Porcelain trademarks are identifying labels or symbols that associate porcelain pieces with a country, factory, year or artisan of origin. Often referred to as backstamps, porcelain trademarks are especially important for authentication.
English porcelain trademarks are among the most common and identifiable. German porcelain trademarks have become quite rare because at the height of the porcelain demand during the 19th century, Germans either changed their symbols to mimic those of the English or left their pieces without a mark. Since they were on the verge of war, they did not want English markets to know the pieces were made by Germans.
German porcelain is of high quality, and while it is less expensive than English porcelain, it is more valuable. The value of German porcelain rose so high that laws passed in the late 1800s required companies to declare the countries of origin for every piece of porcelain produced.
Porcelain from China remains popular in modern times, but it has dropped significantly in value since it is so easily acquired. Dolls, dishes and sculptures are still the most popular porcelain items from China. The porcelain trademark symbols of Chinese producers have remained the same since their inception in the early 1800s.