Wedgwood is a British pottery firm that was founded in the mid-18th century by Josiah Wedgwood. Wedgwood has produced hundreds of patterns of dishware and pottery over the years, but fortunately for the amateur enthusiast, Wedgwood's founder recognised the importance of documenting and recording these patterns during his lifetime. Thus, there are plenty of resources on both the Internet and in the library to help you identify a pattern, whether you have a piece that is one year old or one hundred years old.
Examine your dishware closely. If you suspect that it is not antique, look at the pattern archive on the Wedgwood website listed in the references below and try to match it to the pictures there.
Take one of your dishes to an antique dealer that specialises in dishware. If you do not want to spend much time learning about Wedgwood patterns, take your plate to someone who is already an expert. If it is a common or popular pattern, an antique dealer may be able to tell you immediately what you have without referring to his references. If no research is required, most dealers will tell you what pattern you have as a courtesy, free of charge.
Have your dishware appraised. This option is best for any person who is interested in selling their dishware. A professional, experienced appraiser will not only tell you how much your dishes are worth, but also exactly what pattern they are, how old they are, and any other information relevant to their history.
Look at a website that deals in replacement pieces for dishware, and match your pattern to the patterns pictured on the site. Some patterns are numbered, and you can find this information at the bottom of every dish. If your pattern is numbered, you can search a replacement site like the one listed in the references below and find your pattern immediately.
Visit a public library. Public libraries hold collections of catalogues of dishware patterns. Narrow your search by checking the maker's mark on the bottom of one of your dishes. This mark can identify the time frame during which your pattern was in production. Once you learn from a book on Wedgwood maker's marks that your mark was only produced, for example, during the 1960s, you can check out a catalogue of Wedgwood patterns in production during the 1960s and quickly find your pattern.