Archives for December 2007

Roseville Jardiniere and Pedestals

Our friend Tom recently contacted us with some comments and questions regarding Roseville jardinieres and pedestals. Dsc7311 The following is an excerpt of Tom’s email:

I have loved and collected Roseville for a long while now. I have never been able to determine something about the Roseville jardiniere and pedestals. Especially as regards the middle period jars and peds, sunflower, blackberry and wisteria. If you consult the references (and I have all the ones you mentioned in your latest excellent article!), you will get conflicting information. Some list an 8 inch, 10 inch, and 12 inch jardiniere and pedestal. Some only list 8 and 10 inch jar and peds and a solo twelve inch jardiniere only. Having never seen the twelve inch jar in sunflower, blackberry, or wisteria I am wondering if it has its own pedestal that is larger than the ten inch jard’s pedestal. Or if it was made without a matching pedestal like some of the smaller jardinieres? Or does the twelve inch jardiniere have the same base size as the ten inch jar? Or does it have a bigger base but still is able to sit on the ten inch jard’s pedestal. In other words is the ten inch pedestal interchangeable with a ten OR a twelve inch jardiniere? I would like to get the largest jar and ped in the middle period patterns, but would love getting to the bottom of this question before seriously starting purchasing. I have a perfect ten inch jar and ped in the blackberry pattern and love it. But, I am thinking i have seen a larger set about twenty years ago. Or, was I just imagining it?

Tom brings up some very good questions; most of which I can’t definitively answer.  And he is correct in stating that the available Roseville reference books contradict one another regarding jardiniere and pedestal sizes for various middle period patterns. 

I believe that I have seen 12" jardinieres in the Sunflower and Blackberry patterns but not in Wisteria.  I don’t know the answer to the question of if the 12" jardinieres had their own pedestals or simply used the larger 10" pedestal.  My suspicion is that the 12" jardinieres were made without a matching pedestal.

I do not believe the 12" jardiniere has the same base diameter as the 10" jardiniere.  However, in my opinion, it is likely that 12" jardinieres were sold by Roseville with the larger pedestal.  I believe this because over the years we have purchased several estate collections with relatively odd sized Weller and Roseville jardiniere and pedestals where the family indicated the sets had been together since they were purchased in the 1920s or 1930s.  Some of these jardiniere and pedestal sets were so rare that I find it very unlikely the original owner married the pieces together later.

I’m sure some of our experienced Roseville collectors can help shed some light on these jardiniere and pedestal shape and size discrepancies.  Clearly the Roseville factory stock pages are incomplete and the available reference books inconsistent.

Greg MyrothJust Art Pottery

Roseville Pottery Reference Books

A common request I get is for recommendations on Roseville Pottery reference books.  There are probably more reference books and price guides writtern on Roseville pottery than any other American or European art pottery. 

The Roseville price guides and reference books we refer to most frequently include:

Introducing Roseville Pottery by Mark Bassett

Quite simply, I believe Introducing Roseville Pottery is the most comprehensive Roseville reference book available.  The book includes a narative discussion on each Roseville pattern from A to Z.  Dscn8787_2Shape numbers and descriptions are provided as well as standard colors and typical marks.  The discussion includes multiple high quality photos of examples of each pattern.  The book also touches on experimental and trial glaze vases and factory marks and signatures. There is also a section on Roseville reproductions, fakes and fantasy pieces.

Understanding Roseville Pottery by Mark Bassett

Understanding Roseville Pottery is a great complement to Mark’s Introducing Roseville Pottery book.  Dscn8788_2 Understanding Roseville Pottery discusses in great detail Roseville’s early art pottery lines such as Aztec, Azurean, Carnelian, Chloron, Creamwear (Juvenile), Cremo, Crystalis, Della Robbia, Matte Green, Mara, Modern Art, Mongol, Olympic, and Pauleo.  This reference book also includes the most detailed information you will find on Roseville trial glazes and experimentals as well as a detailed discussion on Roseville factory lamps.   

Roseville Pottery Collector’s Price Guide by Gloria and James Mollring   

The Mollring price has historically been the price guide of choice for many Roseville collectors.  Pict3910 However, the latest edition left much to be desired in terms of the updated prices for Roseville.  While previous editions, may have simply overstated prices for some patterns there was at least some consistency to pricing.  Unfortunately the 2006 release attempted to update prices by making wholesale, across the board reductions in book values. 

The result is that some of the later floral patterns in the more desirable colors such as blue Bushberry and yellow Bittersweet sell at levels much higher than book value and some of the middle period patterns such as brown Cherry Blossom and brown Wisteria sell for less than current book values.  All of this has served to reduce the confidence collectors can place in the price guide.  However, that being said, the Mollring guide does as good of a job as any of the other price guides in terms of incorporating the impact of pattern color on price. 

