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Most fine china features an identification mark that helps to identify the manufacturer of the piece.Knowing this information is important for identifying the pattern.You can also take a digital photo and then use your computer to enlarge the image.While most fine china features identification marks, you may find that some very early pieces do not have backstamps.To save time and avoid having to sift through the entire product catalog for your manufacturer, take note of some of the most important details in your pattern.Gold, or gilt, edging is one of the first things you'll notice when you look at some china patterns.Some manufacturers, such as Noritake, are famous for pieces with this luxurious detail.Typically, this beautiful gilt paint is applied to the edges of plates, cups, bowls, and other pieces.

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Because porcelain production originated in China, Europeans and Americans used the term "china" to describe any fine porcelain piece.Depending on how the piece has been preserved and the age of the item, the gilt edge may be worn or spotted.While many pieces are white or ivory, there are also a number of china patterns that feature a background or much of the decoration in another color.You'll usually see symbols and writing, and sometimes, there will be a raised design.It can help to use a magnifying glass to enlarge the stamp.

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