How to Identify Pottery Mark Eagle Made in America
American art pottery has become an important area of collecting. For collectors, the hardest part can be identifying pieces that contain a maker’s mark, such as an American eagle, but no manufacturer’s name. How can you identify who made it and what it is worth? By following a few steps, you will be able to find out more about your piece of American eagle mark pottery.
Look for collectors books. Check bookstores and libraries for volumes on collecting American art pottery. Many of these contain information on maker’s marks. Some examples of useful guides include “Kovels' American Art Pottery: The Collector's Guide to Makers, Marks, and Factory Histories” by Ralph Kovel and Terry Kovel; “Kovels' New Dictionary of Marks: Pottery and Porcelain, 1850 to the Present” by Ralph Kovel and Terry Kovel; and “Art Pottery of the United States: An Encyclopedia of Producers and Their Marks, Together With a Directory of Studio Potters Working in the United States” by Paul Evans. The Smithsonian Institution also provides an online list of books about pottery and porcelain marks.
Consult online guides. Several Internet sites are available to help with pottery mark identification. Figurines-Sculptures.com offers a free service to help identify the piece, while Marks4Antiques.com offers identification and appraisal services for a small monthly charge.
Talk to an expert. For a fee, an appraiser will be able to identify your piece and determine its worth. Good places to inquire about qualified professionals are local museums or stores that specialize in antiques and collectibles. Other good resources include the International Society of Appraisers or the American Society of Appraisers.
Network with other collectors. Use their knowledge. Join a collectors club to find out more about eagle marked pottery. One such organization is the American Art Pottery Association, which works to “promote an interest, understanding, appreciation, and recognition of American Art Pottery.” The association also hosts an annual show, sale, and auction of American pottery.
Look through antiques store inventories. At bricks-and-mortar stores, you can learn a lot by examining the inventory and studying the different pottery marks. You can also ask the store owner for help in identifying various pottery makers. If you want to look at online stores, many offer detailed pictures of the marks on the pieces they have for sale. By looking through these, you may be able to find out more about your own pottery. Ruby Lane is an online antiques mall that features a large selection of American pottery.
- As in any business, there are unscrupulous appraisers out there. Beware of anyone who wants to buy your piece from you after the appraisal. Too often, this means the appraisal is lower than the item’s true value.
Shelia Odak has over 10 years writing and editing experience for consumer and trade publications including "Radio/TV Interview Report." She has worked for over nine years in education and holds a Ph.D. from Georgia State University. Odak writes on a range of topics including education, literature and frugal living.
- pottery image by Bambuh from Fotolia.com