Archives for December 2006

Teco Pottery History

William D. Gates founded American Terra Cotta & Ceramics Company in 1887 in the Crystal Lake Dsc9378 area which is northwest of Chicago. Gates initially got into the terra cotta business in 1880s when he founded Spring Valley Tile Works which was subsequently renamed Terra Cotta Tile Works. Gates’ entry into the Terra Cotta business put him in direct competition with Northwestern Terra Cotta Company.

Decorative art pottery became a logical expansion from the terra cotta business for Gates. The rapid growth of arts and crafts pottery led William Gates to form a new subsidiary called Gates Pottery in 1899. The art pottery produced by Gates Potteries would be called Teco ware.

William Gates came up with the Teco name from the “Te” in Terra and the “co” in Cotta. Soon thereafter Gates and his chemists developed the highly sought after “Teco matte green” for which the company is famous. After mastering the matte green color, Gates continued to experiment with new arts and crafts shapes for his vases.

It was always Gates’ desire with Teco to produce pottery with appeal from shape and color rather than elaborate decoration. The expanding arts and crafts movement and the Prairie School provided Gates an approach to architectural ceramic design and a customer base for Teco pottery. Teco, possibly more so than any other arts and crafts pottery from its time, seems particularly at home in arts and crafts bungalows and houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and other Prairie style architects.

By 1930 William Gates sold American Terra Cotta & Ceramics Company to the family of George A. Pict4954 Berry, Jr. At some point the company was renamed American Terra Cotta Corporation. The pottery resumed making garden pottery as well as architectural terra cotta. A company brochure from 1937 showed a small selection of garden pottery including vases in blue, yellow, brown, white and matte green. During the 1930s, the company began referring to itself as Teco Potteries. Workers at the Teco potteries reported that garden pottery was produced until 1941.

Reference: Teco – Art Pottery of the Prairie School by Sharon S. Darling

Shop Here for Teco Pottery

Greg Myroth

Weller Pottery Marks (1895 to 1900)

The Weller Pottery factory used a variety of marks over its years of production.  In this post, we will look at trademarks used prior to 1900. 

Lonhuda Pottery (1895-1896) Sam Weller purchased Lonhuda pottery from William Long in 1894.  Lonhuda Pottery was founded in Steubenville, Ohio in 1892.  The first trademark shown below is from a Lonhuda vase produced by Weller in 1895 or 1896.  The second mark is an example of a Lonhuda pottery vase produced between 1892 and 1895 and prior to the purchase of the company by Weller.  The mark shows an impressed outline of an Indian head with Lonhuda written above it.      

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Weller Aurelian (1898-1910)  Weller Aurelian can be found with either a circular stamp trademark or a hand incised mark.  It is believed by many Weller pottery collectors that the hand incised mark was used prior to 1900 and the circular stamp trademark was used after 1900.

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Weller Eocean (1898-1918) Similar to Aurelian, Weller Eocean can be found with either a circular stamp trademark or a hand incised mark.  The hand incised mark (as shown on the vase on the left side below) was used prior to 1900 and the circular stamp trademark was used after 1900.  The trademark shown on the Weller vase on the right side is marked Weller Eocean in a circular stamp. You will also find examples of Weller Eocean marked Eosian Weller, and Eocean Rose.

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Weller Dickensware 1st Line (1897-98) The Weller pottery half circle seal as shown on the vase below can be found on examples of Weller Dickensware, Louwelsa, Turada, and Sicard.

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Weller Louwelsa (1896-1924) Early Weller Louwelsa can be found with a hand-incised Weller mark as shown on the blue Louwelsa vase in the first photo below.  The second photo shows a vase with the circular seal mark.  The last photo shows the half circle seal trademark which Weller used between 1896 and the early 1900s.

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Greg MyrothShop for Weller Pottery

Arts and Crafts Pillows

We are pleased to announce the addition of a diverse selection of arts and crafts pillows to our growing line of arts and crafts furnishings.  Our high quality line of embroidered pillows includes many designs that make the perfect decorative accessory to your arts and crafts, mission, or craftsman style home and decor. 

Below are a few of the more popular arts and crafts, embroidered pillow designs that are ready for immediate shipment.  The American Beauty pattern which is popular with our table top linens customers is also available on embroidered pillows.  In addition, custom colors are available to fit your needs.

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Arts and Crafts Pillow – American Beauty – Round

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Arts and Crafts Pillow – Rose Trio

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Arts and Crafts Pillow – Secessionist Bouquet

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Arts and Crafts Pillow – Stylized Flower

If you didn’t see what you are looking for be sure to shop our website of over 25 embroidered arts and crafts pillow designs.

Greg Myroth

Van Briggle Pottery – Glaze Color (Part 3)

Most Van Briggle pottery collectors are familiar with the turquoise ming blue, mulberry, and persian rose glaze colors.  However, prior to 1912 Van Briggle pottery used a wide variety of glaze colors such as green, brown, purple, red, yellow, blue, gray, black and white.   

Other common glaze colors prior to 1960 and their period of production are noted below:

  • Mountain craig brown was produced between the mid teens and prior to 1935.  The formula for the mountain craig brown glaze was lost in the flood of 1935.  This glaze color is somewhat hard to find and Van Briggle vases in this color are seeing increasing collector interest.
  • Moonglo is a white matte glaze produced by Van Briggle pottery since the late 1940s. 
  • Persian rose is a lighter shade of the popular mulberry glaze.  Mulberry was produced until 1946 when it was replaced with lighter persian rose.  Van Briggle vases in mulberry are typically found with a dark blue overspray. Persian rose was produced from 1946 through 1968.  The Van Briggle vase on the left side of the second row is an example of the persian rose glaze color. The vase on the right side of the second row is an example of the mulberry glaze color.
  • Gold ore glaze is a scarce brown and gold speckled color that was only produced for a short period of time in 1956.  The glaze was made from gold ore from the Cripple Creek mines. Vases in the gold ore glaze color have appreciated substantially in price over the last couple of years.

