A Primer on Wedgwood Marks

5 minute read

30-1171_3 Portland Vase Wedgwood mark as seen on a Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre Octagonal Bowl

Much like a painter’s signature upon his canvas or a hallmark impressed into silver and gold, great pieces of ceramics bear the mark of their maker. The presence of a maker’s mark is hugely important—perhaps most imperative for the collector to verify authenticity and determine the value of a piece. In addition to denoting the maker, marks, which usually appear on the base of a piece, can help to identify the body type (earthenware, china, etc.), shape, decoration, specific decorator and the age of an antique ceramic work.

The stamped marks employed by Wedgwood, a foremost manufacturer of ceramic goods with a history spanning over two centuries, are many and varied. The Wedgwood mark was first used by Josiah Wedgwood himself in 1759—interestingly, he is the first ceramicist of note to mark his wares with his own name. Since 1759, the Wedgwood mark design has continuously evolved, and at times multiple markings were used simultaneously as convenience dictated. While this overlapping may cause initial confusion, through the careful observation of both the mark and object itself, correct identification is possible in almost all cases. Today, these stamped marks don’t only add a decorative touch, but it also helps to value the original piece of work. Whether it's painted on a rare antique vase or printed on a plate collection, these markings add to the overall design and value of antiques.

Download our printable guide to Wedgwood marks!

30-5430_4 Wedgwood mark as seen on blue jasper covered zodiac urns by Wedgwood

 

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