Archives for June 2007

Frederick Rhead – Zanesville Art Center Exhibit

Those of you heading to Zanesville next month for the annual Pottery Lover’s Convention will want to check out the Zanesville Art Center Special Exhibit titled The Remarkable RheadsPict4298_2 The Exhibit runs from June 30 – September 3, 2007 and features the antique pottery created by Frederick Hurten Rhead and his brother Harry.  The exhibit will also include English art deco ceramics as well as book illustrations and fine art prints.  The Remarkable Rheads exhibit will include works from the Zanesville Art Center’s collection as well as art ware on loan from the Erie Art Museum, Western Reserve Historical Society, and the Ohio Historical Society.

Frederick Rhead came to the United States in 1902 and went to work for Vance Avon Faience Company for a short period of time.  He left Vance Avon in 1903 to begin a brief stay at Weller Pottery.  While at Weller Pottery, Frederick Rhead introduced the Weller Jap Birdimal line.  Between 1904 and 1908, Frederick Rhead was art director at Roseville Pottery.  During Rhead’s time at Roseville, he developed the highly sought after Della Robbia line.  Frederick Rhead was also a designer and decorator at University City Pottery, Arequipa, William Jervis Pottery, Rhead Pottery, and Homer Laughlin China Company where he introduced the Fiesta dinnerware line.  An example of Rhead Pottery recently set a record sale price for art pottery at auction

When Frederick Rhead left Roseville in 1908 he was succeeded by his brother Harry Rhead.  Roseville Pauleo and Aztec are among the more notable patterns introduced by Harry Rhead.  Frank Ferrell replaced Harry Rhead as Roseville Pottery art director in 1918. 

Greg Myroth – Just Art Pottery

Weller Pottery Patterns – Top 10

My top 10 Weller pottery patterns in terms of popularity.

  1. Weller Hudson – Hudson is the most recognized artist decorated line of Weller pottery.  There were many variations of Weller Hudson including Blue and Decorated, Copra, Gray (Hudson light), Perfecto, Rochelle and White and Decorated.  Many of Weller’s top decorators such as Hester Pillsbury, Sarah McLaughlin, Claude Leffler, Dorothy England (Laughead) and Sarah Timberlake decorated vases for the popular Hudson patterns.
  2. Weller Sicard – The Sicard line was introduced by Jacques Sicard in 1901.  Sicard had worked with Clement Massier and under intense secrecy perfected the iridescent metallic glaze.  Most examples of Weller Sicard are found marked with Sicard or Sicardo Weller on the body and often as an integral part of the artwork.  Pict1086
  3. Weller Louwelsa – The Louwelsa pattern was introduced to compete with Rookwood’s standard glaze and Roseville’s Rozane.  Louwelsa has maintained a broad collector interest throughout the history of American art pottery.  In addition to Weller’s standard glaze, Louwelsa vases were produced in red, blue, green and matte glaze.  Weller Louwelsa portrait vases are rare and highly sought after by collectors.  Portrait vases typically include subject matter such as Native Americans, monks, cavaliers as well as animals such as cats and dogs.
  4. Weller Woodcraft/Muskota -The Weller Woodcraft line, particularly pieces decorated with Muskota figures are extremely popular with art pottery collectors.  Weller Muskota figures include butterflies, birds, fish, other animals, nudes, and children.
  5. Weller Camelot – The highly decorative Camelot line is very popular with Weller collectors.  It seems we find 3 to 5 pieces of Weller Camelot a year and typically sell them within a week or so.  Camelot vases are typically smaller in stature than many other Weller Pottery patterns.  Some Weller experts believe Camelot was originally called Souevo I. 
  6. Weller Art Nouveau – Sam Weller introduced the Weller Art Nouveau line in response to the Art Nouveau movement, which began in Paris in the late 1800s. Weller Art Nouveau is typically found with a light/medium green to buff color matte ground with raised designs of ladies with flowing dresses or fruits and florals. 
  7. Weller Glendale – The Weller Glendale pattern is meticulously decorated with all types of bird and scenic designs.  Glendale was introduced in the early 1920s and is popular with collectors of middle period Weller Pottery. Pict4771
  8. Weller Matte Green – In response to the success of Grueby’s matte green, over 30 potteries produced matte green pottery during the Arts and Crafts Movement of the early 1900s. The matte green pottery produced by Weller ranks among the more desirable by arts and crafts pottery collectors.  In general, the vase forms used by Weller for its matte green pottery were more pleasing than that produced by competitors such as Hampshire and Roseville. Matte green competitors included Wheatley, Owens, Cambridge, Teco and many more.
  9. Weller Dickensware – There were three Dickensware lines.  Dickensware I was similar to Louwelsa and Dickensware III was similar to Weller Eocean.  Dickensware II (Dickensware Second Line) which is typically more sought after by art pottery collectors was created by Sam Weller based on themes from Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers.  Later Dickensware II subject matter included more varied themes.  Dickensware Second Line vases are often very large in comparison to most other Weller Pottery patterns. 
  10. Weller Fru Russet or Matte Ware – The Fru Russet line was introduced around 1905 and is a rare and highly sought after arts and crafts Weller pattern.  Vases from the Fru Russet or Matte Ware line are typically matte green, blue, or brown and are often decorated with floral designs. 

