Mould Stamps

M.1.a, M.1.b and M.1.c
The three varieties noted so far are ones where the lettering is around the top and bottom borders, where it is lenticular (sometimes very slight) and where the lettering is parallel. The arced variety, M.1.a, is found on the jam or tobacco jar, the plain Astoria type of spittoon, the fancy spittoon and the white lined cane bowls. The M.1.b variety has appeared only on the barrel-shaped pitcher while the M.1.c has been seen only on the brown variety of the fluted stoneware bowl.

The stamps on the cane bowls vary with the size of the bowl which ranged from 4 to 12 inches in diameter. Dating is based on the fact that some of these products are illustrated in Medalta’s 1924 catalogue, and the ones that are not were in production before 1930.

This stamp was probably designed to mark a particular style of Medalta bowl that ranged from 5 to 10 inches in diameter. Other sizes may have been available, but I cannot positively identify this bowl in the Medalta records and it is not illustrated in the 1924 Medalta catalogue. The stamp has only been observed on this bowl, albeit on four different sizes - 7, 8, 9 and 10 inches in diameter. The stamp on the only 5-inch bowl of this style was illegible. Once again the size of the stamp changes with the size of the bowl.

M.3.a, M.3.b and M.3.c
This stamp has three varieties; one that is horizontal, one that is arced upwards and one that is arced downwards. The size of the lettering varies

quite a bit depending on the product it is on - usually the larger the item, the larger the stamping. The horizontal stamp is found on the forest and style No. 110 jardinieres, large handled cookie jar and small unhandled cookie
jar; the upper arc variety on the chamber pot, fancy spittoon, and the large cookie jar; and the lower arc variety on style No. 101, 102 and 103 vases as well as the No. 109 jardiniere. All of these products were introduced by 1931. The date has been left open as some of the products marked with these stamps may have still been available in 1954.

M.4.a and M.4.b
There are two known varieties of this stamp and each may be exclusive to the product on which it is found. The first variety encircles the bottom of one of Medalta’s jardinieres which can be found in several different sizes. Later, in the 1930s, this jardiniere was apparently assigned style No. 4. The second variety has been recorded on the cracker box which was available by 1932. The end date of 1940 has been assigned as new moulds for each item were probably available by then.

This stamp is found on Medalta’s fluted stoneware mixing bowl which is illustrated in the 1924 catalogue. However, it has shown up only on the ones glazed in brown, and so far only in the 9 and 10-inch sizes. This style of mixing bowl seems to have been discontinued in the early 1930s. The brown bowls, by the way, were made for Woolworth’s, and probably Eaton’s, beginning in 1926.

This impression was produced using a metal stamp, and it can be found in several sizes. The use of this stamp meant that the item was handthrown, and items were made this way for only a short period of time. This stamp was invariably accompanied with the one that reads “MEDALTA”, given the number M.7. The two stamps are usually one below the other, but at times they are well separated. This separation clearly indicates that M.6 and M.7 were distinct stamps, but this one has never been found alone although M.7 has. The “Hand Made” stamp is found on most vases21 with style numbers from 101 to 112, at least two lamp bases, cookie jars, a biscuit barrel with lugs for a wire handle (probably what Medalta called a billikin), beer steins and a few other items.

This impression was also produced using a metal stamp as the lettering is usually accented with a border, and it too is found in several different sizes. While this stamp is more often found in association with M.6, it is found alone, and so far alone it has been seen on cookie jars and a rabbit feeder. It is by far the most common stamp found on the large twist-cord handle cookie jar. I have extended its date range a few years as it is found on some glazed cookie jars which may not have been in production in 1932.

This stamp also appears to be made using a metal stamp as the lines of the letters are sharp, narrow and clear. However, only two examples have been seen, so we should not yet draw any firm conclusions. Also, it has been found only in association with both the M.6 and M.7 stamps, never by itself or with only one of them.

The stamp has been found only on the 10-inch high style No. 104 vase. It might turn out that there are two varieties of this stamp, one with the maple leaf and one without. For now, I am presuming that the two examples where the maple leaf was missing were simply illegible stampings. Both were on heavily glazed pieces, and the maple leaf might have been obliterated by the glaze or the mould might have been a well-worn one.

This stamp has only been found on the 12" size of the No. 104 vase, and as far as I can tell there are no varieties. It is often on pieces finished in coloured lacquers dating to the 1930s, but it could have remained in use until the plant closed.

