Thanks for your comments. Now that I think about it, maybe another way to potentially determine if a manufacturer was making a pattern before it was registered is if they include their maker's mark but without the diamond registry mark. I recall seeing patterns such as "Carrara" (registered in 1852) by John Holland that don't have any back mark but this leaves open the possibility that someone later on bought the copper plates, etc. I think to prove the issue we would need to see a registered pattern that has the company mark but no diamond mark.
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