Q:

How do you identify an antique stoneware crock?

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Quick Answer

Antique stoneware crocks have marks and symbols that collectors can use to trace the origins. From geometric shapes to symbols from nature, these marks are as varied as the pieces they identify. Words or initials are also common forms of stoneware identification.

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Full Answer

Stoneware pottery from the 1700s that hails from Europe may bear the symbol of an anchor. Very old pieces have crude designs with few lines and very little detail. Nineteenth-century anchor designs are more elaborate and intricate. German and Old English pottery may exhibit a crown or a shield as its manufacturing mark. If the piece was made after 1891, it also bears the country of origin. Pieces manufactured after 1914 include the words "Made in" along with the country of origin.

Human body parts or mythical creatures are often indicative of pottery made in the 19th or 20th century. Hands and arms are most common, often clutching swords or arrows. Company names usually accompany these unique marks, making it easier for the collector to date the individual piece.

Pottery or stoneware marked with foreign alphabets are difficult to trace. The intrigue is often sufficient motivation to try, however, as pieces bearing these marks are frequently ancient and very rare. Some pottery marked with foreign alphabets can be dated back to 13th-century China.

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    What are antique china marks?

    A:

    Inscribed, impressed, painted and printed antique china marks help collectors identify and date antique china pieces. Collectors also consider the color of the china marks or the numbered codes in the designs to associate china pieces with makers and time periods.

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    What can you do with antique crocks and jugs?

    A:

    Antique crocks and jugs are excellent when used as kitchen utensil holders, cookie jars, vases, planters and bookends. Lidded stoneware crocks are also popular for curing homemade pickles and holding crafting supplies.

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    What are some properties of antique stoneware?

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    Antique stoneware, pottery or earthenware that is 100 years old or older can possess radioactive materials. Stoneware, particularly orange-red plates and other dining pieces, derived their color from the inclusion of radionuclides, a naturally occurring radioactive nuclide or atom with an unstable nucleus that was added to the glaze.

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    What are some ways to identify antique stoneware markings?

    A:

    To identify antique stoneware markings, people should first determine what letters or numbers the mark consists of and then look the mark up on the website of an auction house, such as Crocker Farm, Inc. It may also help to contact the auction house and ask for a free cursory evaluation of the stoneware. Another way is to search the mark in a book on antique stoneware, such as "Decorated Stoneware Pottery of North America" by Donald Blake Webster.

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