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One of the fascinating things about collecting porcelain is getting it home, taking out a magnifying glass and deciphering the marks on its underside.Marks, numbers and letters hold the clue to the date of manufacture, sometimes down to the exact year a piece was made.Some marks can even tell you the name of the artists who modeled and painted a specific porcelain.Following are three examples of how this is done: Royal Worcester Hadley Vase - 1909, England: The letter H on the underside of this vase indicates that this is a Hadley design.Production of Hadley's designs continued, with a letter H added to the shape design number.Such is the mark on this vase: an "H" preceding the shape number 212.
His softly painted roses later became known as Hadley Roses by Royal Worcester collectors.
In 1875 he set up his own modeling studio and Royal Worcester continued to absorb most of his output.
In 1905, after Hadley's death, Royal Worcester purchased his factory including the transfer of all its molds, designs and workforce.
This vase has 18 dots so it must have been made in 1909 (1891 + 18 = 1909).
Royal Copenhagen Siamese Cat Figurine - 1957, Denmark: This porcelain Siamese cat has the Royal Copenhagen mark applied since 1923: a Crown and Royal Copenhagen Denmark in green and three blue wave marks (which represent Denmark's three straits).