Registered Design #s
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Registered Design Numbers

The following metalware information was formerly available on the Oxton Decorative Arts web site:

The dating of British designs during the Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods is often assisted by the use of Registered Design Numbers.  This was a system which came into being in 1842 and started to decline in the early 1930s.  It enabled manufacturers, retailers or designers to register their designs, so that they could not be copied.  It was therefore like a cross between a patent and a copyright.  Many designs were registered by the manufacturers or retailers rather than the designers, so it is not often possible to identify designers on the basis of Registered Design numbers alone. 

Two systems operatedthe first used a lozenge shape with letters and numbers at each corner to signify the date or registrationthe abbreviation Rd appeared at the center.  The letter at the top corner identifies the year.  This system ran until 1883, when it was replaced by a series of sequential numbers preceded by Rd, which can be banded into years for dating purposes.  For example, Rd 291330 dates a design to 1897.  For most years there are overlaps in the sequences of numbers.  Details of the registered designs were included in the official journal of Patents, of which there were one or more volumes per year.

The lozenge series of year letters from 1868 to 1883 is as follows:

1868 X 1872 I 1876 V 1880 J
1869 H 1873 F 1877 P 1881 E
1870 C 1874 U 1878 D 1882 L
1871 A 1875 S 1879 Y 1883 K

The numeric series is as follows:

Year From To Year From To
1884 1 18992 1902 371435 402112
1885 18993 39467 1903 392760 422997
1886 38212 64030 1904 408651 446801
1887 61207 89833 1905 428004 470855
1888 87266 116092 1906 465328 492874
1889 111664 140172 1907 467274 517524
1890 139095 163279 1908 502933 534104
1891 160613 184852 1909 523477 554717
1892 180237 204032 1910 534174 575662
1893 201007 224018 1911 561570 594079
1894 221919 246246 1912 575100 611522
1895 233880 267568 1913 608541 630059
1896 257070 290056 1914 627492 644783
1897 285275 310920 1915 642613 653479
1898 302109 330922 1916 648264 658961
1899 313829 350675 1917 655001 662792
1900 340826 367634 1918 660812 666065
1901 360834 384489 1919 664587 673595

This page was last updated on September 26, 2004.

2004, Gregory Kolojeski. All Rights Reserved.