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 …
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.
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.
Patch Period c1756-1765
Marks on the bases of early soft paste Derby figures indicate the
Painted mark with Crown and D.
Blue / Puce – 1782-1800
Painted mark with Crown above crossed batons and D below.
Blue/Puce – 1782-1800
Large crown in red with large D below.
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.
Later variation of the Bloor Derby Mark with crown in the centre.
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.
Stevenson and Hancock mark
Showing Crown above crossed batons with S and H at either side. D below. Usually in red
William Larcombe mark
Showing Crown above crossed batons with S and H at either side. D below and interlinked WL beneath.
Usually in red
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
Showing P above Crown above crossed batons with S and H at either side and D below.
Usually in puce.
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.
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.
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
Showing Royal Crown Derby above Crown above interlinked D’s with MADE IN ENGLAND below in red.
This mark showing pattern number 2451.
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.
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.
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.
Showing Royal Crown Derby above Crown above interlinked D’s with MADE IN ENGLAND (BONE CHINA) above pattern number and name.
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.
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 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.