PZH factory information, typical marks, bases & backstamps
Note - these marks do not apply to any other factory - only PZH
This page shows typical marks from Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland (PZH).
PZH was founded in the town of Gouda in South-Holland (Zuid-Holland) in 1898.
Note - these marks do not apply to any other factory - only PZH
Much more information on the PZH factory can be found throughout this site.
On the far left - the factory as it looked in 1920.
Picture from a postcard.
This picture shows the Zuid-Holland factory as it stood in August 2006. A sad sight when one can imagine the hustle and bustle of the place with its workers coming and going to their new workplace some 100 years ago. All of the factory, except the fronts you can see in the picture behind the streetlight and the water tower (not seen), has now been demolished. The water tower can be seen in the postcard picture above. A new housing and apartment complex is to be built. The original fronts and water tower are to be retained in the new complex.
Picture taken by Kim in October 2003.
From the site of the old PZH factory, these pictures below show under construction some 147 town houses and apartments. The original water tower and some frontage still standing. Hopefully to be incorporated into the complex.
Pictures taken by Kim on a cloudy 1 November 2007.
Below. Showing the new restored frontage and entrance which is now a fitness centre. At least the old tile tableaus have been resorted and kept. To the right and rear are now apartments and office space.
Pictures taken by Kim in May 2014.
PZH stands for "Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland".
It can be seen written as:- Plazuid, Plazuid-Holland or Zuid-Holland or Royal Zuid-Holland or many other variations. Some early items may not even say anything, perhaps only the pattern name or pattern name and a number and with or without the word Gouda. You think of a combination and there will be one! The marks can vary in size, shape, form, colour and legibility. One of the attractions of PZH and indeed any Gouda or other pottery, is the base mark. Is it not the first thing you do - turn the piece over and take a look? Study the pictures from our collection and those on the Collectors Galleries. You will see many styles and variations all as described above.
This is backstamp is from the 'Rhodian' vase.
The numbers at the top and bottom usually (there are exceptions) refer to the model or mould and/or decor/ pattern of the piece. This number wasscratched into the clay and was nearly always duplicated by the painter.
In our example "Rhodian" is the pattern/decor name and is usually just above the logo. Some early PZH pieces did not have pattern names. Rhodian was also the name of an early Zuid-Holland pottery firing process.
In the centre - the famous PZH logo. To this day still commonly known as the 'little house' or 'house' and we will often refer to it as thus. It is in fact a representation of the Gate of Lazarus, once the impressive stone doorway of the old leper infirmary (around 1609) in the town of Gouda in Zuid Holland. Later moved, it now forms part of an entrance arch at the Het Catharina Gasthuis Museum (MuseumgoudA) in Gouda. To this day, it is not known why this feature was chosen by Egbert Estié as the trademark.
Below left is a black and white photograph of the doorway in its original setting. This wonderful picture was found as a very old postcard in an antique shop in Gouda.
See also Tim & Linda with another postcard from their collection.
The pictures above, taken by Kim in May 2003, show the famous feature as it stands today at the entrance to the museum and gardens. Right, is a view of the Gate from inside the gardens.
Back to the base marks, to the left of the "house" can be seen two triangles, one on top of the other. This is the date mark for 1928. Early pieces used a capital letter. See more about date marks below.
On the right of the "house" the initials, mark or monogram of the artist, decorator or painter/paintress. In this case, most probably belongs to Johannes van Leeuwen, born in 1904 and worked at PZH Gouda from 1920 to 1938. To this day, many marks are still unidentified.
Incised (scratched on) or impressed marks were usually used to tell the decorator which pattern to paint or perhaps a particular glaze to apply. Other marks could refer to anything - special pieces for exhibitions, export codes, batch numbers, retailers, etc. In some cases employees would take home blank moulds, apply decorations themselves and use unknown (unknown to us today) marks and then sell them. It can be fun trying to work out the marks and very frustrating when you can't. Warning! - some of these can be seen for sale on eBay. see our Gouda Copies pages for pictures and information.
