Check the back of each Homer Laughlin china item for a pattern name or number as part of the potter’s mark in order to identify the pattern. Typically, the pattern or decoration number consists of one or two letters followed by one to five digits. Compare the pattern to photographs of recognised Homer Laughlin china patterns or treatments if these characteristics are absent.
Two publications are recommended by the Homer Laughlin China Collectors Association for identifying china patterns: “Homer Laughlin China Guide to Shapes and Patterns” by Jo Cunningham and Darlene Nossaman and “Homer Laughlin Decades of Dinnerware” by Bob Page, Dale Frederiksen, and Dean Six. The second volume contains a larger collection of Homer Laughlin china patterns and photographs of them. These works can be found in numerous libraries.
Replacements, Ltd. provides an online directory of Homer Laughlin Company pattern names, some of which are accompanied by an image and pattern number. Replacements, Ltd. and the HLCCA both offer aid to clients and suppliers in identifying china patterns. Requests for china pattern identification must include images of the item.
According to the HLCCA, there are approximately 20,000 unique Homer Laughlin china decorations, although a vast number of pattern names and numbers remain unknown. A limited portion of this china contains a pattern name, and occasionally, the decorative number appears on only one piece of a set, typically the casserole lid, oval bowl, or creamer.
Shakespeare and Homer Laughlin established Homer Laughlin China in Ohio in 1871, where it continues to manufacture dinnerware. As of 2015, the company had manufactured over 20,000 distinct decorations. The Fiesta line of dinnerware is one of the company’s most well-known goods. A limited percentage of the company’s dishes bear the treatment name and potter’s mark on the back. Some china collections feature a decorative number on one dish. Unknown are the name and quantity of treatments for the majority of Homer Laughlin china.