Q: I’m trying to identify the maker of a porcelain ginger jar I bought recently. The mark includes a crown over a shield with the letters “UW” and “PF” intertwined. There’s a lion holding one side of the shield and a unicorn on the other side. Underneath that is a banner with “Porcelain 1879” printed on it. I think it’s English. Can you tell me who made this?

A: Although this mark looks something like the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom, it’s not an English mark. Several potteries in Europe, the United States, and the Far East used a similar mark. Your ginger jar was made in China. The initials on the mark stand for United Wilson Porcelain Factory, a company founded in 1978 by Nelson Chung and Elsa Kam. The company website (www.unitedwilson.com) says family members were “steeped in the craft porcelain tracing” as early as 1897. Other marks attributed to the company include the date “1897.” We don’t know if the date on your mark was used to make the company seem older or if the numbers were accidently transposed. The company is still in business and makes copies of Imari, Satsuma, Rococo style, modern, blue & white, and other porcelain. It also does custom work. A similar ginger jar sold recently for $85.

united wilson porcelain factor ginger jar

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