Dating Derby Marks

Early Derby Marks and newer Royal Crown Derby base marks.

Derby marks are many but most follow the same theme, with a cypher surmounted by a crown.

Dating early Derby is slightly more difficult than the more modern Royal Crown Derby, but dating Derby porcelain is much easier than many of the early English porcelain factories.

Derby porcelain was produced at three main factories.

Those being …

royal crown derby mark

Nottingham Road from 1756 to 1848

King Street from 1848 to 1935

And; Osmaston Road from 1877 to modern times.

Nottingham Road, Derby Marks (1756 to 1848)

In 1775, George III granted Derby Porcelain the right to incorporate the crown into the Derby backstamp.

Chelsea Derby Mark c1770


Derby Chelsea interlinked D and Anchor mark.

William Duesbury fully acquired the famous Chelsea Works factory in 1770 and the Chelsea anchor mark and Derby ‘D’ were merged to form the Chelsea-Derby mark.

Derby Patch Period - Patch Marks

Patch Period c1756-1765

Marks on the bases of early soft paste Derby figures indicate the
points where supports were used to prevent the porcelain sticking
during the firing of the glaze.

Derby Marks c1782-1825


Painted mark with Crown and D.

Blue / Puce – 1782-1800
Red – 1806-1825

Derby Mark c1806-1825


Painted mark with Crown above crossed batons and D below.

Blue/Puce – 1782-1800
Red – 1806-1825

Derby Mark c1820


Large crown in red with large D below.

Derby Bloor Mark c1825-1848


The earliest Bloor Derby Mark

Robert Bloor took control of the Derby factory in 1811 and immediately began to build a team of very fine painters.

Derby Later Bloor Mark c1825-1848


Later variation of the Bloor Derby Mark with crown in the centre.

Derby Incised Mark

Incised Marks

Derby also used incised marks on their early figures, consisting of No and a number. The mark pictured showing No314 on a seated figure.

King Street, Derby Marks (1848 to 1935)

A group of former employees set up a factory in King Street in Derby, and continued to use the moulds, patterns and trademarks of the original business, but not the name. No mechanical processes were used and no two pieces produced were exactly the same. Among the items preserved was the original potters wheel used by the Duesburys.

Derby Stevenson and Hancock Mark c1863-1866


Stevenson and Hancock mark

Showing Crown above crossed batons with S and H at either side. D below. Usually in red

Derby William Larcombe Mark c1916-1935


William Larcombe mark

Showing Crown above crossed batons with S and H at either side. D below and interlinked WL beneath.

Usually in red

Derby Larcombe and Paget mark c1917-1934


Larcombe and Paget mark.

Showing Crown above crossed batons with S and H at either side and D below but with revised Larcombe monogram showing the L rising into a P.

Usually in red

Derby Paget Mark c1934


Paget mark.

Showing P above Crown above crossed batons with S and H at either side and D below.

Usually in puce.

Derby Later Paget marks c1934-1935


Later Paget mark.

Showing Crown above crossed batons with S and H at either side.

With D below and crossed P’s below.

Usually in red

Osmaston Road, Derby Marks (1877 to modern times)

In 1877, Royal Crown Derby Porcelain moved to an impressive new factory at Osmaston Road and introduced new marks.

Derby Mark - Osmaston Road 1877 to 1890


Showing Crown above interlinked D’s.

First mark to use the interlinked D’s below the crown. More often seen with the year cypher below.

Derby Mark - Osmaston Road c1891-1940


Showing Royal Crown Derby in a circle above a Crown above interlinked D’s with year cypher below.

1891-1921 with vertical ENGLAND at side
1921-1940 with MADE IN ENGLAND

Derby Mark - Osmaston Road c1921-1965


Showing Royal Crown Derby above Crown above interlinked D’s with MADE IN ENGLAND below in red.

This mark showing pattern number 2451.

Derby Mark - Osmaston Road c1921-1965


Showing Royal Crown Derby above Crown above interlinked D’s with MADE IN ENGLAND below in blue.

This mark with pattern name KENDAL and design Registration Number for 1909-1910.

Royal Crown Derby Mark - 1940 to 1945


Wartime mark usually in dark green and without year cypher.

Showing Crown above interlinked D’s above ROYAL CROWN DERBY – MADE IN ENGLAND – Design Reg. No.

