Placement and Colour of the Glaze Stamps

For the majority of products, especially the artwares and the ovenwares, the factory’s stamp is placed in an inconspicuous spot like the bottom of the piece. It is mainly the crocks, churns and jugs that have the Medalta name prominently displayed on the side. The stamps can be found on the unglazed surface of ovenwares, over the glaze, or more commonly under a clear glaze. They are usually found alone, but they can appear on some products in association with an impressed stamp. And I must admit that I was quite pleased to find double stampings as it helped to determine the date range of some of the impressed stamps.

The range in colours used for marking products is quite wide. One might have expected just two colours - a light one to go on dark coloured products and a dark, perhaps black, for light coloured wares. But that was not the case. The coloured oxides that have been recorded so far include black, white, red, gold, silver, and various shades of blue, green and brown. There could well be other colours for I gave up recording the colour of the stamp when it became apparent that it was pointless to do so. I had hoped that the colours selected might in some way be related to the class of products, the colour of the item, or perhaps the stamp itself. But the use of colours appears to be totally random. The same stamp can be found in a wide range of colours and the same product or group of products can have various coloured stamps on them. Even a dark item can be stamped with a dark oxide; I have found cobalt blue items with the Medalta stamp in black oxide making it all but impossible to read.

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