Look here for more information on Weller Pottery:

Greg Myroth

Overbeck Pottery

This week’s Antique Trader had a very informative article on Overbeck Pottery.  Overbeck Pottery was started in 1911 in Cambridge City, Indiana by sisters Margaret, Hannah, Harriet, and Mary Frances.  The Antique Trader article pointed out the family name was actually Overpeck and due to the teasing the children received about their last name they changed one letter and went by the last name Overbeck throughout their adult life.  Overbeck

Each piece of Overbeck was one-of-a-kind arts and crafts pottery.  Overbeck produced prior to 1937 was typically artware such as vases, tiles, bowls and candlesticks.  After Elizabeth Overbeck’s death in 1936, Mary Francis focused more on animal and people figurines than on vases.  The production of Overbeck Pottery ended in 1955 with the death of Mary Frances. 

Additional information on Overbeck Pottery can be found in The Chronicle of the Overbeck Pottery by Kathleen Postle.  The Chronicle of Overbeck Pottery provides a history of the pottery and the marks used by each sister and explains the dating system associated with the marks. 

The largest collection of Overbeck Pottery is located at the Museum of Overbeck Art Pottery in the Cambridge City, Indiana Public Library.  The Overbeck studio/home is now a private residence in Cambridge City.  The Antique Trader article notes that tours of the studio/home can be arranged for interested Overbeck collectors. 

As more arts and crafts pottery collectors have come to appreciate the quality artware produced by the Overbeck sisters, prices have skyrocketed. On June 2, 2007 Cincinnati Art Galleries sold the pictured  14 1/2" Overbeck vase decorated with carved and painted flowers by Elizabeth and Mary Frances for an amazing $66,125. 

Greg Myroth – JustArtPottery.com

Arts and Crafts Pottery: Top 10 Makers

Today’s Top 10 List is the ten most influential arts and crafts pottery makers.

1.  Grueby – It is fairly easy to make the argument that Grueby was the most important producer of arts and crafts pottery in American history.  Grueby’s organic matte green has been copied from the beginning days of the Arts and Crafts Movement and remains the standard to which many contemporary potters strive.  Notable imitators of the Grueby Pottery matte green glaze were Hampshire, Wheatley, Merrimac, Teco, Rookwood, and the Zanesville area potteries.

2.  Newcomb College – The arts and crafts pottery produced by Newcomb College has been a favorite of pottery collectors for many years.  Newcomb was a true arts and crafts pottery where each vase was hand-thrown and hand-decorated.  Flowers, landscapes, and bayou scenes are the predominant designs on Newcomb Pottery vases.

3.  Rookwood –  One could easily make the case that Rookwood produced the highest quality American art pottery.  Rookwood’s production standards and quality control were second to none.  Often what is considered average quality for Rookwood Pottery would be considered exceptional for Roseville, Weller and other makers.  Throughout history, Rookwood easily embraced and excelled at producing art pottery consistent with the Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts Movements.   The primary Arts and Crafts lines produced by Rookwood are the hand carved and painted matte lines.

