I have some exciting news about my little English china dish! I submitted a photo of the mark to Figurines-Sculpture.com and asked if they could identify the maker. I received this very exciting reply today:
"Thanks for your interesting question about the mystery pottery mark shown in the above photo. A clear photo like that always makes identification easier.
"The mark is one I am pleased to be able to identify as that of Samuel Radford Ltd, a Staffordshire maker of good quality producing fine china between 1879 and 1957. They were originally a Longton maker, then in 1885, moved to Fenton.
"You are right in saying your mark was an early mark dating from c1880 to c1913, so you have a very accurate date for your wares. After about 1913, the firm developed a new pottery mark called "Radfordian", and developed at least 10 or so different pottery marks, some using the S.R. initials in various fonts, and some using the Radfordian back mark.
"If you go to my China Replacement page and follow the tips on how to search efficiently online, you will find some wares from the same maker. Be aware of sellers who are not properly flagging up the quality and rarity of Samuel Radford Ltd wares. Having gone out of business in 1957 makes Radford China relatively rare. Be careful not to mistake Samuel Radford with other makers with a similar name. They are:-
"RADFORD (signature on printed ware)- Relates to engraver Thomas Radford.
E. RADFORD - Relates to H.J. Wood Ltd
G. RADFORD - Relates to Radford Handcraft Pottery
"I am not a china expert by any means, just an artisan within the industry, however, I always pass on any information I have for free and publish it for all to benefit from. You can use my in-house search engine located on the home page (and on many other main pages) to check for answers to any other queries you may have.My own knowledge more centered on famous English china makers, but all queries are welcome.I give general tips on pottery marks here (my own page)."
Now I have to research this dish some more and find out its value! What if I'm holding onto a china dish that worth $1,000? Then what?
I think that little dish was a gift to my grandma. It stands out like a sore thumb amongst her things. I seriously doubt she would have chosen it herself. But it's certainly becoming a very interesting piece! Stay tuned...