A stick-on label was sometimes used which may show a potter at a wheel and the words 'Zuid Holland - Gouda'. This one was used from about 1925 to 1928. A label with a serrated edge (like a postage stamp) which said (in capitals) 'PLAZUID' on the top and 'GOUDA-HOLLAND', was used for export in around 1928. A green/silver label with the words 'Royal Pottery Zuid-Holland' and 'Gouda' was seen on 1950 to 1955 items. A gold one with crown on top was used from the 1950's up to circa 1964.
Remember - having a label on a piece is not an exact indication of the age - someone may well have stuck it on! One has to look at all the other dating indicators as well.
Labels circa 1925 - early 1940's. The oval green/silver one says 'Pottery Zuid-Holland'.
Labels used circa 1950 - 1964. Wording on the above oval ones is 'Royal Pottery Zuid-Holland'.
This is a picture of Egbert Estié the co-founder (with Adriaan Jonker Krijnszoon) of Zuid-Holland. To give the actual correct title of the factory - Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland, E.Estié & Co. Exact date of founding - 2 April 1898. Shown alongside him one of the the earliest mark of the Lazarus Gate in 1898. Here you can see two 'back to back' letter E's. They are for the initials of Egbert Estié. See here (Picture 77) for two items with this mark. It ceased in about 1903 when W.Hoyng and family took over the factory. No one knows exactly why Egbert chose this symbol nor why the Hoyng family removed the two EE's.
The three marks below are from 1898. Showing the first year letter 'A'.
Left - probably painted by Michel Lambertus van der Heijdt.
Middle - for this time period (1898) the 'H.H' is unknown.
Right - probably painted by Bernardus Römer.
Note - the year letter can be either side of the logo.
'A' for 1898. 'B' for 1899. 'E' for 1902.
Another 1899 mark.
Painter v.S is unknown.
Early mark 1912 to 1915. No pattern name. Painter is Cornelis Arnoldus Jacobus Hornis. Circa 1915 by Johannes Gerardus van Vliet. Early mark used by artist and designer Leendert Johan Muller.
Colenbrander at PZH.
His mark, while working at PZH, was the letter 'H' in script with the Dutch national flag above.
The 'H' refers to 'Hoyng-Harkink-Holland' and the Dutch flag shows the ware as being a Dutch product.
Image courtesy of Bert-Jan Baas.
These flag marks are unknown.
If anyone knows their meaning we would be grateful for the information.
The 'heart' mark.
Wilhelmus Petrus Hartgring at PZH.
Stamp used on a commemorative plate.
Wording means basically - 'in memory of' or 'remembering'.
'Bord' is Dutch for plate.
The word 'Plazuid' was an abbreviated form of Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland.
This was not used until after 1928.
Seen here on decor 'Treso'.
Painted by Petrus Koetsier. Koetsier worked for PZH from 1920 to 1938.
Many items did not have decor names but just numbers.
Left on a circa 1915 vase is 'Dec 535'.
Model number 621/3.
Right idecor '617'.
Model number 016/2.
The meaning of 'XX' is still unknown.
'Decor 230' from 1925. Decor 'TO 25' from 1929.
This decor name is 'T 1'.
From 1932 when the date code was a question mark - ?
This one is 'TO 10'.
Here a mark of Anthonie Theodorus (Amp) Smit from 1929.
Signing with his surname and not his mark.
A really weird one here but quite genuine.
The poingant 'question mark' of 1932.
The future was unknown.
Can be black, green, blue, gold/brown or gold colour.
Below left - first seen on items in 1932 as it has the full new title of 'N.V. Koninklijke Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland Gouda'.
On black painted items the mark is often in a gold colour.
Below middle - green stamp (often used on serviceware) shows the addition of 'Plazuid'. The word 'Plazuid' was not used until after 1928.
This mark with both the words 'Plazuid' AND 'Koninklijke' has to be from 1932 onwards.