4.  Teco – Teco’s matte green pottery has set the standard for the Prairie School branch of the Arts and Crafts Movement.  Teco’s geometric and architectural vases are the perfect compliment to Frank Lloyd Wright and Prairie or Mission style homes.  Unlike Grueby and Newcomb College, Teco pottery was primarily molded rather than handcrafted. 

5.  George Ohr –  George Ohr is considered by many art pottery enthusiasts to be the most significant potter in American history.  George Ohr pottery has increased significantly in value over the last several years with better Ohr vases selling in the low six figure range.  George Ohr reproductions and reglazing of bisque vases and bowls has become increasingly prevalent in today’s art pottery market.

6.  Marblehead – The simple forms and pleasing matte glazes make Marblehead pottery an ideal decorative addition to Arts and Crafts interiors. Decorated Marblehead vases are highly sought after by collectors.  At one point, a 7" Marblehead vase with stylized flowers held the record price for arts and crafts pottery sold at auction. Even Marblehead’s production pottery was of high quality.  Marblehead was truly a small studio pottery typically employing only a half-dozen or so workers.

7.  Van Briggle – My personal favorite, Van Briggle produced some of the best arts and crafts pottery around.  Consistent with the Arts and Crafts Movement, Van Briggle utilized organic designs and natural earth tone colors.  Similar to other American art pottery makers, quality at Van Briggle deteriorated after 1915.  However, it is still possible to find quality arts and crafts style vases produced in the 1920s period.

8.  Weller – The early, hand-decorated pottery vases produced by Weller compare very favorably with that produced by Roseville.  While Frederick Rhead was the leader at Roseville, Weller Pottery was blessed with the services of Jacques Sicard who developed the Sicard line.  Other notable Weller designers and decorators include Frank Ferrell, Levi Burgess, Frederick Rhead, Hester Pillsbury and many others.

9.  RosevilleRoseville pottery has the largest collector base of any American art pottery maker.  The most recognized hand crafted, arts and crafts Roseville pottery includes Della Robbia introduced by Frederick Rhead and Fujiyama created by Gazo Fujiyama (Fudji).  Frank Ferrell is another recognized Roseville designer.

10.  Saturday Evening Girls (SEG) – The story behind the Saturday Evening Girls Club is almost as interesting as the arts and crafts pottery and certainly adds to its charm.   Handcrafted SEG pottery was often decorated with farm animals or simple landscape scenes. 

Greg Myroth – Just Art Pottery

Van Briggle Pottery – Journal of American Art Pottery Association

Collectors of Van Briggle Pottery will definitely want to check out the May/June 2007 issue of the Journal of American Art Pottery.  The issue is exclusively about Van Briggle Pottery and includes many never before seen photos of vases and tiles and the following featured articles:

  • Van Briggle Tiles: Their Art, Craft, and Commerce -Part II by Richard D. Mohr
  • A 1904 Legacy: The Collection of Van Briggle Pottery in the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum by Katie Davis Gardner, Museum Curator
  • Anne Van Briggle: Three Newly Discovered Photographs by Laura Gilpin by Mary Sue Garay
  • Van Briggle in Europe by Richard D. Mohr

The Journal of American Art Pottery Association is published six times a year by the American Art Pottery Association

Greg MyrothVan Briggle Pottery

Roseville Pottery: Top 10 Patterns

Last weekend as I was thinking that I really need to start blogging regularly again, I decided that in conjunction with Just Art Pottery’s 10 year business anniversary I would develop a top 10 list once a week between now and the end of July.

This week’s top 10 list is the most popular Roseville Pottery patterns.  I’m basing this list on our Roseville pottery sales at JustArtPottery.com and a general evaluation of our customers’ want lists.  The top 10 list isn’t intended to represent the most expensive Roseville patterns or the rarest Roseville pottery but just what we see as the most popular in terms of sales volume.

1.  Roseville Sunflower – Historically Sunflower has been one of the more popular Roseville pottery patterns.  In the 1990s an interior decorating magazine featured a home decorated with examples of Roseville Sunflower vases and bowls.  Prices and interest soared to even higher levels and since then it has remained one of the most sought after patterns by pottery collectors.

