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Published By

Bruce Johnson

Author, Columnist and Director of the
National Arts & Crafts Conference
at The Grove Park Inn since 1988

Shopmarks Directory

Furniture (220) Metalware (108) Pottery & Tiles (226)

The practice of “signing” – affixing a decal, brand, paper label or similar means of identification – to a piece of furniture, pottery, metalware or textile had largely been disregarded during the Victorian era. The omission of a shopmark was often reflective of poor quality workmanship and materials common during an era dominated by methods of mass-production: carving machines, spindle duplicators, stamped hardware and molded carvings. Victorian manufacturers often avoided association with their products, many of which soon began to fail.

In contrast, the founders of the Arts & Crafts movement emphasized quality materials, elegant design, attention to detail and increased levels of handcraftsmanship – along with the practice of signing each piece. While we know that a signature does not guarantee the highest level of craftsmanship, it can provide us with important historical information. Unfortunately, many shopmarks remain unidentified, and until now we really did not have a means of sharing our scant bits of information with each other.

We are currently in the process of collecting, organizing, identifying and displaying on this website as many Arts & Crafts shopmarks as possible. And like our Reference Library, we need your help. While we have documented the shopmarks of the major Arts & Crafts firms, we need for you to email us a photograph of any shopmarks you have from lesser known firms, along with a brief description of the piece.

If we each add a piece to the puzzle, together we will eventually be able to identify each and every Arts & Crafts firm.


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