Fakes & Forgeries: How to Spot Real Wedgwood

Wedgwood is a family name, a company name, and the name used for one of their products. The company was established in the mid 1700s by Josiah Wedgwood. It had quite an extensive catalog of items, but its main staple was called jasperware. This was simply a type of stoneware characterized by its matte finish (as opposed to a glossy/shiny finish).

Jasperware has since become synonymous with the word Wedgwood, though there are subtle differences that serious collectors will be sure to point out. For the purpose of this post, however, I’m just going to refer to it as Wedgwood.

1. Neoclassical themes. These were quite popular as there was a high interest in ancient cultures during this moment in time. Designs included those borrowed from the Romans, the Greeks, and the Egyptians.

2. Colors. The most common color is a light blue, but the second most common would probably be the green. Most colors are pale and muted, but there are some darker versions. Some Wedgwood is even colored black.

3. White accents. The typical white accents are raised against the background of the piece.

4. Stamps. Wedgwood is almost always stamped. I’ve read that some of the very old pieces might not have a mark, but almost everything else does. The most common stamps read, “Wedgwood England” or “Wedgwood Made in England.” Another common one is “Wedgwood of Etruria & Barlaston.” Their icon is typically an urn.

How to spot a fake:

These are hard and fast rules to live by. If your piece has one or more of these characteristics, it’s not Wedgwood/jasperware.

1. If it’s glossy, it’s not Wedgwood. Jasperware ALWAYS has a matte finish.

2. If the white accents are not raised, it’s not Wedgwood. Some of the fakes just paint the designs on.

3. If it’s stamped “Wedgewood” (with that extra ‘e’), it’s not Wedgwood. In addition, there’s a company out there called Enoch Wedgwood of Tunstall, whose icon is a unicorn. This is not at all related to the Wedgwood company we’re talking about.

I’m sure there are always exceptions to the rules, but I don’t know of any. Wedgwood isn’t uncommon, but it is still collectible. There’s a lot of it out there, so chances are you do have the real deal.

Have you come across any real or fake Wedgwood? What’s your favorite Wedgwood piece you’ve seen? I think the smoking set pictured above is pretty neat looking!

Advertisements

21 thoughts on “Fakes & Forgeries: How to Spot Real Wedgwood

  1. thatmidcenturyfella says:

    I love this stuff! Even the faux wedgwood to me looks great.

  2. Black Dahlia says:

    Great post! I love wedgewood too!
    X
    BD

  3. Kim says:

    Really good! Do you know what the “P 62” stamp means?

    • Thank you!!

      These stamps can get really complicated, depending on how old the piece is. Sometimes the letters represent years and the numbers represent months. As time went on, they changed the stamps and it got even more confusing! Some combinations could represent multiple dates, so there’s still a little bit of ambiguity there. The “64” in the stamp above is representative of the year – 1964, in this case. The “P” is probably just a workman’s stamp.

  4. Today I found 3 nice pieces of the blue and white Wedgwood. They display all the characteristics you describe that real Wedgwood has but I am still not sure. The largest piece is oval in shape, has a picture of what looks like a winged woman looking up at and leaning on a tree. Next to her is Cupid aiming an arrow at her and another chubby figure on the other side of her. The edge is decorated with grape vines and the whole thing is raised. On the back is Wedgwood Made in England. Hard to tell but I think it says 4B or JH on it too. The next piece is a small round circle shaped plate. The middle has a raised picture of 2 seated chubby naked lovers embracing. It is edged with what looks like flowers or leaves of some kind. The stamp on the back is really hard to make out. It may have either been rubbed down over time or not stamped hard enough. I can just make out the Wedgwood Made in England stamp and what looks like a letter and either a W or an M. I’m a bit suspicious of the last piece maybe being a fake. It is a small sort of oval shaped dish. In the middle is a picture of 2 winged cherubs being seen by another chubby figure with a cloth draped over his head and shoulders and there is a dog next to a tree barking at him. It has sort of scalloped corners, top and bottom. The top, bottom, left and right edges is decorated with a flower motif. The stamp on the back is what a I am doubtful of. It says Made in England and above that, Wedgwood is stamped upside down. Next to that is either a C or G stamped sideways. Underneath all that DV is stamped. Would you please let me know if these sound like real or fake Wedgwood pieces?

    • Hi, there! The first and last one definitely sound real. If it says “Wedgwood” and “Made in England” on them, you pretty much can’t go wrong. The middle one is a bit harder to identify, just because you’re not sure of what the stamp says. If you found it with these other two, and if it has all the other characteristics of Wedgwood, I would say that it is probably real.

