How to Tell How Old a Franciscan Teapot Is

Franciscan pottery has a long American history that extends into manufacturing in England and China. The pieces made in California are the oldest and most desirable. Dating your Franciscan tea pot or other piece of pottery may take a little detective work as some patterns continue to be manufactured even after more than 60 years.

Step 1

Research the Franciscan pattern represented on your tea pot. There are many resources available that will give you an idea as to the date of your tea pot, based on the pattern. This won't give you an exact date, as some patterns were produced for 10 years or more, but it will give you a starting place. Some Franciscan ware, such as the Apple and Desert Rose patterns, are still in production and have been since the 1940s.

Step 2

Research the origins of the tea pot. If it was a gift or used to belong to someone you know, you may be able to find out from the original owner when the tea pot was purchased.

Step 3

Purchase a book about Franciscan ware. "Franciscan Hand-Decorated Embossed Dinnerware" by James F. Elliot-Bishop is one option. "Franciscan — An American Dinnerware Tradition" by Bob Page and Dale Frederiksen is another. There are many others on the market. A book will show you illustrations of different patterns and markings that will help you to date your tea pot.

Step 4

Look at the stamp on the bottom of your tea pot. It should tell you where the tea pot was manufactured. This will help you to date those patterns that have long productions, like Apple and Desert Rose. Those made in California are the oldest. The California plant closed in 1984, so your tea pot is older than this if it has a California mark. It if was made in England, it is newer. If it was made in China, it is very recently made.

About the Author

Shaunta Alburger has been a professional writer for 15 years. She's worked on staff at both major Las Vegas newspapers, as well as a rural Nevada weekly. Her first novel was published in 2014.