Dating aynsley marks
One day maybe we’ll be able to identify the majority of the china we buy without looking!Do you have any tips for identifying your vintage china purchases?Josiah Wedgwood was the first significant potter to mark his china with his own name.From 1860, Wedgwood introduced an impressed mark to the back of the china with the year of manufacture as part of a 3 character code.I do this mainly when out shopping, but I have been known to sneak a quick peek on the underside of a teacup when drinking tea at a cafe, hoping that no-one spots me and wonders what on earth I’m doing!You might be wondering why I’m obsessed with looking at the underside of pieces of china.The early printed marks from this time to around the 1880s looked like these: Then from the 1880s and 1890s you might find marks like these: In the early 1900s (until around 1920), these were used: Then these during the 1920s to the late 1930s (later ones to the right): The marks illustrated above were generally in black or green.In around 1924, there was an additional dating system introduced, which makes it possible to determine the actual year of production, but this was not applied to all pieces.
In the 1960s the backstamp colour was changed to blue, although there are some pieces which have marks in pink, or black, or in the same colour as the china. ORCHARD GOLD AND FRUIT PATTERNS There is sometimes confusion about the age of the well-known fruit design.
Some potteries were quite creative in their labelling, for example, Minton used a variety of symbols such as stars and swans to represent different years.
One of the best online resources for identifying vintage china (and often the first site we consult) is So how do you date pieces that don’t have a mark providing the year of manufacture?
One of the oldest surviving firms, Aynsley made it to the 21st century and was still there after the closures of other big plants like Spode (in 2007).
Take a stroll through the porcelain district of Stoke-on-Trent, much of it in ruins, and hopefully you still may see the Aynsley plant in business.
The website, Royal Albert Patterns, is great for providing information about Royal Albert back stamps over the years.