Identifying Marks on Fiestaware

Written by susan kerr
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Identifying Marks on Fiestaware
Fiestaware has distinctive shapes, colours, and manufacturer's marks. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Collecting Fiestaware pottery is a favourite hobby. Its bright colours and kitschy modernistic designs fit into many decor styles, from a retro 1950s scheme to a sleek urban loft. The Homer Laughlin China Company introduced this pottery line in 1936 in cobalt blue, green, ivory, red and yellow, adding turquoise the following year. In subsequent years, some of these colours were replaced by others. Fiestaware went out of production briefly in the 1970s but was reintroduced in 1986. While the colour of items is one indicator of its manufacturing date, markings and logo changes found on the their bottoms are more definitive.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Fiestaware dish
  • Magnifying glass

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  1. 1

    Turn the Fiestaware item upside down so the manufacturer's marking is facing you. While the glaze colour is a general indicator of the dish's age, the location and method of marking narrow the time frame of its manufacture.

  2. 2

    Look closely at the backstamp, an ink marking located at the bottom edge of a Fiestaware plate. All lower case letters indicate a piece of vintage Fiestaware, while all upper case letters point to modern pieces. Original pieces made prior to 1986 will bear some combination of "HLC," "Fiesta" and "Made in the USA."

  3. 3

    Use the magnifying glass for closer examination of any markings. For example, an "H" imprinted on the Fiestaware logo indicates a piece manufactured after 1986, while the absence of it may indicate you have a vintage piece made between 1936 and 1979. Newer Fiestaware dishes have a circular logo in which the word "Fiesta" is incorporated into the outer circle.

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