Majolica – Makers’ Marks – Minton, Wedgwood, George Jones and Holdcroft

Majolica-makers’ marks not present… How do you know it is George Jones?

Majolica-makers’ marks are sure way to identify a manufacturer. Some marks will also date an item. Marks may be impressed, embossed or printed. Or written in script over the glaze, or ‘in reserve’.

Marked majolica is generally indicative of quality.

Unmarked majolica makes up the bulk of majolica production. Makers were inconsistent. Some marked everything, some just a few pieces, many marked only the main piece of a set or service.

Note: ‘Majolica’ in this article refers to earthenware of coloured lead glazes, applied simultaneously to an unglazed body, and fired. Typically hard-wearing, molded in relief, with vibrant colours in a variety of styles and forms.

Makers who marked almost all their wares…


Minton & Co.

Perhaps the best known majolica-makers' marks of them all. Oyster plate pattern number 1105, 'MINTON' and date cypher for 1873.
Perhaps the best known majolica-makers’ marks of them all. Oyster plate pattern number 1105, ‘MINTON’ and date cypher for 1873.
Makers marks 'MINTON' and date cypher for
Maker ‘MINTON’ and date cypher for 1867.
Majolica-makers marks - from a rare Minton tin-glaze majolica plate. Note the impressed marks almost obscured by glaze. Note also MINTON in manganese (brown) script.
Majolica-makers marks – this is from a rare Minton Majolica tin-glaze plate in imitation of Renaissance Italian tin-glaze maiolica. Note the impressed marks almost obscured by glaze. Note also MINTON in manganese brown fine painted script on opaque white tin glaze.

 

 

 

 

 

Minton was perhaps the most consistent. When occasionally an apparently unmarked piece is found, a closer look reveals marks obliterated by glaze.

Majolica-makers marks. MINTON date cyphers.
Majolica-makers marks. MINTON date cyphers.
Click here for more images button on the Madelena website
On the Madelena website click this button to view detail pictures including the makers’ marks.

Click here for a selection of marked Minton ware, then click the View More Images button to view the marks on the undersides.


Wedgwood

WEDGWOOD majolica mark and three letter date code.
Majolica-makers’ marks. Impressed WEDGWOOD. Three letter date code. Last letter indicates 1876.

Wedgwood were also reasonably consistent. Most pieces were marked with an impressed makers mark. Many had the three letter date code in addition.

Botanical plate impressed maker mark 'WEDGWOOD' and date code for 1879
Botanical plate, impressed makers mark ‘WEDGWOOD’ and date code for 1879

 

 

 

 

 

Majolica-makers marks - WEDGWOOD date codes.
Majolica-makers marks – WEDGWOOD date codes.

Click here for a selection of marked Wedgwood ware, then click the View More Images button to view the marks on the reverse of the platter.

Other makers marked some pieces, but by no means all, e.g. George Jones, Holdcroft, and Brown Westhead Moore.


George Jones

Jones was reasonably consistent with the pattern number, but very often omitted the name or monogram. The factory never used any date code or cypher. But the mark generally gives a clue to the date of manufacture.

Click here for a selection of marked George Jones pieces. Then click the View More Images button.

Here is a G Jones jug which has no maker’s marks, being part of, probably, a tea service, pattern number 3368.

Majolica-makers' marks - GJ blossom jug. This has no marks whatsoever to the underside.
Majolica-makers’ marks – GJ blossom jug. This has no marks whatsoever to the underside.

Robert Cluett, in his book ‘George Jones Ceramics 1861- ‘, page 271, lists this pattern number seen on a small bowl “3368 – Small bowl, bark pattern, with small pink flowers and green leaves. No factory mark. Probably part of tea or dessert service”

Another jug from the exact same mold and same coloration does have the pattern number on the underside.

Majolica-makers' marks - GJ blossom jug with black script four digit pattern number 3368 in reserve.
Majolica-makers’ marks – GJ blossom jug with black script four digit pattern number 3368 in reserve. The 2 probably indicates the jug is the second item of a set.

 

Best set of majolica-makers’ marks

George Jones takes the podium, with his rare dwarf elephant ear plates, bearing marks for…

from MADELENA online specialist ecommerce dealer in majolica, Staffordshire figures, R. Lalique glass, samplers and Dec. Arts
Pattern name mark, Alocasia Jeningsii

Pattern name  ‘Alocasia Jeningsii’ (Dwarf Elephant Ear)

GJ monogram, impressed, a mark used 1861-73

Black script four digit pattern number 3443 ‘in reserve’

and the familiar diamond shape British Registry Office mark, impressed.[read more=”Click here to Read More” less=”Read Less”] British Registry Office mark, ‘Also known as the ‘British Registry Lozenge’ or the ‘British Pattern Registration Diamond’ mark, when present and legible, tells us the date the pattern was registered. The registration procedure was set up in 1842 to combat plagiarism, making it illegal to copy that pattern for a period of three years. Letters and numbers in the four corners specify the exact date of registration. The system was sufficiently successful that its use continued throughout the majolica period and beyond. Note: The year of pattern registration is not necessarily the year of manufacture but does indicate a ‘circa’ date.[/read]   

majolica marks
Rare George Jones dwarf elephant ear plates, Private Collection

These rare plates have an uncanny likeness to the real dwarf elephant ear plant Alocosia Jenningsii.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is that British Pattern Registry Office mark on another adorable Jones piece…

George Jones majolica Strawberry Server
George Jones majolica Strawberry Server. Full set includes three spoons, pot for sugar and pot for cream.
 Majolica-makers' marks - G. Jones blue-tit strawberry server. British Pattern Registry Office 'lozenge' and Pattern Number in reserve.
Majolica-makers’ marks – G. Jones blue-tit strawberry server. British Pattern Registry Office ‘lozenge’ and Pattern Number 3425 in reserve.


