Dating palissy pottery
Most Studio or Art Pottery is unique and rarely reproduced in large quantities unless they were made for utilitarian purposes, such as pottery jugs or ceramic cookware and tableware that are usually branded in the same pattern and perhaps modeled by a particular designer.
Arts & Crafts pottery is often made in smaller numbers.
This is usually located on the underside, whether it is a figurine or pottery vase.
These marks usually denote the studio or manufacturer and at times include the Artist’s initials or signature.
Because of this transition in the name of origin and in general, porcelain and chinaware that are marked “NIPPON” were made prior to 1921 and items that are marked “JAPAN” were made after 1921.
Furthermore, most related imports from Japan were rarely marked with the actual manufacturer’s mark.
Instead, they had the Exporter or Trading Company’s logo.
Noritake is one of the most famous examples of this practice since they used nearly 400 independent porcelain factories to make items for them, either to order or selected from a catalog (they eventually began producing some of their own items, but this was after 1924).
Their purpose is to conceal the original manufacturer’s mark by the final seller, usually for reasons of marketability if the actual maker is of inferior reputation, but the item is in a famous style.Some, as in the case of hand-decorated figurines, are signed with handwritten initials or a simple logo of the artist or modeler.Additionally, most marks and backstamps are underglaze and some are overglaze.To make matters worse, some such old-looking items show signs of aging, for example crazing, but these have been induced artificially, usually by varying the temperature in the kiln that stresses porcelain while it is being fired and causes these thin lines to appear.
The case of Nippon or Japanese porcelain marks is a bit more peculiar.In the case of pottery or clayware, especially Art and Studio Pottery, and since most items are made in very small numbers or just once and basically relatively uniquely, the country of origin is rarely shown or even required.