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Well, some of the pottery lovers like myself have spent years identifying American pottery, and one of the best ways to do this is by looking at the bottom of the piece.
Much of the newer , not reproduction but 1960s era production, was a shiny glaze, but this started as early as 1937 with Ivory II production.
Some of the pieces were also marked with a letter, a dash, then a number – so items marked similar to "M-3333" are often Redwing (Murphy Era). Alamo and Gilmer often have a completely unglazed bottom, while Camark and Niloak may have just a dry foot.
Compare these cups and saucers (left) with the Gilmer vase (above).
Here's a good example of the American Bisque wedge foot (right).
Companies using a dry foot include most of the Ohio companies and some used stilts for some of their ware lines.
This article is about the identification of American pottery by the bottom, and it is not my intent to vary from that topic much, but it is difficult to look at the bottoms and not see the tops–so a comment on glaze seems essential here.
Once the clay color has been examined, the weight of the pot has been considered, and it has been determined to likely be an American pottery, then a cursory glance at the glaze may help with certain identification.The shape, glazing and markings of the "foot" or base surface of the piece which makes contact with a supporting surface (ie – table or shelf) can be as revealing as the color and texture of the clay.used the wedge shapes routinely, so that is always my first guess on a piece with a dry wedge foot.So, if you see three little flaws on a glazed bottom, these are not damage–they are stilt marks or firing pin marks used for the firing process.Examining the bottom for stilt marks may reveal some numbers that may help with identification, too. Some companies only used two numbers for some of the shapes, and some used four.The bottom shows the name, if there is one, the color of the clay, the way the piece is fired, and other characteristics that help with the identification.