Dating by porcelain marks

Using the Spode archive and published books you can learn about different backstamps (marks) on Spode pieces.

This though can only be a guide to a date - it is not an exact science and some backstamps were used for many, many years.

Here are the two main things to remember about the vintage and antique pottery marks of France (we have discovered most of this stuff thanks to our China Chat posts - scroll to bottom of the page to browse them).1.

Sevres, established in 1756, was a factory located in south west Paris, enjoying royal patronage and a monopoly, which used a detailed system of markings from the outset.2.

The date included is the year of introduction of the design, not the date of manufacture.

In April 1988 a system of year of manufacture identification that fitted with that used by Spode was introduced and an M within a diamond was incorporated below the factory mark.

Mark "A" represents the mark used between 18; mark "B" represents the mark between 18.

After 1884, the diamond-shaped marks were replaced by the letters Rd. (for registered number)—and numbers indicating the year the piece was registered (see Mark "C).

Items of crockery are given a three- to four-digit model number as well as a single-digit size number.

The marks almost always included a code to indicate the year of manufacture.

Between 18 specific indications of the year of manufacture are rare but may sometimes be found in the form of the last two figures of the date, eg , printed below the standard mark.

Start of the Spode business to 1833: the company was known as Spode.

Pieces were not always marked and sometimes just a pattern number appears and no Spode name at all.

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