Below right - usual stamp of the circa 1950 green Hulstkamp gin/liqueur bottles. They came in various models including a windmill and aircraft. Note - they are not from 1775! That is the distillery founding date.
Note - not all stamped items after 1928 had the word 'Plazuid'!
Right - stamped in capitals is 'HOLLAND'. Date 1930's.
Commonly seen on plastiek (figurine) items and serviceware. The 'HOLLAND' stamp may be on its own without any other mark or stamp.
See 'PZH - date marks' further down the page and various plastiek items throughout the site.
Left - stamped mark August 1942.
Left - green stamped mark with model number 2970.
Stamped date mark for August 1939.
Right - blue stamped mark on decor 'Rhomada'.
Probably painted by Josina Pieternella Hordijk.
Date late 1930's.
Below typical PZH marks from 1940 - 1950 onwards.
Stamped mark in script with 'Royal Gouda' and 'hand-painted'.
Stamped mark October 1940.
Painter Karel van de Heuvel.
Two typical 1950's marks.
The mark with 'KPZ' is for Koninklijke Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland.
Decor 'Espera' was produced from circa 1946 to 1960.
1952 mark and vase.
Decor 'Kitty' on model number 3253.
Kindly sent in by Hans from Zoetermeer, Holland.
Right - the 1948 date mark on a piece of Delft.
Left - 1951 mark with impressed K.P.Z.H. and 'little house' with crown.
Circa 1950 mark.
Painter (S with vertical line through) is that of A. van der Starre.
eBay sellers note this is not from the 1920's/1930's!
Mark from mid 1950's to 1964.
'Delft Wit' - Delft White'.
1954 mark on the 'Bleu de Paris' decor.
Possibly painted by I. Vos.
1955 mark showing (the very rare for PZH) use of the actual full date of 6-9-'55.
Painted by F. Buurman.
Made by PZH and exported for the stores of Gibson's & Paterson (NZ) Ltd.
Decor is 'Kiwi' (obvious!)
Date circa 1933 - 1945.
1958 to 1964 mark used on PZH 'Royal Delft Blue' items. Here from souvenir pieces made for the Holland to Africa route of the V.N.S. (Vereenigde Nederlandsche Scheepvaartmaatschapppij) or United Netherlands Navigation Company. Founded 30 April 1920 to 1970.
United Netherlands Navigation Company - Holland to Africa route.
Some marks on items made by PZH for Dutch companies as promotional items.
Here are some other backstamp names used by PZH.
'De Molen' (The Mill) showing a windmill.
This was used in the mid 1920's to at least 1940.
See here from our collection.
'Balmoral Castle Pottery' - the mark was in the shape of a shield. Also known as 'Hotel Porcelain', it was mainly serviceware, made for van Leer & Co. Products were circa 1934 to 1942 or later. Thanks to Ron Tasman and The Gouda Pottery Book for the picture of the mark and information.
'De Duif Den Dolder' - 'The Dove' from the town of 'Den Dolder'. Mark was a dove on the roof of a house surrounded with a pine or fir tree. Dates circa 1923 to 1932. Sometimes marked with the PZH date codes and painter. 'The Dove' was from the soap manufacturer of the same name. A beautiful mark!
'Het Hert' - the figure of a prancing deer or hart. Seen mainly on items in the 1930's. This 'Het Hert' mark can also be seen in an early version from about 1910 -15. It looks like the face of a deer with large antlers. Adriaan Jonker Krijnszoon, who was the co-founder of Zuid-Holland, was also the owner of a pottery in Gouda called Het Hert (The Deer). This factory was next to the Zuid-Holland factory. In the 1930's the mark changed to the prancing deer. See item here.
There are many other PZH marks - we will show some here soon. All marks are taken from items in our collection or from those of friends.
It should be noted that not all marks are as clear as these shown above and on other pictures. Some of them are extremely difficult to decipher.
PZH - date marks
The date marks shown here refer only to Gouda PZH factories. They do not apply to any other factory.
