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A Note on the Dating of 9072 and A8025

Dating of the two REAL OLD WILLOW patterns is controversial. Parkin follows the information given in Geoffrey Godden's Encyclopedia of British Pottery & Porcelain Marks, which implies the following dates for Booths china:

Godden's (incorrect) dating for Real Old Willow


Note the following:

  • MADE IN ENGLAND was added to the "Crown" mark after the First World War.

  • 9072 and A8025 do NOT overlap - A8025 superceded 9072 around 1944. According to Mr Biernacki, the numbering system beginning with an "A" was only begun in 1944.

  • Far from pre-dating 1930 (as would be inferred from consulting "Godden"), items with the "Book" backstamp can actually date from as late as 1981. This information can also be applied to other patterns with this mark such as Pompadour, Friesian, etc...

These dates correlate with our observations of impressed date stamps on a wide selection of Real Old Willow flatware. The date stamps, when present, take the form of 3 or 4 numbers, often accompanied by the word BOOTHS, and give the month and year of manufacture of the clay body upon which the transfer was fired. Here are some examples:

335 - March 1935
1127 - November 1927
9.16 - September 1916

Unfortunately, many dealers still insist on the dates given by Godden, even when items are clearly impressed with contradictory date stamps. This confusion is also widespread amongst other Booths patterns with the Silicon China "Crown" mark, such as Parrot, Netherlands, Pagoda, etc, which were all produced much later than the supposed 1912 cut-off point, as is evident from impressed dates.

Research undertaken by Conrad Biernacki published in the April 1984 issue of Willow Transfer Quarterly backs up the above chronology.

When the Booths factory closed in 1981, Royal Doulton decided to continue production of REAL OLD WILLOW, with their own backstamp, adding the words "The Majestic Collection". This range was produced on a translucent china body rather then the opaque Silicon China one, and was in production from 1982 until 1999. These later items with the Doulton backstamp are still widely available, but are too recent to be of interest to many collectors.

Thanks to Fran Entwhistle for drawing the Biernacki article to our attention.



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