• 19
    Dec

Using Identification Marks: What’s a Kite Mark? Part II

Two different Kite/Diamond marks were used to identify various patterns that were registered in the United Kingdom, the first set—used from 1842-1867—was covered in part one of this article. From 1868, the British Patent Office issued a second Kite/Diamond registration mark when a design was registered. It differs slightly from the 1842-1867 example covered earlier. […]

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  • 12
    Dec

Using Identification Marks: What’s a Kite Mark? Part I

There are several ways to place an estimated date of production for factory-made pieces of pottery or porcelain: some involve the marks used by the company over their history of operation, others required by International trade laws that are all well-documented. Putting all these clues together is a lot like solving a mystery, each clue […]

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  • 21
    Nov

Using Identification Marks: What’s a Rd. Number?

There are several ways to place an estimated date of production for factory-made pieces of pottery or porcelain. Some involve the marks used by the company over its history of operation, other marks were required by international trade laws that are all well documented. Putting all these clues together is a lot like solving a […]

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  • 13
    Apr

Furniture Labels: Telling the Makers, Retailers and Associations Apart

Furniture making in America in the 19th century ranged from the small shop, like that of Duncan Phyfe in downtown New York at the turn of the century, to the huge factories of Grand Rapids and Buffalo at the turn of the next century. Phyfe was one of the rare early century cabinetmakers who actually […]

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  • 25
    Feb

Kutani Ceramics: Warmth with Technical Complexity

Kutani ceramics didn’t appeal to me at first. They seemed a little gaudy, ornate, the opposite of the type of work I like. Until I saw a number of pieces from the Edo and Meiji period , I didn’t really understand the technical complexities of making work in that era. Knowing how many obstacles the […]

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  • 7
    Jul

Collecting Wares Made in Post-WWII ‘Occupied Japan’

When I was a boy I collected postage stamps. That was it. Stamps. They could be from any country, any time period and depicting any subject. My stamp books quickly became full and after spending lots of my pocket money, I soon realized that without some sort of limiting condition, my hobby would get out […]

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  • 13
    Feb

Pseudo Silver Hallmarks and What They Really Mean

One thing that confuses novice collectors more than anything else is “silverware,” a term that one would think implied the item was indeed constructed of silver, but since the 1840’s, that hasn’t been the case. Until silver electroplating was perfected and patented by Henry and George Richard Elkington in 1840, most silverware was exactly that, […]

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  • 1
    Oct

Dating Mexican Silver

Mexico’s tradition of magnificent silverwork dates as far back as the 1530s. Mexico has abundant deposits of precious metals, so it was natural that a thriving jewelry and hollowware market would evolve there. But establishing authenticity, purity and age – especially for vintage and antique pieces – can be challenging.

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  • 1
    Oct

Fake Porcelain Marks: Recognizing Forged or imitation Marks on Ceramics

Identifying porcelain is more than just “reading” a mark. It involves careful consideration of many elements to confirm correct age and authenticity.

There are thousands of Porcelain marks and even experienced collectors and antiques dealers can have difficulty in determining whether an item is new, and avoid costly mistakes.

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  • 9
    Apr

Identifying Marks On British Sterling

Here is a cute British sterling vinaigrette circa 1818. It was made by John Shaw under the reign of George IV. How do we know this?

The hallmarks on this piece are the keys to identity.

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