“A wine label is worth 100 years of experience” is something that I was told once when I took a wine appreciation course. The same could be said about reading identification marks on any antique and this pitcher is a very good example of that.
You can tell that this object was made between 1842 and 1883 without knowing anything else about it just by looking at the base of the pitcher and seeing the Lozenge Mark – aka known as the Diamond Mark. (see image of base at bottom of blog)
However, as you can see below, there were two lozenge marks during this time period.
Mark A: This registration mark was used between 1842 and 1867. (From ASCAS website)
Mark B was used from 1867 to 1883 (From ASCAS website)
After 1883, the marks changed to Rd. No. which refers to the year it was made in. Now back to the lozenge or diamond mark: The two marks are slightly different as you can tell by the images above but it’s more like things were simply shifted around.
From these marks you can identify:
- The material the object is made of.
- The year the piece was registered.
- The day of the month that it was registered.
- The person or company that registered the object.
So now let’s look closer at the mark that is on the base of the pitcher to get even more information. By using Kovel’s New Dictionary of Marks or online sources, I can determine the following:
- That Mark A is the proper mark for this piece
- The object (IV) is classified as being made of ceramic.
- Below the IV is G. That tells me the pitcher was registered in 1850.
- On the left, the letter B means it was registered in October.
- The 7 at the bottom is the parcel number which is a code for who or which company registered the pieces
- The number 14 to the far right means it was registered on the 14th day of the month.
By looking at the other information I can tell that this piece was made by (WB) William Brownfield in Cobridge, England. The mark also says Fern across from the word Cobridge. Apparently many of Brownfield’s wares had ferns in the pattern although this one does not.
This lidded ceramic pitcher was made by William Brownfield of Cobridge and it was registered on October 14th, 1850. Yup, just like a wine label.