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Guide to Marks and Dating
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While trying to "quickly" locate an online reference for dating an item acquired at auction, I discovered just how difficult it is to find any useful information online for dating antiques and collectibles. Read more . . . That experience prompted the creation of this page as a quick reference. This information is provided for public use without warranty or liability.

--With the compliments of Beaux Arts USA


& General Notes

Belleek (Irish)


British (Pottery) Registration Numbers

Currier & Ives Prints

Homer Laughlin


Patent Numbers

Periods & Styles

(Royal) Doulton



Silver (American)

Silver (British)




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Background & General Notes

The McKinley Tariff Act required imports into the United States to list the country of origin on their products beginning in 1891. This provided well-known marks such as "Bavaria," "England," "Nippon," and "Co. Fermangh Ireland." In 1921 the Act was amended to require the phrase "Made in" preceding the country of origin, and Japan was required to replace "Nippon" (the Japanese name for Japan) with "Made in Japan." (Interestingly, Irish Belleek retained the "Co. Fermangh Ireland" labeling without adding the "Made in" phrase and switched to Gaelic in 1926.) The labeling at individual British potteries varies somewhat from the 1891/1921 dating requirements described above (e.g., Wedgwood adopted the "Made in England" around 1908/10 and may have used it on some pieces as early as 1898), and only pieces exported to the United States required these marks. Also, newer items are sometimes imprinted with the earlier (i.e., 1891) style labeling, so this "system" provides only a rough dating guide.



About this Page

It seems that everybody is selling something on the Internet and few sites provide any free information about antiques and collectibles. Well, we sell things too but we also provide some free information about the items we sell and collect. This page is designed to provide a quick reference for the experienced collector in identifying and dating some items. It is not intended to be a definitive guide but only a quick reference (This information should not be used as a buying or selling guide.). The information provided is accurate to the best of our knowledge; however, the user should consult the standard reference sources for confirmation of this information -- we assume no liability for the information provided herein. Indeed, the references we consult often conflict in identifying and dating items.

If you want to support this work (and encourage further development of online information about antiques and collectibles), buy a screen saver. They're inexpensive, colorful, and even useful for preventing monitor "burn-in." Use our online purchase page (you can, of course, try out the shareware screen savers for free before purchase) and then send an e-mail indicating that you learned about the screen saver while using this online guide.

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Last revised: 01 August 2001 06:26 EDT
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