To identify a Homer Laughlin china pattern, check whether a pattern name or number appears on the back of any of the china pieces as part of the potter?s mark. The pattern or decoration number usually contains one or two letters followed by one to five digits. If these features are not present, compare the pattern to photos of known Homer Laughlin china patterns or treatments.
The Homer Laughlin China Collectors Association recommends two books for use in identifying china patterns: "Homer Laughlin China Guide to Shapes and Patterns" by Jo Cunningham and Darlene Nossaman and "Homer Laughlin Decades of Dinnerware" by Bob Page, Dale Frederiksen and Dean Six. The second book has a wider database of Homer Laughlin china patterns and their photos. These books are available in many libraries.
Replacements, Ltd. has an online list of Homer Laughlin Company pattern names, some of which are accompanied by a photo and a pattern number. Both Replacements, Ltd. and the HLCCA also offer assistance in identifying china patterns to customers and suppliers. Requests for pattern identification must be accompanied by photographs of the china.
There are over 20,000 different Homer Laughlin china decorations, but a large number of pattern names and numbers remains unknown, according to the HLCCA. Only a small percentage of this china bears a pattern name, and sometimes, the decoration number only appears on one piece in a set, usually a casserole lid, oval bowl or creamer.
Founded in 1871 by Shakespeare and Homer Laughlin, Ohio-based Homer Laughlin China is still producing dishes. The company has produced over 20,000 different decorations, as of 2015. One of their best known products is the Fiesta line of dishes. A small portion of all dishes produced by the company includes the treatment name with a potter’s mark on back. Some china sets include a decoration number on one dish in the collection. The name and number of treatments for most Homer Laughlin China is unknown.