Joseph Holdcroft

Holdcroft’s output was usually unmarked. How do you know it is Holdcroft? By observing certain characteristic glazes, by an occasional marked piece to reference, and by publications current and contemporary, notably advertising and exhibition reports.

Underside of Holdcroft majolica dish. No makers majolica marks.
Underside of Holdcroft fish and bulrush platter. No makers marks. Characteristic glaze.

 

Majolica maker's mark J Holdcroft.
Majolica maker’s mark J Holdcroft.

More on the fish and bulrush Joseph Holdcroft platter

More Holdcroft…

All majolica on our website – Shop, Sell, Discover

 

Wikipedia on Majolica – a good starting point to explore the several meanings of the word ‘majolica’.

Majolica International Society – more information on Victorian Majolica, upcoming events, and research library.


To be continued… There is more to be said about makers’ and other marks found on lead-glazed Victorian majolica.

 

 

 

Share

29 Replies to “Majolica – Makers’ Marks – Minton, Wedgwood, George Jones and Holdcroft”

  1. I have a full set of dinnerware that says –

    Bone china
    Crescent
    George Jones & sons
    Made in England
    Morning Glory
    271 (hand painted in black)

    The closest thing I have found is a pattern number R648 – same type of pattern but not the same as 271.

    Can you help me find out information on my set of dishes. Thank you

  2. Hi, I have large jardiniare with a raised mark like an umbrella, and an embossed number and a number written on with a colored pencil.
    Can someone help me identify the maker? Where can I send photos?
    Thanks,
    Warren Aldrich
    tapestrygardensnh@gmail.com
    603 562 7731

  3. Thank you for this information. I purchased some pieces at an estate sale and wonder about its origin Could be new, but love the lettuce leaves!!

  4. I have a majolica plate with what looks like a sunburst mark. its a green fern and leaf pattern on the front with a greek key marking. I cant find a reference to this marking.

  5. I have a Wedgewood majolica plate with blueberries and strawberries and green leaves on a pale yellow background. On the back it says, “Wedgewood Made in England 12U29” Can you tell me the year of manufacture?

  6. Hello
    I have a very beautiful item and tall and detailed and it is signed, Kind of. I think it is Majorca but the base is unfinished apx 1/2 from bottom and the makers mark is etched in base.
    I am not sure what I have and was hoping you may help me identify it? I don’t ask lightly as for I have spent over 6 hours online trying to do this myself. ugh
    I don’t know how to attach photos but I have many?

  7. Hi
    I have a sweet corn jug that was my father’s and would like to know who the maker was and when it was made. The marks on the base are a diamond with Rd in the centre with 26, H, B and 2 going clockwise around the centre from the top and IV in a circle at the top of the diamond. Can you help? Thanks
    Thanks

  8. I have a few old pieces that I inherited and I am curious about the age of them. One is like a small wine glass and the other two are pin/trinket dishes. All are blue wedgwood and have a raised white floral pattern that I cannot find on Ebay or Etsy. The only markings underneath are either 2L26 or 9272 hand painted in either gold or green. Any suggestions?

  9. George Jones Sons, Joseph Holdcroft and Others Two of Minton Co. s disciples next turned to their own production of majolica. George Jones opened his factory behind the Minton kingdom. George Jones pieces were elegant and humorous, in marvelous and glowing shades of glaze. Strawberry servers with matching spoons for berries, sugar and cream came on to tea tables. Cheese bells with cow finials, cupids and putti riding dolphins, huge cache pots and garden seats in matching pond lily patterns and tall pedestals formed interior gardens. Like Minton and Wedgwood, almost all of George Jones majolica were marked with the name of the maker and identification of date of production. All patterns thus marked were not to be copied for three years, but many were.

    1. Mostly true, but “almost all George Jones… marked…” is silly. Who is the author of this fantasy? How many pieces of George Jones majolica have they looked at? David

  10. I have a majolica teapot which I think might be George Jones.. But the only mark on the base is 2D in brown glaze. The inside of the pot is a lovely pinky purple

  11. Hello,
    I have an Italian Majolica Cabbage Ware Tureen With Bunny Finial. Can you give me any info on this like age, and value?

  12. I have a large, heavy piece of majolica (at least I was told many years ago that was what it was) purchased many years before that in an antique store, a gift from a man to his wife. I inherited it from her in the 70s. It is of stacked fruit, surrounding a pineapple. The orange and some of the other fruit appear good enough looking to eat. The fruit is stacked on a long green leaf which serves as its tray. It looks like one I have seen made by Holdcroft. I would love to know more about it but did not find a way to post a picture.

  13. Are you familiar with any maker of Majolica wine ewers or pitchers? I did see one by Minton but there are no other photos I can find with similar characteristics like my piece.

  14. Hi. I have a planter that appears to be Minton. It is stamped 3006 with a diamond. It is a pink textured rectangular piece with feet and has a tray to it as well. Anywhere I could send a pic to be identified?! Thanks so much for any help.

  15. I have a bowl green glazed with a frog sitting on a Lilly with flower pod can u tell me the maker, the underside has a N mark indented.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *