Archives for January 2007

Van Briggle Pottery – Form or Design (Part 4)

The form or design has a significant impact on the value and desirability of a particular piece of Van Briggle pottery.  Van Briggle produced over 900 distinct designs between 1900 and 1912.   Of the more than 900 designs produced by Van Briggle pottery, over 200 are attributed to Artus Van Briggle before his death in 1904 and a similar number to Anne Gregory Van Briggle prior to 1912. Dsc6997_2

As new designs were created each year, less popular shapes or forms were eliminated from production.  Van Briggle vases or forms would also be taken out of production as molds became less detailed over time. 

By necessity, only a limited number of designs could be produced each year.  For example, Scott Nelson reports in "A Collectors Guide to Van Briggle Pottery" that a catalog from around 1914 showed only twenty-six available designs.  Of the twenty-six designs available in the catalog, only two were Van Briggle designs created during the 1900-1907 time period. 

Vases or forms that were particularly popular were sometimes remolded or redesigned.  An example of this is form 645 which is shown in the photo above.  The Van Briggle 645 cabinet vase was designed by Emma Kinkead and was introduced in 1907. The vase remained very popular over the years and was produced in larger quantities and over longer time periods (well into the 1940s and 1950s) than probably any other Van Briggle design.

Many of the early pre 1912 Van Briggle forms are rarely seen and when good example comes to market they often sell for multiple times what a similar sized example of a more common vase form will bring. 

Greg MyrothShop for Van Briggle Pottery

Resuming Regular Blog Posts

I want to say thanks for all the positive feedback we have received on our art pottery blog.  Several of you have been asking about my reduced frequency of blog posts over the last month or so.  As some of our regular customers may know, in addition to running Just Art Pottery I also work as a consulting engineer and just this winter took on the rewarding position as assistant girl’s varsity basketball coach for a local Peoria high school.  The high school coaching position is in addition to my 5th grade girls travel basketball team which practices almost year round and which I have had the pleasure of coaching for the last year and a half.      

As the girl’s high school basketball season has wrapped up, I anticipate resuming a more regular blog posting schedule.  Also, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have ideas for blog topics or would like to contribute an article to the site.  It is truly my hope over the next year that the blog will be more interactive with reader contribution and feedback.

Greg Myroth

Shipping Art Pottery – Avoiding Unnecessary Damage and Frustration

In the last couple of weeks, we were successful in buying a small collection of Rookwood and a larger high quality grouping of McCoy pottery.  Since many of the pottery collections we purchase are often not within driving distance, shipping is sometimes required.  Historically, that really hasn’t been a problem as many art pottery collectors have gotten comfortable with the relatively simple requirements for shipping ceramics.

However, for whatever reason in the last month or so we have experienced a significant increase in the number of broken vases we are receiving.  For the most part it isn’t a case of USPS or UPS mishandling the items, but rather just very poor packing.

You can tell where I am going with this; much to my dismay several of the new additions to our McCoy and Rookwood pottery inventory were broken in shipment.  In addition, within the last month or so we have had Roseville wall pockets and large Roseville baskets shipped to us that arrived in pieces.  As such, I thought it might be a good idea to review some simple guidelines for successfully shipping art pottery:

Select a box that provides at least 2" of clearance between the bubble wrapped pottery vase and inside walls of the box.

Wrap your pottery vase with a minimum of 3 layers of bubble wrap paying particular attention to handles and edges.  We typically use 2 layers of 3/8" bubble wrap and 1 layer of 3/4".

You don’t have to mummify the vase by using a roll of tape to secure the bubble wrap.  We use a rubber band which makes unwrapping both easier and safer.

Pack the box securely with at least 2" of peanuts on all sides of the fully wrapped pottery vase.  It is very important to push the peanuts down on all sides to eliminate any air pockets to ensure the vase isn’t shifting around during transport.   Other than poor wrapping, loose packing is the most common reason we see for pottery items arriving damaged.

Double boxing is always a good idea for more expensive pottery items.  Just make sure that the outside box provides at least 2" of clearance to the inner box and that the space between the boxes is filled with peanuts.

Look here for more information:

Greg MyrothSuccessfully Shipping Lots of Pots

Grove Park Arts & Crafts Conference 2007

The 20th annual Arts & Crafts Conference will be held at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa February 15 through 18, 2007.  This nationally recognized arts and crafts event was founded in 1988 by Bruce Johnson.  The Arts and Crafts Conference and Antiques Show is limited to 1500 people and typically sells out a month before the event; so early registration is strongly recommended. 

Since its beginning, the event has been dedicated to the education of Arts and Crafts collectors.  The event is a must attend for arts and crafts enthusiasts ranging from new collectors, curators, craftsman, authors, contractors and builders, architects, designers, decorators, and craftsman or bungalow home owners. 

The following is a small sampling of the demonstrations that are provided for attendee’s education:

  • Proper Care for Your Arts and Crafts Furniture
  • Copper Patination Techniques
  • Arts & Crafts Blacksmiths

The arts & crafts conference also provides popular small group discussions. This year’s topics include discussions such as:

  • Building Your Arts and Crafts Home
  • Designing and Decorating Your Arts & Crafts Home
  • Defining and Living the Arts & Crafts Philosophy
  • Art Tiles for the Arts & Crafts Collector
  • Tips for Art Pottery Collectors
  • Gustav Stickley and His Craftsman Home
  • Collecting Saturday Evening Girls Pottery
  • Tips from an Arts & Crafts Interior Designer

Another highlight of the conference is the arts and crafts seminar presentations which this year includes such topics as:

  • Gustav Stickley & His Craftsman Furniture
  • American Art Pottery: 1890-1920
  • American Art Pottery: 1920-1940
  • William Morris: Socialist and Shopkeeper
  • Jewelry of the Arts & Crafts Era

As you can see the Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Conference is an educational event definitely worth adding to your schedule.

Greg MyrothArts and Crafts Pottery

Teco Pottery Marks

It has been reported that every piece of Teco pottery was originally marked with a paper label Pict4473containing the name of the designer and the pottery, as well as the model number and price of the vase.  However, it is rare to find a Teco vase today that still retains its original paper label. 

Many Teco vases were stamped at least once with the Teco trademark and it is not unusual to find vases double and even triple stamped. Teco was also routinely marked with the shape number in addition to the trademark.  Later examples of Teco ware were marked with the word "Teco" in a rectangle.  The following photos provide examples of typical Teco pottery marks. 

Dsc6693 Dsc8521Pict0820

Greg Myroth

Shop for Teco Pottery