Archives for November 2009

Just Art Pottery's New Way to Search for Roseville Art Pottery

Bookends We have recently added a Roseville 'search by shape' function to the website.  We know sometimes our website users are looking for a particular shape or maybe they wish to see the latest inventory of Roseville vases or maybe Roseville ashtrays. This new search option gets you the right page fast.  This is just another tool our customers and collectors can use when visiting our site.  Because we have 500+ Roseville pottery pieces at any given time, it can become a bit overwhelming.  The 'search by shape function' is broken down into twenty-five categories, which allows for a more streamlined approach and makes locating the newest inventory even easier. Of course, we still have the pattern search as well as the broader search option for all Roseville pottery. 

The categories in the Roseville shape include:

Try the new feature out and send us your feedback.  We're always open to suggestions for making DSC_3416 the site a better experience for all its users. 

Don't forget we also offer appraisal services and visit our article database and online book store too.  We have a selection of art pottery books that make great gifts!

Donna McGill – Just Art Pottery


Rookwood Pottery Artists – Part 4

In previous blogs, we outlined "A" level Rookwood pottery decorators, "B" level Rookwood pottery decorators and "C" level Rookwood pottery decorators.  That leaves "D" level, which we've provided below.  Remember, these were included in Rookwood Pottery – The Glaze Lines, authored Bluewater by well-respected curator, Anita J. Ellis. 

Besides the appeal of the Rookwood piece itself, the decorator is the second most influential factor that determines interest and ultimately its value.  "D" level Rookwood pottery is defined as those with "usually little collector interest"; however, don't let that keep you from buying that special piece because of its rating.  Your personal appreciation and interest should be the determining factor when collecting Rookwood art pottery.

         · Howard Altman

         · Eugenia Becker

         · Elizabeth Brain

         · Alfred Brennan

         · W. Breuer

         · Cora Crofton

         · Katherine deGolter

        · Virginia Demarest

        · Edith Felten

        · Kate Field

        · Emma Foertmeyer

        · Mattie Foglesong

        · Ms. Foy

        · William Fry

        · Lois Furukawa

        · William Glass

        · Arthur Goetting

        · Grace Hall

        · Lena Hanscom

        · Janet Harris

        · Orville Hicks

        · Nicholas Hirschfeld

        · Alice Holabird

        · Hattie Horton

        · Mary Kennan

        · Flora King

        · Ora King

        · William Klemm

        · Charles Klinger

        · F. Koehler

        · Eliza Lawrence

        · Clara Lindeman

        · Laura Lindeman

        · Thomas Lunt

        · Helen Lyons

        · Kate Matchette

        · Marianna Mitchell

        · Herman Moos

        · Helen Peachy

        · Pauline Peters-Baurer

        · Jean Reich

        · Jane Sacksteder

        · Virginia Scalf

        · David Seyler

        · Marian Smalley

        · Helen Stuntz

        · Jeannette Swing

       · Mary Taylor

       · Frances Vreeland

        Be sure to visit our Rookwood art pottery history page and don't forget to sign up for our newsletter. 

Valuing Rookwood Commercial or Production Pottery

Rwoodjar In a recent blog, we discussed Rookwood art pottery and the differences in commercial wares and decorated wares.  As a follow up, we thought it would be beneficial to discuss what goes into valuing Rookwood commercial pottery.  We'll consider, in this order, the condition, size, visual appeal, rarity and the age of the art pottery piece.

Because there are generally fewer variables that go into pricing Rookwood commercial pottery, it's often easier to understand than those factors that affect Rookwood decorated ware.  The variables are more straight forward, in a sense.  Let's start with the condition:

At best, the condition can be subjective.  Sure, if a vase is damaged or repaired, that affects the value; however, the location of the damage plays a role, too.  For instance, a chip along the rim of a vase can affect the price more adversely than say, a chip on the foot.  Further, normal crazing doesn't affect the value as much as one might think and in fact, often doesn't lower it at all. 

The size of the pieces also affects the price for Rookwood pottery.  The larger the piece, odds are, the more valuable it becomes.  Again, generally speaking, smaller pieces that measure between 3 and 5 inches with all other factors being equal will be priced lower than similar, larger examples.  Much of Rookwood's production pottery was between 5 to 8 inches, so common pieces in that size range will typically bring average prices.  Collectors should expect to pay a premium for larger pieces of Rookwood.  Pieces in the 9 to 12 inch range are hard to find and production pieces larger than 13" are rare.

Visual appeal is another important factor.  I've said it before: if it speaks to you and you're convinced the vase is exactly what's missing in your home, then within reason, its worth what you're willing to pay; however, other factors that go into the visual appeal include the sharpness or crispness of the mold and detail, its color and glaze as well as the basic form of the vase.  Obviously the absence of visible damage will greatly affect the visual appeal of any piece of Rookwood pottery.

Is it rare?  This is the fourth factor that plays into the value game.  Its abundance or rarity will surely play a role in its value.  Again, it's difficult to accurately quantify the availability or lack of any Rookwood piece.  The fact is, no one ever knows if or when examples of rarely seen shape numbers will surface.  However, if you have collected Rookwood for an extended period of time and a particular shape is one you haven't seen much of you are likely safe to assume you can pay more to add it to your collection. 

Finally, the age of the Rookwood piece is factored in.  Naturally, the older the piece, the more Rwoodpheas valuable it becomes.  For instance, those pieces made in the first two decades of the 1900s are considered premium, especially when measured against those made during the 1920s.  Those made in the 1950s and most of the 1960s, although rarer due to lower production numbers, they're also considered lower quality and that brings the value down.

