Old Labels and Tags
This article was written with the assistance of David Hall
As you look for pieces to buy you will find a number of items with various kinds of old labels and tags attached to them. The information given can help greatly in identifying the piece and discovering its history and provenance. Consequently having some understanding of what type label or tag is visible will assist considerably. Some such labels can be very misleading either because the original information recorded was incorrect or because knowledge and understanding has increased since the label was written. If one considers the nature of some of the labelling used by vendors on say Ebay, the risks will soon become apparent. For example the term charger should properly be attached to a large dish or plate historically of more than 18 inches in diameter, a nine-inch plate is not a charger. Likewise a touch mark is the particular mark of an individual master pewterer and ownership marks, mock hallmarks, official capacity verification marks etc., are not touch marks.