Bone China

The Bone China Business

There are many manufacturers of bone china. This beautiful substance has been cherished since it was first invented. The bone ash used in the creation...

Bone China

The Six Stages of Bone China Production

The process of manufacturing bone china includes six separate and important stages. The first stage is the mixing of bone ash, quartz, kaolin, and ball...

Bone China

Replacing Bone China Pieces

Many people receive bone china dish sets for wedding gifts. They cherish these pieces for a lifetime and often hand them down to children or...

Bone China

An Education in Collectible Bone China

Some of the most beautiful man-made objects in the world are ceramic, and bone china leads the way in many different categories. People who are...

Bone China

Mishandling of Ceramics

The mishandling of ceramics, and in particular, bone china, is the most common reason for damage of such items. Cracks and scratches not only ruin...

Bone China

Collecting and Selling Bone China

Many families purchase bone china sets with the idea of handing them down through the generations, but time is often an enemy of this scheme....

Bone China

Bone China Sets and Crystal Glasses

Bone china dish sets are often reserved for holidays and special occasions rather than being used as everyday dishes. These beautifully translucent plates, cups and...

The manufacture of bone china is a highly skilled craft. First developed in Britain, the majority of manufacturers producing what is considered to be collectable bone china are, not surprisingly, British. Each manufacturer has created a mark that makes their items recognisable. The marks are often referred to as backstamps. Not only can backstamps determine where the porcelain was made,  they are also used to date an item.

Individual and unique crests or emblems are used to label the bone china and are similar to the way that gold and silver is hallmarked. Names, such as Royal Worcester, are often included in the backstamps, but more often than not, the use of initials or abbreviations are used. A very extensive knowledge of backstamps is needed to identify many of the late 18th century manufacturers who, rather confusingly, were not consistent with the use of their crests.

Backstamps typically include word or phrases, registry numbers and various other symbols. The inclusion of registry numbers dates back to around 1884. The number is usually printed with the abbreviation 'Rd' as a suffix and refer to the year a particular design was registered in a public record office. The font used for backstamps can  be very elaborate and incredibly beautiful. The crown is very popular on British bone china and often includes a motif of a bird or other creature.

A list of backstamps can be found in various registers such as Kovel's Antiques Searchable Pottery Marks. These are particularly useful for novices and experts alike to help value items of bone china.