Although it seems contradictory at times, there really is a method that's used; it's fickle at times, but the process itself is solid.  Have a Rookwood commercial piece that you're having trouble valuing?  Drop us a line and let us hear about it and if you'd like to read more about Rookwood art pottery history, visit our Rookwood page.

Rookwood Art Pottery – A Look at its History

Rookwoodseavase From 1880 until 1967, this Ohio pottery company produced decorated art pottery that is now considered extremely collectable and is admired around the world by collectors and others who appreciate beautiful art pottery. 

What many may not be aware of is Rookwood, at one time, had two distinctive product lines.  One being its broad selection of decorated wares and the other, lesser-known line,  of commercial wares.  Author Anita J. Ellis spent a considerable amount of time researching Rookwood Pottery, its two lines and the often misunderstood glaze lines, and then published Rookwood Pottery: The Glaze Lines.  It's an exceptional read and highly recommended for anyone wishing to better understand not only Rookwood Art Pottery, but art pottery as a whole.

Ellis defines the two Rookwood wares:

Commercial Wares – Those objects that were not decorated by an artist after the object was formed and are not unique, but rather, mass-produced.  These include those pieces with decorations created in the mold.

Decorated Wares – Defined as those wares decorated by an artist after it was formed.  It does not include objects for which an artist designed a relief or three-dimensional decoration created in the mold.  Each decorated ware example is unique even if it is a variation on a theme.

Even more interesting about Rookwood art pottery is the realization of only 90% of the glaze lines have been identified and according to Ellis, the remaining 10% may never be known.  This, of course, only adds to its beauty.  Mystery is an attractive element to people, events and of course, art pottery.

As we now know, Rookwood Pottery was founded by a woman at its helm.  Maria Longworth Nichols is the official founder and owner of record in 1880.  Of course, not unheard of, a woman who owned anything in the late 1800s is always unusual.  She must have known something, considering her Rookwoodewer company was successful for almost one hundred years; a true success story for any century.

For more information on Rookwood pottery markings, see this blog post and if you'd like to know more about Rookwood's history, be sure to visit our Rookwood page.

Have any interesting stories about your own Rookwood art pottery collection?  We'd love to hear them.  Drop us a line and let us know!

Donna McGill – Just Art Pottery

Another Unexpected Art Pottery Find

Newcomb College vase 8 inches tall 6-04-09 004s Last week, we told you about a valuable Newcomb Pottery vase that was found in a thrift store and sold for more than $3,000.  If you thought it was a fluke, think again.  This week, we received an email from a fellow art pottery collector who also found a rare Newcomb vase where he least expected.  On one of his regular visits to his local thrift store in search of collectibles for his curio cabinet (or as his wife calls it, "another piece of junk"), he found himself in a conversation with some of the other collectors who frequented the same store.  One had just found a treasure in one of the carts.  No one recognized it immediately; however, it was only priced at $4.99, so he figured "why not?"  After all, he could trash those plastic leaves, clean up the vase and add it to his collection.

After he got home, he began his search to discover what exactly he had just invested in.  Before the vase could be called "another piece of junk" by his lovely wife, he found out it was a 1925 Newcomb vase by Anna Frances Simpson!  Even more exciting was the realization of it being thrown by Joseph Meyer.  You may know Joseph Meyer ceased throwing in the mid-1920s.  The vase, which is 8" tall and 5" at its widest, is valued between $2,000 and $3,000!  I could be wrong, but I'm thinking the Mrs. will be Newcomb College vase 8 inches tall 6-04-09 018 accompanying him during his future treasure hunts.

This is another example of how beautiful art is sometimes found in the most unlikely places.  This time, a cart that had just been wheeled out of a thrift store's back warehouse was where this rare Newcomb art pottery was discovered. 

We love hearing these stories so be sure to share yours with us.  You never know who might be inspired by your tale.

Donna McGill – Just Art Pottery


Why American Art Pottery Makes A Great Gift

Ah, you can sense it in the air – the colder weather is on its way and that means the traditional 2897 holiday season is nearing as well.  If you're like me, you know how difficult it is to buy for that one person on your list; you know- the one who has everything, marches to the beat of his or her own drum and has excellent taste in everything from clothing fashion to home décor.  That's a tough one to buy for, no doubt.

We just might have a solution or two.  Have you considered art pottery?  There are many reasons a beautiful Roseville basket or a Van Briggle vase would make an excellent Christmas gift and since the holidays are closing in, we thought now was a good time to give our readers a few of those reasons (and a few gift ideas, too).

1.       It's absolutely unique.  Although there may be several Roseville Ming Tree baskets, each one is as individual as the person receiving the gift.  It has its own history, markings and even shading nuances that make it an original.

2.       It's valuable – and odds are, it will continue to increase in value.  It is an excellent way to contribute to the young and newly married couple's future.

3.       It can be the beginning of defining a family heirloom.  You know that Carnival Glass fruit bowl your wife cherishes because it belonged to her great grandmother?  Well, before it was officially deemed a family heirloom, you can be sure it began as a gift or trinket.  Heirlooms don't become heirlooms when they're bought, they're given and each time it passes down, it increases in value – both sentimental and monetary.

4.       It is an ideal way to expand the receiver's horizons.  Many people, when they think of art, might not initially consider art pottery.  This is an excellent opportunity to introduce others to the beauty and value of American art pottery.

Is there a piece of art pottery that was given to you as a gift?  Was it the gateway into what is now your prized collection of McCoy cookie jars or Newcomb College pottery?  We would love to hear your story.  Drop us a line and share your favorite memories.

Donna McGill – Just Art Pottery