I agree Goddens is probably the one essential reference book.
Do remember though, despite its doorstopper size, that it probably
contains under one tenth of all British marks. You will find most of the
common ones and a lot of the most exciting ones though.
I would recommend that all people new to collecting British pottery and
porcelain read the section entitled 'Introduction and General Notes' at
the beginning of the book. This is very often skipped which is a pity.
If you do and can remember just half of it; you can feel safe to sail
unchartered waters in the knowledge that you probably know more than a
lot of the people who call themselves dealers (please see the remarks of
Kristine and I made in the thread entitled 'gettin into the business'
that appeared recently in this newsgroup for a further explanation of
Both Kris and I make a point of reading it at regular intervals just to
jog our memory (and we do not consider ourselves as dealers in or
collectors of crockery).
I will also admit and warn that it is written in a style that is NOT
very exciting. Viz:-
'The initial J may appear as I on 18th and 19th century marks.
English Earthenwares prior to c.1770 are usually unmarked. English
delft-type earthenwares with a coating of white tin glaze are also
unmarked as are also salt glazed wares. Porcelain was not made in
England before the 1740's.'
A bit of sex and *** sprinkled in here and there would have done
wonders to liven up the prose style Geoffrey but I suppose we cannot
If you never open up another book on British China (which would be a
great pity) there are enough nuggets in that one chapter to enable you
to write patronising know-it-all answers to people's questions in this
'Gone. Gone. .........and never called me mother'