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However, the wheels of globalisation have turned as the subsequent reputational loss suffered, allied to emerging economy wage rate increases has all but removed any perceived competitive advantages.These environmental changes resulted in companies such as Portmeirion returning some of Spode’s production from China and Malaysia to Stoke-on-Trent when it acquired the historic brand in 2009.The name of the pottery manufacturer and an approximate date of manufacture can be discovered if the piece of pottery has a backstamp or the silver item has a hallmark.A makers mark that they have learned over many years spent researching and studying antique marks.Early ware was apparently unmarked, or would bear the owner’s name - W. Most marks include the general trade name ‘Porcelon’. Marks including the word ‘Ltd’ must post-date 1932, the date of incorporation.It is widely reported that over a century ago, Arnold Bennett, the Hanley-born novelist and ‘Chronicler of the Potteries towns’, famously ‘turned over’ cups, saucers and plates to find out from the backstamp on the bottom which pottery company made it.
Other factors such as the colour of the mark, how it’s applied or the numbered codes within the design can often date a piece to the exact year it was produced and tell you where or who the specific artist was.
And what they want is not just a celebration of the city’s renowned ceramics heritage, but an assurance of quality and authenticity.
This assurance, according to Tristram Hunt MP ‘comes with a ‘’.
Emma Bridgewater’s Matthew Rice has previously championed the importance of ceramic backstamps: ‘’ This is not just about clever marketing.
It is about knowing what retailers and consumers want.The decision to ‘come home’ was rightly described at the time as ‘a shrewd business move rather than a nod to sentimentality’.