Academic journal article Southeastern Archaeology

Ceramic Maker's Marks

Academic journal article Southeastern Archaeology

Ceramic Maker's Marks

Article excerpt

Ceramic Maker's Marks. ERICA GIBSON. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, CA 2011.147 pp., ill. $24.95 (paper); ISBN: 978-1-59874-189-6.

Erica Gibson's Ceramic Maker's Marks is a ceramics marks guide designed as a desk reference for archaeologists. Gibson provides information on 343 marks from 112 manufacturers, primarily from Britain, but other common marks from America, France, and Germany are included. The marks covered within the text span from the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth century. While Gibson's reference is not a revelatory text-other more comprehensive maker's marks guides are available-the guide itself seeks to supplement other references and meet the specific needs of archaeologists.

Gibson's guide includes illustrations for 257 of the 343 marks, and the majority of these are in photograph form. Gibson states in her introduction that the purpose of the guide is to present accurate marks data culled from archaeological examples. Many of the photographs depict marks from archaeologically recovered artifacts that are either refitted or partial specimens. While the inclusion of incomplete marks would seem counterintuitive, the imperfect nature of the depictions is the greatest strength of the text because marks found on excavated ceramic vessels are often incomplete or fragmentary. The majority of other references are more sparsely illustrated or use line drawings of the marks that are difficult to match to archaeological examples.

Gibson provides a brief introduction on how to use the volume and includes some useful information on common misconceptions regarding trademarks and registry marks; the bulk of the volume, however, is the list of marks itself. …

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