A Message from Ruth at Antiques And Teacups

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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Dating Royal Albert Old Country Roses

Recently I have been contacted by quite a few folks both my email and by messages on either my Facebook page or website about Royal Albert Old Country Roses china.

Now considered the most popular china pattern in the world, Old Country Roses came into being in 1962, designed by Harold Holdcroft, when the post World War II pottery industry was struggling to adapt and survive in the post war period.
By it's instant popularity, it provided a needed boost to Royal Albert, a pottery owned and operated by Thomas C. Wild and Sons, Ltd. who had operated since 1896.

The original backstamp was this one, and it was in use from 1962-1974

In 1964, Thomas Wild was taken over by Pearson and Son, Ltd, which then was merged into Lawley Group Ltd., formed into Allied English Potteries Ltd. but Royal Abert and Wild were allowed to continue using their own names.
In 1970 Allied English Potteries officially renamed Wi as Royal Albert Ltd., largely because of the popularity of Old Country Roses.

In 1972, Pearson acquired Royal Doulton but allowed Royal Albert to continue to be made in it's St. Mary's pottery in Longton near Stoke.
But a new mark came into being...

Note the curved text line with the date Old Country Roses was released... but that doesn't indicate when the piece was made.
This mark was used when all Old Country Roses was made in the UK.
This mark was used from 1974 until 1980.

The next mark, thought to have first been used from 1980 showing the design was under the old copyright... from 1980-1993.
Note the mark now says Made In England instead of just England.
In 1993, Royal Doulton was separated again from the Pearson group and re-registered the copyright to Old Country Roses, so the C became an R for Registered. The C and R can be in any order on the bottom curved mark, wither front or back of the last line of text.

In 1998, St. Mary's pottery was closed and production was moved to Indonesia, Taiwan or china where it remains today.

Although the bottom line still says the date 1962 when Old Country Roses began, this mark means it was made after 2002, because 1998-2002 had some transitional pieces. All had ceased by 2002.
Note the mark has dropped any mention of England.

And why does it matter anyway?
I got my first Old Country Roses teacup in England in 1967, and still have it. 
I have been selling it since the mid 1980s, and the first I knew the production had been moved, is when I saw a teacup at a shop that didn't look right. 
It was heavier, the hand applied brushed gold was missing and the patterns were not well applied...I turned it over and checked the ox...Indonesia. Yes, it was cheaper, but, oh my, the quality was not the same at all!
Under the subsequent controllers of the Royal albert brand... WWRD or Waterford Wedgwood Royal Doulton and the from 2015 Fiskars, the pattern has continued to be made out of the UK.

Speaking of quality, I also want to point out what to look for to identify second quality. At the potteries, the items were always quality checked, and if there was a flaw, but one that did not make the item totally unuseable, the mark is scratched though as shown in the example above. I don't know if it is still being done this way in Indonesia or China, but it was always done this way in the UK.

I hope this helps a little... some folks don't care, but some folks care... a LOT!

There are rumors in the UK pottery industry that Faskars is thinking of moving some production back to the UK because of quality, and much apparently depends on Brexit. If the UK separates from the EU... who knows?

All these pieces are available at Antiques And Teacups, plus other Old Country Roses items. All are identified by mark.


  1. Ruth, I have two sets of OCR teacups. One was made between 1962-1974 and the other was made after 2002. Although I'm happy to have both, the earliest one is nicer and you can tell the difference. Thank you for the info. I love learning the history of teacups.

  2. Thanks for the informative post on one of my favourite patterns.

  3. Ruth, I always appreciate the detailed information you give us. I was quite sure my OCR pieces were the original, but I just double-checked and, yes, they are! A friend gifted them to me a few years ago when she decided to downsize a bit.

  4. I don't have any pieces of the Country Rose, Ruth, but I love it. Thank you for all ypur information that you share with us.

  5. Just found your blog and read about Country Rose with interest. In the past I would see OCR in antique stores quite often and then last summer my 18 year old granddaughter shared with me that she really liked the CR she saw in pictures. Wonderful I thought and proceeded out to find her some pieces. Well now it seems not so easy to find. For me the thrill of antiquing is having something to look for so I will continue to search out Old Country Roses. Thank you for an informative post.

  6. hi I have approximately 300 pieces from various years that I am in love with. The question I have is that I have some plates with the original back stamp with no date, however they have an impression of a circle around the back stamp. Does anyone know anything about this? Thanks Emma

    1. I have some question with respect to the impression of a circle around the stamp. If anyone has any insight into this I’d love to know. Thanks.

  7. Thank you for the information. I inherited my grandmother's Old Country Rose china from my mother. I'm ashamed to say that I was a little disappointed to learn that my grandmother's china is from 1974-1980 and not from the first period. I'm ashamed because the value of my grandmother's china transcends money. My grandparents were of humble means and yet, connoisseurs. They made ends meet to raise 10 children. Still, my grandmother had her Royal Albert Old Country Rose china and my grandfather had his Italian made three-piece suit. I don't remember, even once, my grandmother's china coming out of her hutch. So I make it a point to take them out for every special occasion. Each time I do, I toast my grandparents. I treasure my grandmother's Old Country Rose china.

  8. I have just inherited my mothers china set. I'm a little startled, as the marking on hershas no date stamp.but states made in Staffordshire?

    Please help

  9. Thank you for a very informative article!

  10. Hi,
    I purchased a set of Old Country Rose dishes and was trying to determine the value

    the back stamp is

    Old Country Rose
    Royal Albert
    Bone China
    c 1962 Royal Albert LTD

    could any one help me

  11. I can as I’ve read the great article above. If your stamp doesn’t mention England yours are made after 2002 in Indonesia China or Taiwan

  12. I found a 102 piece set. 80 of the pieces have the original stamp. I paid $300 for everything. Any idea if this was a good price?

    1. I think you did. Ive just bought a 57 pieces original (8 x dinner set with extras + 8 tea set) for 680€, in Ireland.

  13. My dad bought a setting of 8 in the 70s.
    Only the tea cups survive (house fire)
    According to this information they're made after 2002. Plainly incorrect.
    Purchased in Calgary, Canada in the 70s
    Do not say England on them. I've had them in my possession since April 2000.

  14. Disregard my earlier comments.
    Seems some tea cups were added later that are indeed newer. My error

  15. I have a stem vase with the back stamp as above however there is a no 42 next to the stamp. What does the number represent? Kind regards to all


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