      If you’d like, feel free to send me pictures at Contact@CollectorsChronicles.com. Include pictures of the designs and the stamps and I’ll see if I can make our what it says on the bottom.

  5. Joelle says:

    I am looking at a lovely piece. It’s a jug where the white porcelain is raised overtop what looks like silver. It’s in the style of jasperware but it is not the traditional blue, green, black base with raised white sculpture. It’s titled silver luster. The problem I have is the wedgwood marking. The first D is backwards and the G is upside down. Seems like a fake?

    • Hm, that does sound sort of sketchy. And you said it’s silver in color? I don’t think I’ve seen anything like that before. I would definitely be hesitant to call it real.

  6. Brian says:

    Hi, I have what I think is a Jasperware small bud vase.It is pale blue with white figures of angels & pegasus embossed on it. It has wedgwood markings & made in england on the bottom. Could you please tell me more about this item? There are also what looks like “GM” & 67 on it. Thanks Brian

    • Hi! The GM is probably a workman’s stamp. The 67 is probably indicative of the year – 1967. Blue is a pretty standard color for Wedgwood and is more collectible because of that. Sounds like you have a cute little item here!

  7. Mary Rose Wattier says:

    I have a pair of antique table lamps – the tape that identifies it is worn off; They are in perfect condition, (green with white raised flower or leaf design) if they are real what kind of a price could I ask for them?

  8. Mechelle says:

    I have a piece with no marks on it, but it seems to fit all other requirements to be genuine piece. Are there any pieces around at all with no marks??

  9. Steve-Palm says:

    I have a large dark blue teapot but Wedgwood, Made in England and the number 12 is hand incised into the pottery or hand printed.
    Is this a fake?

  10. Tayler Lee says:

    I have a small vase height 6″ in the Wedgwood Jasperware style. Colours are a sage green and white. The two female figures both wear bonnets and are dressed in Victorian style costume. The base and inside the top opening are glazed the rest of the vase is matt. The base in inscribed 3266 and 3 and 09. I have tried to identify the maker but to date have failed. Any help would be appreciated.

  11. David Padgett says:

    I FOUND A BLUE JASPER WARE JARDINIERE WITH LIONS HEADS MASKS AND SWAGS WITH DEPICTIONS BENEATH THE MASKS. IT IS STAMPED ON THE BOTTOM “WEDGWOOD” ON THE TOP INSIDE RIM RING AND “ENGLAND ON THE BOTTOM” INSIDE RIM RING. THERE IS ANOTHER SMALL STAMP OF A CIRCLE WITH FOUR RAISED DOTS IT WOULD SEEM. ALSO THE LIONS HEADS MASK ARE NOT HOLDING RINGS IN THEIR MOUTHS. THE INSIDE OF THE JARDINIERE IS A CREAMY COLOR. IT IS BEAUTIFUL WITH GREAT DETAIL. CAN YOU TELL ME ANYTHING ABOUT THIS PIECE?

  12. Miss Kitty says:

    Great article. I am in the resale business and always enjoy finding Wedgwood pieces at estate sales and the like. I have a difficult time however, finding explanations as to what stories the illustrations are depicting without a trip to the local library “these books are not for checkout” reference section. For example, do you happen to know what story the illustration in your first photo represents? I have a Wedgwood item with the same depiction. Thanks!

  13. Sandra says:

    I have a Wedgewood Jasperware teapot that my Grandmother bought second hand in 1915!. It is pale blue matt finish with raised white decorations with a Grecian theme. The only problem is there is no stamp on the bottom. It just has the numbers 661 or 199 (depending on how you look at them) and a cross. Do you think it is a fake? If so its still more than 100 years old.

  14. Mumsie says:

    I have a very dark green piece that resembles Wedgwood with raised white figures of women, all in matte finish. However, the only mark is 5078 on the bottom. Pretty sure it is not Wedgwood, but wondering what it could be. Found at an auction where an antique store was selling out. Thanks!

  15. Kristy Beyer says:

    Is each piece different? Or do certian pieces usually have a specific artwork style to them. I have a light blue Jasper Ware creamer in the St. Louis style, but I can’t find any images that match the artwork on each side of it online to see how old it is. One side is a chariot with an angle in it fighting a large man. The other side has two men with a basket of some sort on its side behind them that has a leg sticking out of it. Also, on the bottom it only says “Wedgwood” at the top and “England” at the bottom (not made in or anything like that). There are 3 other marks on the bottom, but they are hard to tell what they are. If you have any insight I would sure appreciate it.

Let us know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s