How to Identify Crown Marks on Fine China

Philipendula, Wikimedia Commons

Perhaps you've just come across a china set and want to know the value or want to begin collecting antiques.

Although the consensus of the antique community is that there's not one concise resource for identifying crown marks on china, there are a handful of resources that, when combined, will help you learn the manufacturer or artist, production date and value of your fine china.

Search the International Ceramic Directory at (see References for link), where you will find a list of china marks originating from many countries. You will find American, Austrian, British, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian and Japanese marks along with a corresponding web address where you can find in-depth information. Crown marks are indicated in the descriptions for the companies and artists who use them. You can browse through the list one by one or do a "CTRL+F" and search the word "crown" to pull up the entries that list crown markings.

Purchase or check out a book about how to identify markings on pottery and fine china. Two favourites are "Pictorial Guide to Pottery & Porcelain Marks" by Chad Lage and "Kovels' Dictionary of Marks--Pottery And Porcelain" by Ralph Kovel and Terry Kovel. Both have a special section designated for identifying crowns from all sorts of manufacturers and artists.

Submit a query form to Peter Holland, who runs the website All that's necessary is a close-up photograph of the crown marking plus a faraway shot of the entire piece. You can also browse a list of common methods and tips to identify your piece, as well as responses Holland has given to others' queries.