Some American wholesalers of English pottery worked closely with certain English potters, and purchased enough products that their names were printed on the backs of vessels along with those of the makers. These marks are known as “importer’s marks”, and can reveal patterns of trade between American cities and British potters, as well as patterns of consumption of the products across certain regions of the country.


Over the past ten years, the Center has obtained a large collection of whiteware and ironstone vessel fragments found in St. Louis, dating primarily from the 1840s through the 1860s. These specimens are backmarked with the names of regional Queensware importers. Many of the marks are unknown or unpublished. Dr. John Walthall is currently studying the collection, and a publication is planned for the near future. See also Barbara H. Magid ‘s article on importer Robert H. Miller in the 2008 volume of Ceramics in America.

N.E. Janney mark, on mid -1830s

whiteware plate.

G.F. Filley mark, ca. 1860. This is the most common mark from St. Louis importers.