the Arts and Crafts tradition. A number of marks are usually found on each piece including a registration mark and the initials of the woman who decorated the piece.Continue to 35 of 56 below.
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Mark, as shown, used ca. 1900.
Mark used on porcelain wares.
Reference: Kovels' New Dictionary of Marks.Continue to 36 of 56 below.
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PD Turn Teplitz (Kunstkeramik Paul Dachsel)
This is referenced as the Kunstkeramik Paul Dachsel mark. Pottery designer Paul Dachsel used this mark when he started his own business after leaving the original Amphora factory. This mark was used on pottery made by his firm from approximately 1906 through 1911.
A very simple "PD" mark is sometimes associated with Paul Dachsel’s work as well, whether he was designing for the original Amphora factory, Ernst Wahliss or for his own factory. The PD mark can be found alone on the base of a piece, with an Amphora or Wahliss mark, or the Kunstkeramik mark shown above.Continue to 37 of 56 below.
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Paul A. Straub & Co.
Porcelain importer mark used ca. 1948 to 1970. Often used in conjunction with the L. Hutschenreuther manufacturer's mark.Continue to 38 of 56 below.
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Variations of this particular Rosenthal mark have been used since the mid-1950s.
This is one of many marks used by Rosenthal on various lines. This style of the mark, with Germany beneath Rosenthal, was first used in the mid-1950s and continued through 1967. Various nuances to the mark can help narrow the date to a specific year.Continue to 39 of 56 below.
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Rookwood Pottery Mark
Beginning in 1886, a flame was added around the reverse RP logo each year to mark the date. In 1901, Roman numerals began dating the pieces.
Many talented artists worked for Rookwood Pottery, and a number of pieces are marked on the base with an artist's cipher (their name or initials) in addition to the reverse RP logo.
Some pieces were also marked with a letter: "P" indicates soft porcelain; "S" indicates a special piece; "Z" refers to matte glaze; "V" indicates Vellum glaze, and trial pieces were marked "T".Continue to 40 of 56 below.
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Roseville RV Ink Stamp Mark
An early Roseville mark used on patterns such as Carnelian I, Rosecraft Panel, and Vintage, among others.Continue to 41 of 56 below.
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Mark ca. 1939.
Roseville is often more easily dated by identifying the line and researching the corresponding year of production rather than relying solely on the style of the mark.
Reference: Kovels' New Dictionary of Marks.Continue to 42 of 56 below.
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Roseville Reproduction Mark
One of many reproduction marks found on Roseville fakes.Continue to 43 of 56 below.
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Ca. 1836 to 1931.
Mark of Franz Anton Mehlem's pottery made in Bonn, Germany. A number of marks were used by this manufacturer, most including the initials FM, a crown, and the word Bonn. Some show a date of "1755," which refers to earlier Bonn pottery manufacturers, rather than the date a piece was made.
Note: This particular example is partially stamped so the words "Royal" above the crown and "Bonn" below the crest are barely legible, nor is the "1755" under the FM in the center of the mark readable.
Reference: Kovel's New Dictionary of Marks.Continue to 44 of 56 below.
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Royal China Co.
Ca. 1940 to 1955.
Mark used primarily on semi-vitreous dinnerware.
Reference: Kovels' New Dictionary of Marks.Continue to 45 of 56 below.
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Royal Doulton used dating systems with a number of their marks. Here the small "12" next to the mark shown is added to 1927 to arrive at a 1939 production date.Continue to 46 of 56 below.
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Royal Doulton Old Balloon Seller
This mark is specific to the Old Balloon Seller figurine produced by Royal Doulton between 1959 and 1982. Older and newer versions of this piece were made.
According to Roger Hoffman, a Royal Doulton specialist, "Pre-1959 the Old Balloon Seller [logo] was hand-printed and after 1982 the logo changed completely. It had a very long production run (1929 to 98) and is therefore readily available. In good shape, we sell it at $130."Continue to 47 of 56 below.
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Ca. 1880s to 1917.
This mark is often referred to as the "red" mark by dealers and collectors of R.S. Prussia porcelain. Some well done fake marks can be very similar, so examining details closely is imperative when in question.Continue to 48 of 56 below.
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Royal Winton Welbeck 1995
Mark used on new issue Welbeck chintz pieces sold through Victoria magazine in the mid-1990s.
A similar circular mark with the words "Grimwades England" inside the Royal Winton logo was used by this company on chintz dinnerware from the mid-1930s through 1950.
References: Victoria Magazine and Kovels' New Dictionary of Marks.Continue to 49 of 56 below.
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Ca. 1902 to 1972.
Since this mark was used on figurines produced for 70 years, the style must be examined to determine the age. Sometimes seen with a Germany circle mark in addition to the crown mark.
References: Pictoral Guide to Pottery & Porcelain Marks and Kovels' New Dictionary of Marks.Continue to 50 of 56 below.
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T.V. or T & V
Marks shown here are circa 1907 to 1919, with both a green rectangular underglaze T&V whiteware mark and a red bell overglaze decorating mark. There are many variations of these marks. The oldest exporting mark spells out Tressemann & Vogt ca. 1880s to 1891.
Tressemann & Vogt was one of many factories doing business in Limoges, France at the turn of the last century. They produced many pieces of whiteware that were decorated elsewhere and decorated porcelain as well. Some references show Tressemanes spelling vs. Tressemann.
References: Kovels' New Dictionary of Marks, Collector's Encyclopedia of Limoges Porcelain.Continue to 51 of 56 below.
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Teco pottery was introduced in 1902. By 1911 the line included more than 500 designs. Teco is thought to have been produced at least until the mid-1920s.
Many pieces were made with matte green glaze, some with a metallic black overglaze, but other colors such as brown, yellow, blue, pink and maroon were also made. These items are considered to be part of the arts and crafts movement and are highly regarded by art pottery enthusiasts. Most collectors are attracted to Teco for the unique and creative shapes of the pieces, especially those with geometric features rather than the color of the glaze, according to the JustArtPottery website.Continue to 52 of 56 below.
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A similar circle mark with OVEN PROOF in the center was used by this company from 1934 to 1936.
Reference: Kovels' New Dictionary of Marks.Continue to 53 of 56 below.
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The company has been in business from 1901 to the present. Mark shown was used after 1920.
Colorado Springs notation was added to this company's wares made after 1920. Check the Van Briggle website for current production pieces to assist in dating.
Only pieces made from 1901 through 1907 are always dated under the "AA" logo. Pieces were dated sporadically from 1908 through 1920.Continue to 54 of 56 below.
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During its production years from 1872 to 1948, various marks were used by Weller Pottery and some pieces were artist signed.
This particular incised mark is from a Weller Hudson vase decorated by Dorothy England Laughead (note the "D.L." artist's cipher in blue to the left in the photo). The Hudson line was produced during the 1920s dating this Weller mark to that time period.Continue to 55 of 56 below.
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W.G. & Co. Limoges France
Mark shown is that of whiteware factory referenced by dealers and collectors as Guérin used circa 1900 to 1932. This is often referenced as Mark 3 by dealers, as found in The Collector’s Encyclopedia of Limoges Porcelain.
This manufacturing company used a number of different marks beginning in 1870, including similar scroll marks without Limoges and France. One variation used from the late 1890s to 1932 spelled out Wm. Guérin & Co. Limoges France.Continue to 56 of 56 below.
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Worcester Royal Porcelain Co.
The "S" under the mark indicates circa 1881. Words "Royal Worcester England" were added in 1891.
Reference: Kovels' New Dictionary of Marks.