Q: I bought two blue and white porcelain pieces at an estate sale. They’re marked on the bottom and inside the lids. I’m confused because there appear to be markings that are English and that also say Dresden. What can you tell me about them?
A: The marks on your porcelain include the pattern name, “Dresden,” and the English design registry mark, but not a maker’s mark. The English registry mark indicates the pattern was registered in 1871. The design is often called “Blue Onion,” a pattern that originated in China. It was made in Germany by Meissen in the 1700s, and was copied by many other potteries in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Without a maker’s mark we can’t be sure who made your dishes, but we found similar Dresden pieces marked with an English registry mark and the letters “B.W. & Co.,” indicating the pattern was made by Bates Walker & Co., in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, England. It operated as Bates, Elliot & Co. from 1870 to 1875, when the design was registered. It became Bates Walker & Co. in 1875 and continued to make the pattern. To learn how to read an English registry mark, go to our “Look for your mark” section on Kovels.com.