2.  Roseville Pinecone – Many Roseville experts feel the highly collected Pinecone pattern was vital in keeping the pottery in existence during the late 30s and early 1940s.  The middle period Pinecone line was so popular that it was reintroduced in 1953 and appears to have been produced until the company was sold in 1954.  Both blue and brown Pinecone are highly sought after by Roseville collectors. 

3.  Roseville Baneda –  The arts and crafts look of green Baneda makes it a favorite pattern for many Roseville pottery collectors.  While both pink and green Baneda have their followers, there is more interest in green. 

4.  Roseville Bushberry – Over the last several years we have seen a dramatic increase in interest in this Mid-Century Modern pattern.  Both green and blue have strong collector interest and even brown has its followers in today’s pottery market. 

5.  Roseville Ferrella – Roseville collectors have long been drawn to the exceptional art deco style of brown and red Ferrella vases and their narrow carved border and piercings.  This Roseville pattern is considered scarce and usually sells very well particularly when found in the red color.    

6.  Roseville Rosecraft Vintage –  This middle period Roseville pattern has a strong following from both arts and crafts collectors and those that appreciate the Art Nouveau style.  Vases in green are hard to find and tend to sell rapidly. 

7.  Roseville Futura – The Futura pattern is so popular with art deco pottery collectors that most vase and bowl designs have been given their own specific nicknames.  In addition, with the various geometric art deco shaped vases and diverse color schemes there is something that fits any decorating style or decor.

8.  Roseville Blackberry – This middle period Roseville pattern has been a collector favorite for many years.  Prices have stabilized in the last year or so but demand remains high for the larger vases, candlesticks, bowls, and wall pockets.

9.  Roseville Laurel – The Laurel pattern is very decorative because of its arts and crafts look. This middle period Roseville pattern is available in yellow, green and red.  All three colors have growing collector interest.  It is very likely that in the relatively near future prices for green Laurel will approach the prices paid for green Baneda. 

10.  Roseville Fuchsia – The bold colors and traditional styling give this pattern the classic Roseville vase look.  Over the last ten years, Roseville Fuchsia has continued to maintain a broad appeal to collectors.  While blue is still the favored color, you can find Roseville collectors for both brown and green. 

Wow!  My first top ten list and to think I was considering trying to do one of these every day for the month.  I still think I can get one a week. 

Greg Myroth – Roseville Pottery

Just Art Pottery Turns 10 Years Old

Just Art Pottery turns 10 years old in July.  Seem like just yesterday that Lana and I started out by listing a couple of art pots on eBay (without photos).  And even though I often can’t remember where I put my keys, I can still remember the first two pots we sold on the internet.  One was a classically shaped Fulper pottery vase and the other a 1907-12 period Van Briggle vase shape 645. 

Even though eBay was a lot of fun back then, early on we recognized the need to expand beyond online pottery auctions.  By 1999, in addition to selling art pottery through the various online auction sites, we established an ecommerce site in an internet antique mall.  In a little over two years, we had out grown the space in the internet antique mall site and officially started the JustArtPottery.com website in August 2001. Some of you may still remember the hideous purple and yellow colors (similar to the Blimpie sandwich chain) that I selected for the initial site design.  Since then we have been through several rounds of site upgrades and have another currently underway. 

One of the greatest benefits of the growth of our business was it gave Lana the freedom (she might use another word) to stay at home with our three young children while running the business.  It also gave me the added flexibility to be able to coach my girl’s travel basketball team.   

I am also pleased to say that we made an incredible number of friendships in the art pottery world and have established a lot of long-term relationships with our customers.  Many of those that started with us in 1997 are still with us today.  We have seen a lot of changes in the world of ecommerce over the last ten years and can’t wait to see what the next ten years have in store. 

As part of our 10 year business anniversary, I thought it would be fun to create a top 10 list every week between now and the end of July.  I am hoping this will get me back in the swing of blogging regularly. Lana doesn’t think I can do it but I have confidence! So look for my first top 10 list in the next day or so.

Greg Myroth – JustArtPottery.com