Derby Mark Osmaston Road - c1964-1965 with retailers mark


Showing Crown above interlinked D’s with ROYAL CROWN DERBY – MADE IN ENGLAND

This example with retailers details for ‘Plummer of New York’ and roman Numeral based year cypher of XVII for 1954.

Derby Mark Osmaston Road - c1950 in blue


Showing Royal Crown Derby above Crown above interlinked D’s with MADE IN ENGLAND (BONE CHINA) above pattern number and name.

In blue.

Royal Crown Derby Mark - 1964 to 1975


Showing DERBY CHINA above crown with interlinked D’s above ROYAL CROWN DERBY – ENGLISH BONE CHINA.

Often including pattern name and number and with Roman Numeral year cypher.

Modern Derby Mark from 1976

1976 to modern times

The crown and interlinked D’s are now within a circle of ROYAL CROWN DERBY – ENGLISH BONE CHINA. The © copyright character below the Derby logo.

This mark including popular Imari pattern number 1128 and with Roman Numeral year cypher for 1982.

Royal Crown Derby Year Cyphers (1880 to modern times)

Derby porcelain also included a date cypher with most base marks produced at the Osmaston Road factory.

This took the form of a small graphic illustration below the main mark and later, from 1938, a Roman numeral. The V of 1904 can be confused with the Roman V of 1942 as can the X for 1901 and the Roman X for 1947. To differentiate both the earlier X and V you should check for ENGLAND or MADE IN ENGLAND, the later piece will have MADE IN ENGLAND.

Derby year cypher 1880-1883Derby year cypher 1184-1887
Derby year cypher 1888-1889Derby year cypher 1890-1893Derby year cypher 1894-1896
Derby year cypher 1897-1900Derby year cypher 1901-1903
Derby year cypher 1904-1909
Derby year cypher 1910-1915
Derby year cypher 1916-1921
Derby year cypher 1922-1924Derby year cypher 1925-1929
Derby year cypher 1930-1937

Derby Roman Numeral Year Cyphers :

1938 – I

1939 – II

1940 – III

1941 – IV

1942 – V

1943 – VI

1944 – VII

1945 – VIII

1946 – IX

1947 – X

1948 – XI

1949 – XII

1950 – XIII

1951 – XIV

1952 – XV

1953 – XVI

1954 – XVII

1955 – XVIII

1956 – XIX

1957 – XX

1958 – XXI

1959 – XXII

1960 – XXIII

1961 – XXIV

1962 – XXV

1963 – XXVI

1964 – XXVII

1965 – XXVIII

1966 – XXIX

1967 – XXX

1968 – XXXI

1969 – XXXII

1970 – XXXIII

1971 – XXXIV

1972 – XXXV

1973 – XXXVI

1974 – XXXVII

1975 – XXXVIII

1976 – XXXIX

1977 – XL

1978 – XLI

1979 – XLII

1980 – XLIII

1981 – XLIV

1982 – XLV

1983 – XLVI

1984 – XLVII

1985 – XLVIII

1986 – XLIX

1987 – L

1988 – LI

1989 – LII

1990 – LIII

1991 – LIV

1992 – LV

1993 – LVI

1994 – LVII

1995 – LVIII

1996 – LIX

1997 – LX

1998 – LXI

1999 – LXII

2000 – MM Interlinked

2001 – MMI

2002 – MMII

2003 – MMIII

2004 – MMIV

2005 – MMV

2006 – MMVI

2007 – MMVII

2008 – MMVIII

All Royal Crown Derby marks can be attributed to one of the three Derby factories.

Simply compare the style of the Derby mark and date the year cypher used to come as close as possible to the date of manufacture.

After dating you will want to then attribute the piece to an individual artist, if possible, and then assess how rare or sought after it may be based on it’s age and the popularity of the artist.

Derby figures with the incised mark ‘N‘ are particularly sought after and date to between c1765 and c1785.

The early Chelsea Derby marks can be attributed to the Nottingham Road factory and date to between c1770 and c1784.

The c1782 to 1825 marks of the Nottingham Rd factory can be quite untidy in appearance. They were handrawn in blue or puce until 1806 and in red after this

Some particularly fine painters worked at the King Street factory including Fredrick Chivers, Sampson Hancock, W Hargreaves and George Jessop.

Any Derby piece by the above artists would be of great interest to serious Derby collectors.

Collecting Derby Porcelain … try to focus your efforts on a particular factory, style or artist. Accumulating a good quality collection from one period or by one artist will help you become an expert in your chosen field.