This stamp has been found only on the six-inch size of the forest jardiniere and it has been recorded only a couple of times. The more common stamp on this size of the forest jardiniere is the M.3.a one. I have left the beginning of the date range at 1930 as I cannot be sure that it was later even though I suspect that this stamp replaced the M.3.a one. The end of the range, 1940, is suggested due to the observed samples being finished in coloured lacquers rather than glazes.

This stamp has been found on two different products - the seven-inch size of Medalta’s early fluted base jardiniere and an individual size teapot. Both items are listed in Medalta’s 1924 catalogue, so it is possible that this stamp was in use before the date range I have suggested. I suggest 1930 as a starting date as the other two jardinieres illustrated in the catalogue do not carry any impressed stamping, and this one likely did not either at that early date. The other two jardinieres were discontinued, but this line was expanded from one size to at least two; and, at that time, I believe that new moulds were made incorporating the Medalta name in the bottom.

This marking was specially designed for vase No. 1. In my opinion, it would have been more attractive if all the lettering had been in one direction, and it most certainly would have been easier to read. Vase No. 1 first appears in the stock ledger in 1932 and I cannot be certain that it was discontinued before 1954.

This stamp is effectively the same one as M.15 except for its size. It is noticeably much larger and ranges from 5.9 to 7.1 cm. in length, depending on the item it is found on. It is found on several styles of casseroles, several mixing bowls, the corrugated mixing bowl and pitcher, a pie plate and several jardinieres. Taken together these products suggest the stamp first came into use around 1933. The Polygon mixing bowl clearly shows that this stamp and M.15 are one and the same depending on the size of the particular piece. The smaller Polygon bowls have the small stamp, the ones above 8" inches in diameter have this one.

There is great size variability in this stamp, once again, depending on the specific product. It ranges from 3.8 to 5.5 cm. long. This stamp in block letters is perhaps the commonest of the in-mould stamps. It is found on a wide variety of products, particularly vases and planters that first came out during the 1930s. The non-artwares it is found on include a spittoon, 3 styles of teapots, and the smaller Polygon mixing bowls. It first came into general use in 1933, but it was still being used to mark pieces first designed in 1941.

This stamp is essentially the same as M.15 except that it is curved around the top rather than being horizontal. For whatever reason, it was not used very often. The main stamp has appeared on only one lamp base, No. 418, and the Cyma pitcher. The pitcher was introduced in 1937 and the lamp base in 1939 or 1940. For now, I have given it an early starting date as the sample size is so small.

This stamp which is similar to M.16 has been found only on the lamp base assigned style No. 43. The name “MEDALTA” is split by one of the four stubby legs and the word “LTD.” has been added between two of the other legs. If this stamp is confirmed to occur only on this lamp then it dates to 1936, the year this lamp base was introduced. I do not know if this lamp was discontinued before 1954, but it probably was as it is not found in very many collections. Only three samples have been recorded so far.

Once again this is effectively the M.15 stamp placed around the lower curve of an item. It too is found commonly on artwares, mainly lamp bases but also a few vases. As a rule, if the artware is not marked with M.15 then it is marked with this one. Interestingly, it has not been found on any products other than artwares.

This split variety of the M.18 stamp has been recorded only on a stoneware honey pot dating around 1937. The date range has been left fairly broad for now due to the small sample size.

This stamp has only been observed on one size of the globe-style teapot. The globe was one of Medalta’s most popular lines, in production from 1924 when it was called the Brown Betty, through to at least 1941 and perhaps later. Therefore, it is difficult to date this stamp. Two of the four recorded samples were also stamped with G.33.

M.21.a to M.21.f
There are at present six varieties of this stamp based on the orientation of the lettering. Perhaps I have grouped too many stamps together as some of them are only found on a single product, but since they all are in block letters and say only “MEDALTA CANADA” it seems reasonable to illustrate and discuss them together.

a. The parallel variety has been found on the Boston low teapot, globe teapot, candy bowl and a mixing bowl. The candy bowl and one example of the globe teapot were hand-decorated suggesting a date from 1930 to 1934. Two examples of the mixing bowl were double stamped with the dated 1953 and 1954 stamps, G.59 and G.60.

b. The variety arced around the top and bottom is found only on the individual size of the Globe teapot. Again, one example was hand-decorated. Most of the others were the usual dark brown but one was black. Black teapots were available by 1927 if not before.

