Record Price for Frederick Rhead Vase

A record price of $516,000 for American art pottery was realized with the March 10, 2007 auction sale of a rare Frederick H. Rhead vase.  The previous record price for an American art pottery vase was $305,000 for an art nouveau Rookwood black iris vase sold in 2004.  The 11" vase was produced by Rhead around 1915 and was decorated with a California landscape including tall stylized trees and foliage against a dark blue ground.  Rhead_vase Photo courtesy of Rago Arts and Auction Center.

Rhead was born in 1880 in Staffordshire England and came to the United States in 1902. Rhead is recognized by many American art pottery collectors from his time at Roseville, Weller, Arequipa, Jervis, and University City pottery.  In 1914 Frederick Rhead established Rhead Pottery in Santa Barbara, California.  In 1917 Rhead closed his pottery and returned to Zanesville where he went to work for American Encaustic Tiling Company.  He also served as art director at Homer Laughlin China Company and designed the art deco Fiesta dinnerware line.   

Below are sources for addition information on Frederick Rhead:

  • Frederick Hurten Rhead: An English Potter in America (Pennsylvania: Erie Art Musuem, 1986)
  • Rhead Artists & Potters, 1870-1950 (exhibit catalog organized by the Geffrye Museum London, 1986)

Greg Myroth – Just Art Pottery


  1. You might be interested in Nic Saintey’s blog as he catalogues Rhead pottery with direct provenance to the family, together with some interesting discoveries.

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