Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Pottery Bowl Mark Mystery! Stoke on Trent!


Have you ever found something OLD, or been gifted an unusual piece--and just had to find where it came from?

Being a potter---I knew this was bowl was OLD---and definitely a piece worth searching for.


I had received delicious homemade candy in this lovely antique bowl 
from a good friend for my birthday.


The bowl had deep cobalt blue transfers on an embossed molded body---with a very sketchy and blurred mark. Blurring often happens when the cobalt lifts or floats into the glaze during firing.
This is part of the 'flow-blue" thing.

This mark was very hard to read. Now, my bowl had become a needle in a haystack. 
This photo is not fuzzy, as you can see from the clear and precise glaze crackles, 
but the mark itself was totally illegible.

 Best I could figure was Uffer H----Y and  all that was really clear was a faint England in the lower center, as well as the coronet crown, 
and semi-porcelain- (a euphemism for a high fire ironstone faking porcelain). At least I knew where to start looking--England.

 I persevered and tried to track a similar mark by the crown in English pottery. First via pinterest, and then this useful marks site, I use so often. OldandSold.com
But, I found no marks that were similar enough. 
So, I googled a half-dozen combination descriptions, circle-coronet-pottery-mark, crown-circle-semi-porcelain- England, etc. until I found a crown that looked similar.

This one had the similar crown, on this mark the top was missing a bit, but I thought it was close. The same-crown styles are often associated with a specific town or region, and then the Stoke on Trent. UH_OH! Stoke on Trent had been a center for pottery industry in England, forever.
Below, all those bottle shaped buildings are kilns or Stokes.
Bottle kilns
 Now, I knew my haystack had just become bigger.  Stoke on Trent (England) was the heart of ceramic manufacturing in England for centuries, and this area alone had over 1500 different potteries through the years. I needed to narrow this more. I knew the clay in this piece wasn't porcelain, it was too heavy. Porcelain is only heavy if very thick. I searched Stoke on Trent ironstone, potteries, marks on search and found this from Hanley, England and that similar crown.

I looked at more Stoke on Trent potteries---one of the best known is above. I tried adding Hanley to my searches and then these popped up

And further down the page, the crown and.....

Here it was MY MARK!----very clear---Uffer H----Y was UPPER HANLEY

Once I had this----I could search for Upper Hanley Pottery-one of the best basic resources for Stokes on Trent Potteries is http://www.thepotteries.org/allpotters/1018.htm. This site has basic information, marks, photos, history, and just lots of Stoke On Trent info. I had used the site before.
This Upper Hanley company was only in business for a few years. Like many potteries, they were bought and sold, absorbed into larger companies or simply closed. 

Here is the basic information I found.
Earthenware manufacturer at the Upper Hanley Works, the High Street, Hanley (from c.1895 - 1902) and then at Brownfield's Works, Cobridge (c.1902 - 1910) from  http://www.thepotteries.org/allpotters/1018.htm

Stoke-on-Trent is a unique city in England. 
It made up of six distinct towns: Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Stoke, Fenton and Longton - collectively known as "THE POTTERIES". (http://www.thepotteries.org/allpotters)

With all this wonderful information, I now could now find pottery by 
Upper Hanley pottery by its name.

Searching Pinterest (Upper Hanley) showed dozens of pieces---one exactly like mine---which led me to this same exact bowl on Etsy, with a much clearer mark!

courtesy of Etsy (not my site)

OLD Antique Bowl Mystery solved and it's worth a pretty penny, too.

I won't be selling this piece, as it was a gift, but I will add a note on the bottom of what it is,---so my kids won't have to wonder what the heck this needle in a haystack was.

When doing a search: don't give up, but do try many different avenues. You may have to go to many sites to get to the information you want. And, you never know, Granny's old dishes may be worth plenty of pennies.

I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.

All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, unless noted. I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or any products shown or anywhere I shop.

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Thank you for your cooperation, 


  1. Hi Sandi - great detective work. Takes time to get the answers!

  2. Interesting history. You have a treasure. I like researching into dishes also.

  3. How precious and treasured!Just gorgeous!

  4. Hi Sandi, I was going say I thought it was Hanley but you beat me to it. I love flow-blue but unfortunately I don't have any pieces. Thanks for your nice vist and Happy Spring..Judy

    1. Hi, Judy---this is borderline flow blue---actually the top transfer is quite stable in color, it certainly will go well with pieces I already have.

  5. Did your friend buy the bowl at a flea market or estate sale? I love old blue & white china, & it's a beauty.


    1. Hi, Mary. She found it at GoodWill...lol. She's been watching me pick up things over the years and grabbed it, knowing I would love it.

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  7. Great detective skills, Sandi! I have a pair of old candlesticks that were my grandparents, and finally figured out the markings, which led me to Russia! Great post!


    1. Thanks, Amy. Yes, it is a feat when you finally track something down!!!

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  9. What a lovely find and great sleuthing! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm--pinned!

  10. Very interesting, Sandi! I'm glad you had it figured out and I learned new things today!

  11. Thanks, Jeanie, i always learn something when I have to do a search!

  12. Thank you for sharing at #ThursdayFavoriteThings. Pinned and shared.

    1. Thank you Marilyn, for hosting...and your visit!


Thank you for any and all comments. I will be happy to answer any questions or comments in replies or email! HUGS!