For a far more detailed study of the marks found on Osmaston Road pieces, plus the very latest research into the correct order of the date ciphers, please see -"Cracking the Code: dating Derby items from the Osmaston Road factory" This was the trademark of the Derby Crown Porcelain Company Ltd and was used c1877-1890.
Most commonly found printed in red, this mark can also be found printed in black, puce, green and blue, both underglaze and overglaze.
The company was founded by ex Mayor Herbert Joseph Colclough.
The table of marks below is far from complete, with very many variations and colours having been found and catalogued. In c1880 Derby Crown introduced a cipher to be added below the factory mark which indicated the year of manufacture.
This mark was either modified slightly or altered each year in a rather irregular system.
With the increasing use of ceramic marks in the 19th century, a large proportion of English pottery and porcelain can be accurately identified and often dated.
'England':- Inclusion of the word 'England' in marks denotes a date after 1891, although some manufacturers (Thomas Elsmore & Sons for example) added the word slightly before this date. It was William Mc Kinley (the 25th president of the USA) who introduced the highly protectionist Mc Kinley Tariff Act of 1890 - this imposed tariffs on many imports (including pottery) in order to make it easier for the American manufacturers to sell their products.
In the case of the larger firms the mark also has publicity value and shows the buyer that the object was made by a long-established firm with a reputation to uphold; such clear name- marks as Minton, Wedgwood, Royal Crown Derby and Royal Worcester are typical examples.
To the collector the mark has greater importance, for not only can he trace the manufacturer of any marked object, but he can also ascertain the approximate date of manufacture and in several cases the exact year of production, particularly in the case of 19th and 20th century wares from the leading firms which employed private dating systems.Anything of significance is duly noted in our descriptions and photographed if possible.hotographs in this table of marks, unless otherwise noted, are those that were made by us from actual pieces we currently own or have owned in the past; this table also includes photographs that have been contributed to us by our many viewers.For example: Royal Worcester is listed under W (Worcester Royal Porcelain Co., Ltd., The) Crown Derby is listed under R (Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Co., Ltd.) T. Royal Vale bone china is a rather low key and innocuous mark.For example, Dawn kindly shared the information and photographs she had on Vale and Royal Vale pottery mark backstamps.