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handy pottery and art pottery

Tools 'N Tips: Pottery and Art Pottery

Makers Marks Suggestions / Pottery Glossary/ Fiesta Ware by Color & Year

Pottery and Porcelain Makers Marks

General rules for dating marks

  • Printed marks incorporating the Royal Arms are of 19th or 20th century date.

  • Printed marks incorporating the name of the pattern are subsequent to 1810.

  • Marks incorporating the word 'Limited', or the abbreviations 'Ltd', 'Ld', etc., denote a date after 1861, and most examples are much later.

  • Incorporation of the words 'Trade Mark' in a mark denotes a date subsequent to the Act of 1862.

  • Inclusion of the word 'Royal' in a firm's title or trade name suggests a date in the second half of the 19th century, if not a 20th-century dating.

  • Inclusion of the abbreviation 'R N' (for Registered Number) followed by numerals denotes a date subsequent to 1883.

  • Inclusion of the word 'England', 'Germany', 'France', 'Italy' denotes a date after 1891, although some manufacturers added the word slightly before this date.

  • 'Made in England', 'Made in Germany' and so on, denotes a 20th-century date.

  • 'Bone China', 'English Bone China', etc., denotes a 20th-century date.

Types of Porcelain


German hard-paste, or true, porcelain produced in Bavaria from the mid-18th century to the present day. Its fame rests on its figures, particularly those in the Rococo style modeled between 1754 and 1763 by Franz Anton Bustelli (1723–1763). Tableware and vases produced at the factory in Nymphenburg, on the outskirts of Munich, often contain ozier, or basketwork, pattern borders.

Pottery Glossary


  • Celadon - Semi-translucent glaze, usually green in color

  • Crackle - Intentional crazing introduced by the Chinese

  • Crazing - A defect in clayware glaze consisting of a network of tiny cracks caused by the differences in the rate of contraction between the body and glaze. Almost the same in appearance to deliberate crackling.

  • Enamels - Made from metal oxides and applied as over decoration

  • Flambé - A glaze deep crimson in color.

  • Lead glaze - Made from lead oxide, it produces a clear glaze

  • Salt glaze - A semi-matte or half glossy glaze obtained by injecting salt into the kiln during the last firing.

  • Slip- Made from mixing clay and water. Used to decorate (bit like icing a cake)

  • Tenmoku -A high temperature firing brown/black feldspathic stoneware glaze deeply stained using iron oxide. Tenmoku originated in China during the T'ang Dynasty. However it was during the Sung Dynasty that the technique of firing became perfected, enabling a much thicker glaze to be applied to the ware.

  • Tin glaze - Glaze containing tin oxide, giving a white opaque color. The Dutch Delftwares are a good example.


  • Earthenware - Pottery that is not vitrified. Probably the first type of pottery ever made. It comes in a variety of colors form cream through red/orange to black and is porous.

  • Stoneware - Stonewares are impervious to liquid without the need of a glaze, made from certain types of clay and something like sand or flint, fired at very high temperatures making it very strong.

  • Porcelain - There are 2 types of porcelain hard-paste and soft-paste. Procelain's main property is translucent in varying degrees. The hard-paste porcelain is fired at a much higher temperature than soft-paste. Soft-paste can be marked with a file whereas hard-paste can't. When broken the hard-paste forms shards. Soft-paste feels "warm" to the touch.


  • Armorial ware - Wares decorated with coats of arms.

  • Botanical ware - Wares decorated with flowers and plants usually taken from botanical prints.

  • Chinoiseries - European interpretations of oriental decorations. When the Chinese began exporting their hand-painted creations to Europe, these products could not meet the growing demand and craftsmen and artists from all over Europe began to produce their own alternatives - chinoiseries. Chinoiseries became all the rage and an essential element of decoration in palaces of all sizes, from Naples to Saint-Petersburg.

  • Combing - Decoration produced by dragging a comb through applied slip.

  • Commemorative ware - Wares produced to commemorate a specific event

  • Gilding - Refers to applied gold--usually on porcelain.

  • Kakiemon - a porcelain of a high quality produced during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries as well as a distinct type of decoration in enamels with much in common with the Chinese "Famille Verte" style. The potting and painted decoration of Kakiemon is usually finer than Imari

  • Ground - An area of color that has gilding or painting applied.

  • Majolica - Earthenware pottery decorated with brightly colored lead glazes. The development of this tradition (somewhere around the 16th century in Italy) depended on experimentation with drawing, color and subject matter: it was essentially painters pottery with a very sophisticated level of manufacture and development. Here's an extensive look at "Picol Passo and the Art of Maiolica in 16th century Italy," by Damon Moon.

  • Pate-sur-Pate - The white design on a colored background is slowly built up and worked to give the look of a cameo.

  • Scraffito - A type of ceramic decoration produced by casting a piece with a layer of colored slip (or liquid clay) then incising a design in that layer to let the original body color show through.

  • Slipware - Earthenware decorated with slip

Materials, Etc.

  • Bone China - A hybrid hard-paste porcelain containing bone ash.

  • Delft - Tin-glazed earthenware, giving a white opaque color, named after the Dutch Delftwares made in the city of Delft, Holland.

  • Faience - A type of French or German pottery, referring to a high-fired, porous, glazed earthenware usually bearing a highly colorful decoration.

  • Flatware - Refers to plates and shallow bowls

  • Parian - Unglazed biscuit porcelain made to look like marble.

  • Raku - Describes a method of manufacture, developed in Japan. The method requires that the pot be heated, then removed the pot from the heat source and burying it in various materials. The pot is removed and cooled preventing re-oxidization.

  • Staffordshire - Pottery from an area in the Midlands UK

  • Studio Pottery - Pottery produced by a single person or small group. A piece of true studio pottery is unique.

  • Terracotta - Unglazed fired earthenware

Fiesta Ware

Fiesta Ware Pricing by Color (new site)


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