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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 7 May 2003
Having just decided to collect antiques as a hobby I was desperately in need of a book which enabled me to authenticate marks with some certainty. This book has become my bible and has enabled me to progress from an amateur to a person with limited knowledge, who is gradually building up her knowledge of marks. Couldn't have coped without it. Clear to follow and helpful in identifying the period manufactured. A must for any keen collector.
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on 4 May 2001
The primary reference book used by dealers and collectors to identify their antique and vintage English china, pottery and porcelain. It's a fabulous book, whether you're trying to identify anchors or crowns, As or Bs, or want to check what your date mark means - this is the book for you. Illustrated with thousands of marks from English manufacturers. Very easy to use. Highly recommended. Often referred to as the 'bible' by collectors and dealers in England. It would be cheap at double the price.
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on 27 June 2005
How I got by without this bible of potters marks I just don't know. The cross references are superb and make it simple to track down old manufacturers to their modern-day guises. This is the only potteries' reference book you will ever need. I wish I had taken notice of previous reviews on Amazon before wasting money on other, lesser, publications.
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on 17 August 2004
This book is absolutely packed full of facts, from the most well known potters to the more obscure.
There really is no point getting a cheaper version that covers a few, when you can get the best for a bit more money well spent.
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on 10 February 2006
A fantastic book that gives you the name and the location of the markings of british pottery and ceramics if its not in this book then its probably cheap tat!Makes going to car boot sales , auctions, Second hand shops and charity shops quite exciting as you are constantly wanting to use your knowledge!!
Don't be cheap buy this book and get on with your life..!!
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on 8 March 2007
No matter what item of pottery or porcelain you are trying to research, this should be the first thing you reach for. Long considered to be the "bible" for dealers and collectors. My own copy has long since lost its shiny new look and is now a battered, well used and reliable source of information. Along with British Studio Potters' Marks by Yates, Owen & Fournier, you really should not need anything else to find out all you need on backstamps and markings. Obviously other reference books come into their own on antiques and should also be purchased but for a first point of reference, these two books should be your first purchases and both will save you making very costly mistakes no matter how experienced you are.
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This is the most comprehensive book on pottery marks available, and as such anyone seriously interested in pottery needs a copy on their shelf. There isn't anything better, but it won't, on its own, help you become an expert. Part of the problem is that Britain is rich in potteries and the task of listing them all, in every variation, is too bogglingly large.

So what are the drawbacks? Obviously, you can't take it with you to bootfairs; even taking it to auctions will build up your muscles alarmingly; it's huge and very heavy. It can take time to find some of the marks you'll see, because many potteries changed their names as firms amalgamated, or used fanciful variations that aren't immediately easy to link with the relevant company. You need to be prepared to spend a while looking through, and don't jump too quickly to conclusions. If you're buying online, use this book to do your homework well in advance of making a bid or purchase. Act too quickly and you'll make mistakes.

Godden struggles with and largely succeeds in the difficult task of indexing and cross-referencing the more obscure marks, especially those which are symbols and monograms, and there is a useful list of symbols at the back and another of monograms, which helps. The system, once you are used to it, is logical and I doubt a better one could be devised. The illustrations are printed in dense black on white, fine for printed marks but sometimes ambiguous when representing impressed or incised marks. The few photographs are not necessarily well chosen, and aren't as helpful as they could have been.

You won't find every single mark in here. That's partly because some potteries had short-lived marks or variations; in this case you may be able to work it out from the other marks for the same factory. Also, the attitude to studio potteries is inconsistent; a lot of studio pottery marks are in here but by no means all - and the ones omitted aren't necessarily short-lived or recent. Some well-known small factories are omitted; Cinque Ports Pottery and Iden Pottery are listed, but not Monastery Pottery (also Rye), despite their being closely equivalent. Ewenny pottery, still going since 1610 and widely collected, isn't here. If you're interested in studio pottery you'll need another large book; British Studio Potters' Marks.

Another flaw is that some factories' trademarks are listed under the name of the factory, and aren't invariably cross-referenced under the "brand" name; for example "Sylvac" pottery is clearly marked, but is listed here under "Shaw & Copestake", the makers; a surprising ommission. When the task is so mammoth, it is undoubtedly mean to pick holes in what is, overall, a very helpful book. But as this is the pottery collector's bible, one would expect efforts would be made to eradicate problems where possible, as new editions are printed.

If you want something to shove in your pocket of a Sunday morning when sallying forth, Geoffrey Godden's The Handbook of British Pottery and Porcelain Marks does a remarkable job of compressing more information into a slim volume than you'd think possible, and is an excellent buy.
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I have been to many auction houses and a peek into the back room always shows "the Holy Trinity" : Brittens (Old Clocks and Watches) Jacksons (Hallmarks on Silver) and Goddens. They are all in battered tatteered dust jackets or naked, all have broken spines and look as if they had been kicked around a coalmine. Like mine, and this is as it should be. A good reference book is a tool that will be worked to death proving its usefulness. Slightly clumsy for the novice but a dip into Godden on Pottery and Godden on Porcelain simplifies usage to the point where it becomes second nature. Excluding modern studio pottery marks which is a separate minefield it will be difficult to find a mark on a piece of china from these islands which is not covered by this book.This book is an essential tool for any china enthusiast and will pay for itself many times over.

***** Many enthusiastic reviewers have quoted this as the only mark book you will ever need. That may be true for them but I found some gaps in this book that were filled by The New Handbook of.... due to it containing more modern marks that one might come across.

British Studio Potters Marks has several thousand marks not contained in Godddens.

And finally a copy of Cushions Handbook is the only book compact enough to take outside the house.
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on 20 September 2003
A goldmine of information. If you're new to buying pottery and porcelain it will save you a LOT of costly mistakes! Money well spent!
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on 19 May 2007
This is THE book anyone needs to identify Brtitish pottery I have only had it a few days and already it has been so invaluable its worth its weight in gold. Every possible British mark is covered. Once you have this book you will not need any other so dont time and money on other cheaper version go for it with this one and you will not be disaapointed
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