Dating royal staffordshire pottery
One of the leading potters of the 18th century was Thomas Whieldon, who made everything from black tea and coffee pots to knife hafts for Sheffield cutlers to plates with richly ornamented edges.Whieldon had many apprentices (Josiah Spode and Ralph Wood are two of the most important) and he was a business partner for about five years with Josiah Wedgwood, who learned a lot from Whieldon before establishing his own firm in 1759.It was a requirement of this Act that all such imports carried the name of the country of manufacture.This provided well-known marks such as "Bavaria," "England," "Nippon," - indicating the country of manufacture.Factors other than the Doulton mark can help in more accurate dating, particularly pattern names and numbers and date codes or artists monograms. Several other Doulton marks occur in the very early stages and incorporate pattern names such as ROUEN and KEW, with some remaining in use for up to twenty years.
The dates given below give a close approximation of when the designs were produced.
In the case of the larger firms the mark also has publicity value and shows the buyer that the object was made by a long-established firm with a reputation to uphold; such clear name- marks as Minton, Wedgwood, Royal Crown Derby and Royal Worcester are typical examples.
To the collector the mark has greater importance, for not only can he trace the manufacturer of any marked object, but he can also ascertain the approximate date of manufacture and in several cases the exact year of production, particularly in the case of 19th and 20th century wares from the leading firms which employed private dating systems.
But, just what does Staffordshire mean when you're talking about pottery ..
designs variations of the royal arms, a garter-shaped mark or the Staffordshire knot.