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Dictionary of Marks
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Dictionary of Marks

The first American porcelain was made in the 18th century. Few factories stayed in business for long until the late 1800s. By then, there were several American companies making porcelain. Many made utilitarian items like tableware and toilet sets, but some made fine hand-painted decorative pieces, too. Around the mid-20th century, American porcelain production declined […]

American Furniture Styles

When the first settlers arrived in America in the 1600s, they brought little with them to furnish their new homes; ships simply couldn’t accommodate much more than a chest or so of belongings per family. When they arrived, they were happy to find ample timber, which furniture makers transformed into the first pieces of early […]


Whenever we are asked about what to collect, we always stress that you should collect what you like and what you want to live with. Fortunately, with the incredible diversity of ceramics available, everyone should be able to find an area they will enjoy. No matter your passion, whether it is Fiesta or a prized […]

Dictionary of Marks — Depression Glass Patterns

Depression glass is generally associated with mass-produced glassware found in a myriad of colors made during the years surrounding the Great Depression (1929-39). In reality, the major manufacturers involved in making Depression-era glass, such as Federal, Hazel Atlas and U.S. Glass, were well established before the Depression set in. Even so, the harsh economic times […]

Pressed Glass Patterns

Pressed glass, or pattern glass, was first made in the United States about 1825. It was at the height of its popularity in the late 1880s and 1890s. It became popular again in the 1930s and many reproductions were made. Thousands of pressed glass patterns have been made. Not all were patented, and some were […]

Midcentury Modern Furniture Marks

Midcentury modern furniture was made beginning in the 1930s and remained popular for years. Furniture made in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s is popular today. Furniture marked with the name of an important designer sells for high prices. Some furniture is marked with just the manufacturer’s name, some with just the designer’s name and some […]

Dating Marks by Country Name

After the McKinley Tariff Act became law in 1891, articles made in foreign countries and imported into the United States had to be marked with the country of origin using the Western alphabet. It’s possible to find some pieces imported after 1891 that are not marked with the country of origin because only one item […]

European Porcelain Marks

Here are marks of some European porcelain factories. Dates listed are the years the factory was in business unless otherwise noted. For more marks on European porcelain, see KOVELS newsletter, Volume 48, page 9. Marks shown are from the book Kovels New Dictionary of Marks—Pottery & Porcelain, 1850 to the Present by Ralph & Terry […]

American Silver Marks

Before the early 1800s, most American silver was custom made by individual silversmiths. By the late 1800s, silver was mass-produced by many American manufacturers. Marks shown here were used on sterling silver. Vintage silver sells in antiques shops and at auctions. Price depends partly on the amount of silver in the piece, measured in troy […]

Tinplate Toys Marks

A few tinplate toys were made in the early 1800s. Tin toys became popular after they were shown at the International Exhibition in London in 1851. They were made by two companies in Nuremberg, Germany. Soon many companies in Germany, France, the United States and other countries were making tin toys. The toys were hand […]