Other Markings

There are a number of other markings that you will find on pieces of Medalta, but none of them are common.

One of these was an underglaze stamp that simply stated “SECOND”. Symonds’ stamp No. 15 illustrates its occurrence below the main stamp, but I have also found it by itself, indicating that it was a separate stamp. It is not commonly found and for a very good reason. In most instances, Medalta would not know if a product was going to be a second until it had gone through the final firing.

There are many reasons why a piece could be designated a second: the striping or decoration may have smeared or run, it might have crazed, been slightly out of round, did not sit flush, had a shrinkage crack, a rough area, a spall from the edge, uneven glazing or even unglazed areas. Some of these such as shrinkage cracks or not sitting flush could happen during the bisque firing, and as long as the item was not so bad that it had to be thrown away, it could be stamped and marketed as a second. Seconds were sold at a discount of about fifty percent, and quite frankly there was really nothing wrong with most of them, at least to the untrained eye.

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