Antique Chinese Marks More on Chinese Pottery Marks Antique china marks from Europe are basically all of a similar type, that is, they are a kind of logo, showing which factory made a specific item.
This, and the fact that in the whole of Europe there were much fewer china manufacturers at any one time than in China, makes it generally much easier to identify the origin of an item together – based on its mark alone.
Porcelain slowly evolved in China and was finally achieved (depending on the definition used) at some point about 2,000 and 1,200 years ago, then slowly spread to other East Asian countries, and finally Europe and the rest of the world.
Its manufacturing process is more demanding than that for earthenware and stoneware, the two other main types of pottery, and it has usually been regarded as the most prestigious type of pottery for its delicacy, strength, and its white colour.
Before the late Qing dynasty and early republic period porcelain from the Middle Kingdom had basically no factory and few manufacturer's marks.
(These are not kiln marks.)However, there was a multitude of different mark types in use by private kilns, different either in style or content.
Only towards the end of the empire (1911) and during the republic period appeared increasingly more manufacturers', studio and factory marks on Chinese ceramics. In this view Chinese porcelain is different from European and later Japanese porcelain.
There do exist records of such changes, allowing collectors to decide the period or span of years during which an item was produced (except if it is a fake).
European pottery marks Basically, four types of marks are found on Japanese porcelain.
European marks may be used to identify the actual manufacturer, and possibly also the year or period it was made in; this is often indicated by mark features that were modified over time.
As the changes that the marks of individual manufacturers went through over time is known, they can be used for dating.