How to Identify Fake Weller Pottery Marks

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Weller Pottery is a renowned American pottery company that was active from 1872 to 1948. Their pottery pieces are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts. However, with the popularity of Weller Pottery, there has been an increase in fake or counterfeit pieces in the market. In this article, we will explore how to recognize fake Weller pottery marks to ensure you are purchasing genuine pieces.

1. Understanding Weller Pottery Marks

Before diving into identifying fake marks, it is essential to have a good understanding of genuine Weller Pottery marks. Weller used different marks throughout their history, and familiarizing yourself with these marks will help you spot any inconsistencies or discrepancies in the marks on potential fake pieces.

1.1 Early Weller Pottery Marks

During the early years of Weller Pottery, they used marks such as “Weller” or “Weller Pottery” impressed into the clay. These marks were typically handwritten or had a stamped appearance. These early marks are usually found on the bottom of the pottery pieces.

1.2 Later Weller Pottery Marks

In the later years, Weller started using paper labels as their primary marking method. These labels often included the Weller Pottery logo, the name “Weller,” and sometimes additional information such as the pattern name or shape number. These labels were typically affixed to the bottom or side of the pottery piece.

2. Examining the Quality of the Mark

One of the first steps in identifying a fake Weller mark is to carefully examine its quality. Genuine Weller marks are typically well-executed, evenly impressed, and show clear and consistent lettering or logo. On the other hand, fake marks may show signs of poor craftsmanship, irregularities, or blurred lettering.

3. Comparing with Authentic Examples

Another effective method for identifying fake Weller marks is to compare them with authentic examples. Research and collect images of genuine Weller marks from reliable sources, such as reputable pottery reference books or trusted online platforms. By comparing the mark on the potential piece with verified marks, you can look for any discrepancies or differences in font, size, positioning, or overall appearance.

4. Consulting Experts or Collectors

If you are uncertain about the authenticity of a Weller mark, it is always advisable to seek guidance from experts or experienced collectors. They can provide valuable insights and share their knowledge about genuine Weller marks. Online forums or pottery collector communities can be excellent resources for connecting with knowledgeable individuals who can assist in your assessment.

5. Analyzing the Clay and Glaze

Examining the clay and glaze of a pottery piece can also provide clues about its authenticity. Genuine Weller pottery is known for its high-quality clay and glaze, which often exhibit specific characteristics. Research the typical clay and glaze used by Weller during different periods and compare them with the piece in question. Any significant deviations or inconsistencies may indicate a fake piece.

6. Verifying the Pattern or Shape

Each Weller pottery pattern or shape has its unique characteristics. By researching and familiarizing yourself with the different patterns and shapes produced by Weller, you can cross-reference the piece’s pattern or shape with known examples. Any discrepancies or variations may raise suspicions about the piece’s authenticity.

7. Scrutinizing the Overall Quality

In addition to examining the mark, clay, glaze, and pattern, it is essential to scrutinize the overall quality of the pottery piece. Genuine Weller pieces are known for their craftsmanship, attention to detail, and high-quality finishes. Look for signs of poor quality, such as rough edges, uneven surfaces, or inconsistent painting. These can be indications of a fake piece.

Lastly, having knowledge about pricing and market trends can help you identify potential fake Weller pieces. If a piece is being sold significantly below the average market value for similar genuine pieces, it is essential to exercise caution. Counterfeiters often try to attract buyers with low prices, hoping that buyers will overlook any inconsistencies in the piece.

FAQs

FAQ 1: How can I identify a fake Weller mark if it is well-made?

A well-made fake Weller mark can be challenging to identify. In such cases, it is crucial to compare the mark with authentic examples. Look for subtle differences in font, size, positioning, or any irregularities that may indicate a fake mark. Consulting experts or experienced collectors can also provide valuable insights.

FAQ 2: Can the absence of a mark indicate a fake Weller piece?

The absence of a mark does not necessarily indicate a fake Weller piece. During certain periods, Weller pottery pieces were not always marked. However, it is important to consider other factors such as the overall quality, clay, glaze, pattern, and pricing when assessing the authenticity of an unmarked piece.

FAQ 3: Are all Weller marks from the later years genuine?

No, not all Weller marks from the later years are genuine. Counterfeiters can replicate paper labels or markings. It is essential to compare the mark with authentic examples, examine its quality, and consider other factors to determine its authenticity.

FAQ 4: Are there any specific online resources for identifying fake Weller marks?

Yes, there are several online resources available for identifying fake Weller marks. Reputable pottery reference websites, online collector communities, and auction house websites can provide valuable information and images of genuine Weller marks for comparison.

FAQ 5: Can I use UV light to identify fake Weller marks?

While UV light can be useful in identifying certain types of pottery fakes, it may not be effective in identifying fake Weller marks. UV light is typically used to detect repairs, alterations, or restoration work on pottery. However, it is still essential to consult experts or experienced collectors for a comprehensive assessment.

FAQ 6: What should I do if I suspect a Weller piece is fake?

If you suspect a Weller piece is fake, it is advisable to gather as much evidence as possible, including detailed photographs, descriptions, and any supporting documentation. Consult experts or experienced collectors for their opinion and consider reporting the suspected fake to relevant authorities or organizations to protect other collectors from potential fraud.

Conclusion

Identifying fake Weller pottery marks requires a combination of knowledge, careful examination, and comparison with authentic examples. By familiarizing yourself with genuine Weller marks and understanding the various factors that can indicate a fake piece, you can confidently navigate the market and ensure you are purchasing genuine Weller pottery.


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