How Do You Identify the Marks of Porcelain Makers?

The marks of porcelain makers are usually found on the bottom of pieces and usually include an icon — a geometric shape or a crown or shield — with the name of the porcelain maker. The most difficult pieces of porcelain to identify are from the Capodimonte line, because the company has been making porcelain for so long, and it has always produced a large variety of pieces.

Examples of porcelain makers and their marks include the horizontal oval shape of the Alamo Pottery Company, the soft triangle of Gladding McBean and Company, and the Limoges and France star used from 1891 to 1914 by Coiffe. The Capodimonte Royal Factory began making porcelain pieces in 1789. The name Capodimonte means "top of the mountain" in Italian, which is where the first pieces were produced in a factory built by King Charles VII. Pieces out of the Capodimonte factory were considered the finest Napoleonic porcelain. Capodimonte marks are a little more difficult to identify because the factory created such a variety of pieces (mostly figurines), and the earliest pieces had no markings at all. The first markings were fleur-de-lis, which represented King Charles VII. They usually appeared in blue or gold.