china marks, potter's trademark or signature, incised in the plastic clay before firing or printed before glazing on the bottom of the piece to identify it as his product. The practice was adopted by pewterers and silversmiths for establishing the genuineness of their wares. Books on pottery or porcelain usually include a list of the china marks of the important factories.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.