I will run through the general types of ceramic marks in this page, then I intend to give examples Briglin pottery marks and the date I think they were used on the Marks Timeline resource page. Hopefully we can build up a Briglin Pottery mark database over time. Please note that this is still work in progress and there will always be some uncertainty and exceptions. The ultimate aim is to try and help to date Briglin Pottery pieces by their mark.
Types of Briglin Pottery marks
There are six general types of Briglin Pottery marks;
Approximately, 85% Impressed, 10% Unmarked and 5% other
Approximately 10% of Briglin pieces are unmarked, 85% or more of items I see have the impressed mark and about 5% or 1 in 20 will have one of the other marks. Those numbers are very general but they point out the the various impressed marks were used on the vast majority of Briglin Pottery
1. Impressed Marks
Impressed into the soft wet clay before bisque firing at a very early stage. There are several stamps for the name “BRIGLIN” and for the less common “ENGLAND”. These stamps leave a neat mechanical appearance. They are pressed into the soft clay before the glaze is applied. Often they are filled and partly obscured when the glaze runs during the firing process. Most marks are on the rim, but some smaller items are marked on the centre base such as the animals or miniatures.
2. Incised Marks
Incised or scratched into the still soft clay during manufacture, with a sharp stick. or metal item. The mark will show a slight ploughed-up effect and have a free spontaneous appearance. Some early pieces are marked in this way typically with a freehand “Briglin”. These marks are generally uncommon and suggest an early date (see below).
3. Ink Stamp
Ink is transferred from a rubber stamp probably at the time of decoration. Many 19th-century manufacturers of pottery used this method. Some items of Briglin Pottery have this inked mark printed on the base under the glaze but it is uncommon. The mark is often blurred or obscured as it is under the glaze on the base of the piece.
4. Painted Marks
Apart from the JV pieces I can’t remember seeing any painted marks on Briglin items. These are simply brushed or painted onto the unglazed base of the item.
Labels are sometimes found.They only used one for a short time (see below for date estimate) . Round printed labels were used for a short period. They were brown and round with “HAND MADE BRIGLIN IN ENGLAND”, many do survive.
6. Impressed Monograms or Seals
These are individual potters marks on items. They are a signature. Usually they are made with small metal or wooden ‘stamps’ impressed into the wet clay. For Briglin I only know of monograms on the tea pots but monograms were widely used on quality handmade items all through the C20th. It is often a sign that the item has been crafted with some degree of care and attention. Some potters like Marianne de Trey use one Monogramme for the standard wares and one for her personal items. These marks can change over time. Other potteries used one icon for the pottery which may also have the potters e=seal alongside. Sadly they did not do this at Briglin. This type of marking is more prestigious than the others listed here and usually marks a piece out as having a certain standard. Potters naturally do not want to put their mark to rubbish.
See Briglin Pottery Marks Timeline for estimates of the date of the various Briglin marks