From 1898 until 1905 they used a capital letter starting with 'A' for 1898 and ending with 'H' for 1905. So 1900 would be 'C'. What happened after 1905? No one knows. There are no known symbols on matte glaze pieces between 1906 and 1917.
The under-glaze 'P Decors' did have marks starting from 1901. P/a - 1901, P/b - 1902, P/c - 1903 and so on.
When bad times hit the factory during the depression from circa early 1930's just the word HOLLAND was often used. About this time in 1932, some 160 workers were 'laid off' by PZH.
On 23 September 1930 Queen Wilhelmina honoured PZH with the title of Koninklijk (Royal). The use of Koninklijk (also spelled Koninklijke) on items was first seen around late 1931 with a new back stamp introduced around 1932. Thus the use of the words Koninklijke Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland were them seen on items.
The marks shown are drawn 'rough' to try and represent what you will see on backstamps. In reality sometimes they are very difficult to see. Look at actual pictures on Collectors Pages and Gouda Gallery.
Please note! - one has to be careful not to jump to conclusions that an individual letter appearing on a backstamp is a definitive indication of a 1898 to 1905 date mark! You must look at the rest of the marks, their positioning and the decor. A piece with a letter "H" for instance somewhere on the backstamp and then perhaps the wording "Royal Gouda" or "Plazuid" is obviously not made in 1905. We see a lot of mistakes like this (mostly on eBay) where it has happened.
1898 1899 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905
1918 1919 1920 1921 1921 1921 1921
1918 1919 1920 1921 Above - additional marks for 1918, 1919, 1920 & 1921
1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928
1929 1930 1931 1932 'HOLLAND' stamp circa 1930 - 1937
1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1942 1943/44 no marks 1945 ................. ......... .......... ...... ..............
The 1938, 1939, 1941 & 1942 marks were almost the same as the 1921/22 ones. Often they would have a number at the side for the month. The 1945 mark is the same as the 1925 one!
From the mid to late 1940's but an exact date is still unknown. Possible mark for 1946 but still uncertain.
1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952
Mark is as yet unknown 1953......................1954 1955 1956 1957 - 1964 1958 - 1964
The above hand drawn marks are only a 'rough guide'. Please do not take them literally! Remember the painters each had their own particular style of drawing date marks. Some added an extra 'squiggle' or odd wavy line. The vertical and horizontal lines on the 1918 to 1921 marks can often be quite different. They may be straight or even downward pointing or even have a mixture of lines and dots. Many other PZH marks, stamped and hand-applied can be found above, below and throughout this website.
Please also note that some post WW2 marks (1946 and 1956 in particular) are still uncertain.
1918 (June) 1919 (December) 1924 - lazarus gate in relief circa 1932 to 1937 1939 (June). 1939 (November)
1940 1940 (July) 1942 1946 (Possible mark) 1948 1949
1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955
A similar mark with the crown device can also be seen on Delft items from the 'Royal Delft Collection'. In those instances pieces date from circa 1947 and usually say 'Koninklyk - Delft'. 1958 - 1964 1957 (1947 on some Delft) - 1964 1957 (1947 on some Delft) - 1964
Here are some more base marks. The one on the right the 'Candea' (or Candia) pattern is an early example. It has no date mark but is about 1910/15. The 'Goes' base in the middle, shows a vertical line with three "branches" either side giving a date of 1921. The single diamond shape is the date for 1922 and can be clearly seen on the 'Ali' pot. They are all pre-1928 so do not have 'PZH' on the markings. Often collectors refer to Gouda pottery as being 'PZH' or 'Plazuid' when it may include items prior to 1928. This is common to do so and is therefore not an error.
Ali Goes Candia 1922 1921 August c.1910/1915
Here are some more base marks. You can look at their details by clicking them.
Look at the 'Emmy' mark (bottom centre) and you will see the number '7'. This indicates the piece was manufactured or painted in the seventh month - July.