Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pottery Backstamps

Those mysterious combinations of letters, numerals, pictograms, incised marks and assorted other identifying symbols found on pottery are called “backstamps.” Like every other specialized language, their meaning is beyond the comprehension of a layperson. But if you’ve ever watched a specialist on say, Antiques Roadshow divine detailed information about the who-what-where-when of manufacture from these cryptic marks, you’ve seen how laden with nuance they are to those in the know.

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