What Are Some of the Identifying Marks on Antique Porcelain?

Antique porcelain of different types and different points of origin in the world have marks that make their status as antiques clear, including such shapes as crowns, human body parts, and most simply, words and initials. Guides that companies like Kovels publish can help identify and distinguish between different types.

Marks on porcelain in the shape of arrows identify antique porcelain originating from as early as the 1820s. The earliest of these marks have a single arrow, their later designs are in the form of two crossed arrows with diagonal lines jutting out from them toward the bottom.

Musical instrument shapes are a common form of antique porcelain mark dating back to the 1880s. They range from being quite plain in their representation of a particular instrument to being far more detailed and surrounded by flowers, forests and initials or names identifying the manufacturer.

Porcelain marks in the form of geometric shapes also vary widely with regard to their complexity. Dating back to the 19th century, these marks have ranged from single and plain to combinations of multiple shapes displaying modern, complex graphic design. In some cases, the name of the manufacturer is a part of the design, which the manufacturers blend into the geometric shapes that are the framework of the mark.