Roseville Pottery in All Its Splendor by Jack and Nancy Bomm

This Roseville reference book is important in that it includes photocopies of literally 100s of reprints of Roseville factory stock catalog pages and related original records.  Dscn7957 There is also an extensive listing of Roseville marks and artist names and monograms.  From time to time I still find myself referring to this important reference guide.

Greg Myroth

Art as an Investment

My friend Rendy contacted me today to followup on our recent art pottery blog post on the effect of negative economic news on the price of antiques.  She referred me to a video clip of a report Fox News did today, December 12, 2007 on art becoming a popular investment option

In support of the idea that antiques and art in general and specifically art pottery may offer a good investment alternative to the stock market and real estate, the video clip discussed that there have been many record prices realized for art in recent years.  As wealth has increased so has the potential for risk and reward in the art market. 

The story reported that there is currently a lot of money flowing through the art market and that the market is not just strong but wide with lots of new collectors and investors.  Many of the art collectors and investors are not just buying contemporary art for decorating purposes but as a long-term investment. 

Just like any other investment, buying art is a risk but according to the video many segments of the art market have outperformed the S&P index over the last 10 years.  The video concludes by recommending that collectors and investors spend money on art that moves you; because as an investment it may or may not.  That’s good advice for the art pottery collector or investor as well.

Greg MyrothJust Art Pottery

Saturday Evening Girls – Paul Revere Pottery

The Saturday Evening Girls (SEG) club began in the 1890s as an educational and social group for young ladies. As a means for the SEG club to earn money to support their summer camps, Edith Brown and Edith Guerrier, with assistance from Helen Storrow, started Paul Revere Pottery around 1907. Pict4042a The pottery was well received and by 1911, twelve girls were working as full-time decorators with many more working part-time in other areas of the pottery. Paul Revere Pottery closed its doors in 1942.

Paul Revere Pottery made a variety of art pottery but the primary focus was utilitarian forms such as children’s dishes and tiles. Popular motifs included chickens, rabbits, ducks, horses, ships, houses, trees, flowers and various landscape scenes. Paul Revere Pottery can often be found marked with either P.R.P. or S.E.G. along with a date and decorator’s initials.

SEG pottery often used and as such it is frequently found with wear and damage.  While chips and cracks will affect the value of SEG pottery, the impact of damage on price is typically less than that seen on other arts and crafts pottery.  A primary factor in determining the value of Saturday Evening Girls pottery is the quality and type of decoration on the pot.  SEG vases and bowls decorated with animals are typically among the highest valued pieces. 

To learn more about the history of Saturday Evening Girls and Paul Revere Pottery, and to see examples of the pottery be sure to check out the interactive exhibit by the Museum of Fine Art, Boston at the link below.

Art & Reform: Sara Galner, the Saturday Evening Girls, and the Paul Revere Pottery

An excellent reference book on the Saturday Evening Girls and Paul Revere pottery that includes many photos, pottery history, marks, signatures, and values is:

The Saturday Evening Girls: Paul Revere Pottery by Meg Chalmers and Judy Young.  Schiffer Publishing, 2005

Greg Myroth – Just Art Pottery

Effect of Negative Economic News on the Price of Antiques

It seems news headlines about the state of our economy continue to be negative. Economic indicators such as crude oil near all time high prices, continued weakening of the housing market, sub-prime mortgage woes and the recent decline in the stock market all are routinely making news headlines. 

Recently several customers have asked my opinion on what I thought the impact of this apparent economic weakening would be on the price and market of antiques in general; and more specifically for the art pottery market. While I can’t speak for the antique and collectibles market as a whole I can give some background from a historical perspective on what impact we have seen from various economic downturns in recent history as it relates to art pottery sales.

In the months after the 9/11 tragedy, many antique and collectibles dealers experienced increases in their business activity as collectors and investors focused on tangible assets. At Just Art Pottery we saw a significant increase in sales for both low-end and high-end art pottery over a several year period after the 9/11 tragedy. In speaking with other dealers of antique furniture and related collectibles, many reported similar positive sales and profits.

From about 1995 to 2001 the stock market saw rapid growth fueled primarily by technology stocks.  This period was often referred to as the dot com bubble. The technology laden NASDAQ stock market index peaked in March of 2001 and steadily declined through 2002 as the dot com bubble burst. During the 2002 and 2003 period, which most economists would classify as a mild recession, we again saw significant increases in sales for both low and high end art pottery.

We didn’t necessary see increasing prices for all or even most pottery lines during these economic downturns, but we did see measurable increases in total sales volume.  And certainly in both situations we did see increases in prices for certain makers such as Newcomb, Van Briggle, North Dakota, many modern pottery makers and even McCoy pottery.

While I am not yet fully convinced the economic situation is any where near as bleak as the news headlines would like us to believe, I am fairly certain there will continue to be segments of the antique market in general and most definitely lines of American and European art pottery that will offer positive investment opportunities in both the short and long-term.

Greg MyrothJust Art Pottery