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Greg Myroth – Shop here for Van Briggle Pottery

Pottery as an Anniversary Gift

Well, I learned something new today when a customer called and was looking for a Roseville pottery vase as a wedding anniversary gift.  It turns out a traditional nine-year anniversary gift is pottery.   

I found that very interesting and useful information since we sell pottery.  So the next time you are looking for that traditional nine-year wedding anniversary gift give us a call. 

Wondering what the appropriate wedding anniversary gift is for other years?  Look here for a full list of appropriate traditional and modern anniversary gifts

Greg Myroth – Just Art Pottery

McCoy Pottery – Record Price for Planter

A new record sale price for a piece of McCoy pottery was realized at a recent Green Valley Auctions sale.  A McCoy pottery Robin Hood planter was sold at the sale for $11,500.  The McCoy Robin Hood planter was made in the same style as the Hunting Dog, Large Fawn, and Liberty Bell.  Some McCoy experts indicated the piece was one-of-a-kind.  Based on that sale price, it will be interesting to see if more unique Nelson McCoy pieces begin to show up in the market.

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Greg MyrothShop for McCoy Pottery

Van Briggle Pottery – The Quality of the Glaze (Part 2)

The quality of the glaze on a Van Briggle vase is often one of the most important factors collectors consider when evaluating an example of the pottery.  Artus Van Briggle was recognized for his creation of the "dead matte glaze".  The achievement of this visually impressive, high quality "dead matte glaze’ was somewhat of a rarity even while Artus Van Briggle was alive.   Hence, when a high quality, dead matte glazed example of Van Briggle comes to market it typically achieves prices well beyond those of an average glazed vase. 

Most examples of early Van Briggle (1920s and earlier) are semi-matte.  Vases were also produced in semi-gloss or gloss glazes but these examples are few and far between.  The earlier period of Van Briggle (1901-1912) also produced highly desirable suspended, crystalline glazes and vases with mottled and curdled effects.  Any of these uncommon glaze effects will often have a substantial impact on the value and desirability of an example of Van Briggle pottery.

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Next time we will look at Van Briggle colors and color combinations.

Greg MyrothShop for early Van Briggle Pottery

Arts and Crafts, Mission Clocks

We are pleased to announce the addition of hand made craftsman and mission style clocks to our expanding line of arts and crafts accessories.  Each of these arts and crafts mantle clocks are crafted with carefully selected woods and authentic details.  These mission style clocks make the perfect decorative addition to your arts and crafts, mission, bungalow, Victorian or traditionally furnished home.

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Clock, Craftsman Style Mantle (Model 310)

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Clock, Craftsman Style Mantle (Model 309)

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Clock, Mission Style Bookshelf (Model 304)

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Clock, Mission Style with Dard Hunter Rose (Model 302)

Greg Myroth – Craftsman, Mission Style, Arts and Crafts Clocks

Van Briggle Pottery – Date or Period of Production

The period of production has a significant impact on the desirability and hence investment potential of Van Briggle pottery.  Van Briggle pottery collectors typically divide early production into the following periods:

1.  Van Briggle Pottery – 1901 through 1904

Van Briggle produced in this earliest period is typically the most sought-after by art potteryDsc3372 collectors.  This period of production is often called the pre-death period because Artus Van Briggle was alive and personally involved in the production of the pottery. 

Another factor contributing to the desirability of Van Briggle pottery from the pre-death period (1901-1904) is that original production numbers were very low and the quality was very high.  It is estimated that around 3,000 examples of Van Briggle pottery from the 1901-1904 period survive today.   

It is extremely rare to see a 1901 vase since only around 300 examples of Van Briggle were produced that year.  In fact, in over 15 years of active Van Briggle pottery buying and selling I have seen one 1901 vase available for sale.  In a typical year, a collector might see for sale 5 to 10 examples of 1902 Van Briggle vases and 20 to 40 examples each of 1903 and 1904 examples.

2. Van Briggle Pottery – Mid 1904-1912

Van Briggle pottery produced between 1904 and 1912 is also highly collectible because not only was Dsc4322_1 the pottery very high quality but during this time period Anne Van Briggle owned the pottery.  Production numbers for Van Briggle vases are estimated by Scott Nelson, in A Collector’s Guide to Van Briggle Pottery to have averaged approximately 4,200 pieces per year between 1905 and 1908.  Scott estimates production increased to approximately 6,000 pieces per year in 1909-1911 and declined to around 1,500 in 1912.  One can safely assume at least 1/2 and probably a much higher percentage of the vases produced during this time period have been destroyed.

3.  Van Briggle Pottery – 1912-1920

Van Briggle pottery vases from the 1912 through 1920 period tend to be of high quality and in relatively high demand by collectors.  In particular, dated Van Briggle vases from the mid to late teens have seen measurable increases in value over the last few years.

4.  Van Briggle Pottery – 1920s

The quality of the art pottery vases produced by Van Briggle still remained relatively high during the 1920s period.  As prices have continued to climb for the earlier dated pieces of Van Briggle pottery, the 1920s pieces have seen more modest increases and in my opinion offer some of the best values for today’s Van Briggle collectors. 

Van Briggle pottery vases marked with the USA mark signifies production between 1922 and 1926. Van Briggle pottery with the USA mark is typically a little higher priced than an equivalent vase from the 1920s without the USA mark.

Photos of Van Briggle Pottery Marks

Greg MyrothBuying and Selling Van Briggle Pottery