If you have a piece of pottery you’re trying to identify then why not use some of the resources on the Perfect Pieces website?
We have a range of Pottery Resources that are FREE to use including a very handy Pottery Marks guide. So if you have a piece of pottery with a mark on you might want to check our Pottery Marks Guide to see if you can identify it that way. However, if your piece of pottery doesn’t have a pottery mark on it anywhere then you could use our Recently Sold Pottery Guide to have a look through some of the different pottery manufacturers we deal with and see if you can match either your exact item or one very similar to items we may have sold in the past.
After all that if you still can’t identify your item then simply drop us an email and we’ll see if we can help or otherwise you might want to try looking through some books in your local library or talking to an expert at an antique fair or auction house.
When you’ve discovered where and when you item was made you might like to read a little more about the pottery, here’s where you will find our Guide To British Potteries handy. Here we have tried to include many of the potteries we have dealt with in the past and outlined to the best of our knowledge a little of the history about them.
So, with all that we hope we are able to help you find out a little more about your collectables!
The Qing Dynasty was the last of the Chinese ruling dynasties and lasted from 1644-1912, after which the country became a republic. Creatively, the Qing dynasty was a productive time and it was during this period that Oriental styles really captured the British public’s imagination.
Ceramics were the most popular type of Chinese export, although enamelled Cloisonné wares, furniture and textiles also featured. Porcelain production reached new levels of refinement although quality did begin to decline towards the end of the Qing period and this was the time when the Chinese began to master the art of reproduction, producing quite accomplished copies of much more valuable blue and white ceramic wares from the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).
Styles of ceramic decoration that originated during this time include Famille Verte and Famille Rose as well as much other fine porcelain (both tableware and decorative wares).
One popular type of furniture export was lacquered furniture, which was decorated with Oriental patterns and lacquered using resin from the Lacquer Tree, which is only found in China, Japan and Korea. British furniture manufacturers did not have access to this resin but soon developed an alternative to enable them to ape this popular style of furniture decoration. This imitation lacquer was known as japanning.
If you’ve got a piece of pottery you’ve discovered and are interested in finding out more about it then you’re probably wondering how to do it! Well, here are a few options to help you get started:
- You could try having a looking through the Perfect Pieces Online Pottery Marks Guide – click here;
- If you have no luck there then have a look through some of the books available on our Books Page. We’ve found these to be quite comprehensive and very worthwhile.
- If you’re still none the wiser then try contacting your local auction house. These will often have valuation days where you can take your item along and have someone look over it, they may be able to help.
If you do manage to find out what you’re looking for then that’s great – let us know how you did it & if you have any tips for our other readers.
People are becoming more and more interested in finding out about the items of pottery and porcelain they have in their homes today. Some are interested to see if it has any value others just want to know the history of an item that may have been in their family for some time. For these reasons we started to collate all the pottery marks we had images of and created the Perfect Pieces Pottery Marks Guide.
The Perfect Pieces Pottery Marks Guide is currently a free to use online guide made up of photographs of real pottery marks from objects we have sold over the years. Viewing an actual photograph example of a pottery mark allows you to see any tiny variations or imperfections that pottery marks may have had – things that are hand-made are rarely what people class as perfect!
It is by no means complete and we are adding to it all the time, so do feel free to email us any pottery marks you have on items that we don’t. If they fit within one of our pottery collections we’ll be sure to add the mark to our database with a credit to you.
To visit our Pottery Marks Guide, please – click here.
If you’re trying to identify an object and still have no look after looking through our Pottery Marks Guide then why not try flicking through one of the Pottery Marks Books that are currently on the market. We have worked with several of these including the Encyclopaedia of British Pottery and Porcelain Marks by Geoffrey A. Godden
Click Here To See A Selection of Pottery Mark Books
and can certainly recommend them.
We get lots of enquiries and phone calls about items of pottery you have or have come across which is why we created the Perfect Pieces Pottery Appraisal and Valuation Service.
This is an online service where, after receiving pictures from you of the piece you want to know more about, we will do our best to provide you with the following information:
- Information about the item itself
- Background information about the pottery it was made by
- An approximate valuation.
To see full details of this valuation service, please – click here.
We do get alot of telephone calls asking for valuations and information about pieces of pottery and figurines you try to describe to us over the telephone.
Whilst we appreciate that not everyone has the facility to email digital photographs or send us a real photograph through the post, unfortunately we are unable to offer valuations over the telephone – it just isn’t possible to provide an accurate appraisal of a piece from a verbal description. Sorry!
I get many emails regarding the best books available to identify British pottery marks, and the kinds of guides that are good for taking with you when out hunting for items, so I thought I would run through some of the pottery mark books that are out there.
One of the main books available is the Encyclopaedia of British Pottery and Porcelain Marks by Geoffrey Godden. This is a hard back, very thick and very heavy book – however it is comprehensive and if you have lots of pottery marks you’re wanting to identify then it’s definitely worth having at home.
If you’re looking for a guide you can carry around, for instance if you want to take it with you when you visit antique fairs, antique centres or car boots then you can’t go wrong with either Geoffrey Godden’s New Handbook of British Pottery and Porcelain Marks or the Miller’s Pottery and Porcelain Marks guide. These are both small enough not to weigh you down but should provide you with all the basic information you might need to check out any finds!
And finally, if you’re a collector of Studio Pottery then the British Studio Potters’ Mark book by by Eric Yates-Owen and Robert Fournier is for you. This is a hardback book with many pages (672 in total!) so once again is very heavy but is very comprehensive and always worth a space on any book shelf.
Good luck with any identifying you’re trying to do and don’t forget if you get stuck with a particular pottery mark then why not post a message here to see if any of our other readers can help you!
As you might guess, our newsletter this month takes a look at the all-important subject of understanding and interpreting pottery marks.
There’s often more information available on the base of a pot than you expect- they’re a bit like the DNA of a human being (well, almost…) Certainly most marks usually provide enough information to give a fairly clear picture of the age, design and manufacture of the piece.
Take a look here to read the newsletter itself, or check out our database of pottery marks, here.