Archives for March 2011

The American Art Pottery Move in its Infancy

Sometimes we can develop a deeper appreciation for things, such as American art pottery, if we know more about the history. How did it start? Where did it start? There are some interesting facts that can truly enrich a fan’s passion for art pottery; so, after looking through many of the collector’s book and reminding ourselves of some of these stories of “where it all began”, here are some little known facts you may not have known.

Most farmers collected clay from their fields in the summer and then spent their winter months creating pottery in an effort to maintain steady work year round. Ohio has an abundance of that rich clay that serves as the foundation for art

Weller Ardsley Double Wall Pocket

pottery and it wasn’t uncommon for farmers to collect whatever it was they were growing in any particular season while also digging clay. They stored it in hastily built sheds until they could get around to working their magic.

By 1840, Ohio had 99 potteries. These potters were no longer firing pottery for use in the region, but rather, they were shipping it around the country and even exported what is described as “huge quantities” down the Mississippi River into New Orleans. It’s interesting to know within just a few years, any competition to the east and south was annihilated as many of these farmers came to realize there was much more financial security in the rich clay than the cotton and potatoes that grew alongside it.

Within two decades, many potters were no longer thinking from a utilitarian perspective, but were beginning to understand the lucrative and untapped market for decorative art pottery, one that the “lady of the house” would want to showcase in her sitting room or foyer. Suddenly, it was no longer a “man’s industry”, so to speak, but the creativity and beautiful floral patterns and color combinations opened the eyes of many women.

It’s amazing to think all these dynamics came together so long ago and that they still have a place in our hearts and homes in a modern society. It sure makes you see your own art pottery collection in a different light.

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Great Things Going on at Just Art Pottery

2011 has been a busy year for us here at Just Art Pottery. We continue to build the Just Art Pottery Auctions site. Since 1997, we have built Just Art Pottery and believe we have established ourselves well within the art pottery community. It was just a natural choice to offer a live online auction site. We’re having fun with it and we believe our bidders are too. If you haven’t visited the site, be sure to do so. You can click here.

We also have some incredible finds on the Just Art Pottery New Products page. Some of these pieces aren’t easily found, so we’re especially excited to include them in the inventory. Take a look:

There is an Aetco Faience Pottery tile we’ve just listed. This pretty tile depicts a woman as she holds ducks in her apron and is releasing them one by one into the duck pond at her feet. Shades of purple color her dress and hat while her ducks are yellow and white. A man is in the background watching on and a sign reveals they’re at the Take Inn. You’ll notice the back is marked and the ‘AETCO FAIENCE’ stamped in the center. The wood frame adds a nice earthy look.

Also, there’s a Cambridge Pottery Squat Vase that’s a new addition. The shape and dark glaze gives an elegant look to the design and it’s decorated with leaves and vines. There has been a repair to the chip of the rim, but there is no other damage or repair efforts of any kind. The vase measures 2 3/4” in height and is 5” wide. The bottom is marked with “CAMBRIDGE”, “C” and “23I”. The artist used the letters “CL” to sign the work.

As always, these are just a couple of the most recent additions. Be sure to browse the entire inventory of new arrivals. Don’t forget to check out the auction site, too.

Price Guide to Rookwood Pottery Wall Plaques

Larry Koon is considered one of the leading experts in Rookwood Pottery. He’s authored several books and price guides on antiques, sports memorabilia and of course, American art pottery. His latest release, Price Guide to Rookwood Pottery Wall Plaques, covers those beautiful Rookwood plaques made between 1910 and 1940. The book itself, a total of 158 pages, is a beautiful work of art in its own right and features many photos of the various Rookwood wall plaques as well as the artists themselves. In fact, there are twenty five artists showcased including Mary Denzler, Lorinda Epply and Ed Hurley. Readers are treated to each of their biographies, too in this rare work. It offers as much of an an all-inclusive approach as anyone could hope for.

The book includes auction prices, values and of course, the back story for many of the plaques and how they came to be. This is certainly a must-have for anyone who appreciates art pottery and certainly those who are drawn to Rookwood Pottery.

Koon, born in West Virginia, also spent time as a newspaper columnist and is a recording artist. He was the first writer to ever publish a book on specialized auction markets and his deep passion for art as a whole is evident regardless of whether it’s an article or a book he’s writing. One conversation with Koon and you’re likely to learn the world’s record for the fastest sale of an antique or pottery piece – he’s that good.

If you’re interested in adding Larry Koon’s Price Guide to Rookwood Pottery Wall Plaques to your personal library, you can find it on Amazon and if you’d like your copy autographed, you may send it to Koon Publishing Company, PO Box 5221, Vienna, WV 26105.

Newcomb Pottery Collection for Sale at Auction

Just Art Pottery Auctions is pleased to have the opportunity to sell a nice five piece collection of Newcomb College pottery that is fresh to the market from an estate collection from

Newcomb Collection for Sale at Auction

Louisiana.  The collection includes three nice vases, a low bowl and a decorative creamer.   The Newcomb pieces are being offered for auction in the sale ending March 6, 2011.  Online bidding is currently available through as well as

All five pieces are in mint condition without damage or repair and are being sold with no reserve.   The collection offers examples from three of Newcomb’s more recognized decorators including Sadie Irvine, Anna Frances Simpson, and Henrietta Bailey.

Each piece of Newcomb pottery is hand decorated and artist initialed and represents the true sense of the arts and crafts movement.  Most collectors consider Newcomb an investment quality art pottery.

Newcomb Pottery was unofficially started in 1894 when Mary Sheerer was brought from Cincinnati to teach pottery and china decoration at Newcomb College.   The first public exhibition and sale of art pottery produced at the College occurred in 1896.  Over the fifty years the Pottery was in existence over 60,000 hand decorated pieces of Newcomb were produced.

To bid on the Newcomb collection or 150 additional quality pieces of American art pottery go to or

For more information on Just Art Pottery Auctions, or if you would like to inquire about consignments for upcoming auctions, please visit or contact Greg Myroth at