c. The variety where the name is found around the upper arc has only been recorded on the 5 lb. butter crock. In this instance, the butter tub was stamped on the side with the “Little Chief” - the trademark of the Medicine Hat Potteries. As this plant did not open until 1938, we at least have some idea as to the date of this particular piece.

d. The divergent variety is found only on the cornucopia-shaped vase, assigned style No. 99, which came out in 1939 or 1940.

e. The variety with the wording forming a lenticular shape has been recorded on the chamber pot and rabbit feeder. Both are stoneware items. The 5 and 7-inch rabbit feeders were available by 1926, while the chamber pot goes back to at least 1922.

f. The variety with the stamp arced around the top and bottom but with the word “MEDALTA” reversed, is found only on the 3 lb. butter crock and the 1/2 gallon size of tall crock. Both products were Medalta mainstays produced before 1922 and right through to 1954.

This stamp is found on select Medalta vases, all ones that came out about 1932. Included are style Nos. 60, 65, 70, 80, 90 and 108, and these vases are some of the first ones to be made in moulds. On household products, the stamp appears on the barrel pitcher, the ship-style pitcher, the meat pie pan and a barrel-shaped jam jar. The pitchers were introduced in 1930 and 1932 respectively and the meat pie pan around 1935.

M.23.a and M.23.b
The main horizontal variety of this stamp shows the greatest size range of the impressed markings, ranging from 5.4 to 11.3 cm. for the length of the “Made in Canada” line. The only artware it appears on is vase No. 5 which was introduced in 1932. Later, around 1938, it is found on the ice water pitcher, a mixing bowl, oval casserole, au gratin and rarebit dish.

The lenticular variety of this stamp has been noted only on an oval roasting pan that came into production in 1938 or later.

M.24.a, M.24.b and M.24.c
This stamp has been noted in three varieties, the one arced around the top and the bottom, another similar to the first but having different sized lettering and the third in a half-circle shape. The circular variety has been noted on the Globe teapot, candy bowl and barrel pitcher. Some of the teapots are dated advertising pieces from 1935.

The second variety has been found on a mixing bowl and a stoneware pudding bowl while the third has been found only on the individual size of the Globe teapot. Many of the products bearing these stamps were discontinued by 1940.

This stamp, unless it is found in combination with one stating “Medalta”, would not be recognized as a Medalta stamp, and quite frankly I cannot be sure that all products marked this way are in fact Medalta’s. Perhaps other companies also marked their products in a similar fashion. What we can say is that if you find a Boston low teapot with the M.25 stamp, it is probably Medalta’s. The other style of teapot marked this way was not double stamped, so there is a chance it was made by someone else.

The embossed variety of the “Made in Canada” stamp has only been seen on the small Boston low teapot. The only clue as to its date range comes from the teapot made for the Ranchmen’s Club dating to the 1950s. Other teapots with this stamp were all brown suggestive of a much earlier date.

This variety of the “Made in Canada” stamp has been observed on only two products, the buffalo figurine and the Cypress pitcher. While the buffalo was available from 1931, this is a new mould probably made in the 1940s, and the Cypress pitcher appears to have been introduced around 1950.

This stamp seems to have been specially designed for the swan-shaped planter as that is the only product it has appeared on. It was introduced in 1938 and presumably was available right through to 1954.

The stamp appears to have been made with a metal stamp due to its sharpness. Two sizes have been found, one 1.9 cm. in diameter and the other 2.2 cm. Besides hotel china - and only plates and a soup bowl so far - it has been found on a teapot. It is obviously related to G.46 and therefore has been given the same starting date. The end date has been extended though as it has been found on plates that were also stamped with the dated 51 and 53 stamps (G.55 and G.59).

This stamp has been seen only once and it was on a nine-ounce oval baker finished in a dark brown Rockingham glaze. The dark glaze all but obliterates the stamp but it can be read even though it did not show up too well in a photograph. I believe the dark brown glaze represents an early example of a Medalta baking dish, perhaps as early as 1931-32 when Medalta was making meat pie pans. Other styles and colour of glazes were used for the ovenwares made after 1940.

This stamp appears to be limited to a single product which is best described as a large stoneware florist vase with eared handles for carrying it around. I have not been able to date the item itself from Medalta’s records, and therefore the suggested date range for the stamp is based on its similarity to stamps M.9, M.11 and M.30. These are the only impressed stamps where the word POTTERIES is included.

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