One major reason people avoid collecting American art pottery is because they fear not being able to differentiate between fakes and true Roseville Pottery.
The truth is, some of the fake Roseville pieces have a sense of authenticity that makes it difficult to tell apart from true Roseville Pottery. Aside from getting your collection appraised (which we always strongly encourage), you may never know for sure. Then again, there are those who see the beauty and would still purchase it, even if it were a fake, so that
they could display it in their home. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, except you probably paid Roseville Pottery prices for fake Roseville pieces.
For those who find it difficult to tell apart, there are a few tell-tale signs that might clue you in. Keep in mind – this is all very subjective in that what one’s idea of a “dull glaze” might be different than another’s – again, this only reiterates the importance of a professional appraisal.
Take a look at the glaze on your piece; fakes lack a certain depth and without a “clear” look; it can even look dull and flat. Also, the glaze shouldn’t hinder the nuances of clay underneath it.
Take a look at the handles (if applicable). Fake pieces usually have bigger handles in terms of their dimensions. Again, this is subjective, but for those familiar with this line of art pottery, the differences are obvious.
How about the detailing? Authentic Roseville Pottery offers a lot of detail – the vines, florals, etc. The Roseville artists always took pride in their detailing efforts.
There were many Roseville marks through the years; so many that sometimes even collectors question a Roseville marking. There are those with Roseville U.S.A. or wafer marks or ink stamps – the marking often dates your Roseville piece; however, fraudsters will do their best to replicate the markings in order to fool buyers.
So what should you do to keep from being taken? We always tell customers to study their Roseville pieces they know are authentic. Usually, once you know what truly is real, the fakes become easier to identify. It’s also a great way to learn more about the history of this dynamic line of American art pottery.
If you’re looking to have your Roseville Pottery collection (or any other collection) appraised, give us a call. All of our appraisals are done in accordance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPA). Greg Myroth is a member of the Association of Online Appraisers and abides by the AOA Code of Ethics. For more information, visit our Just Art Pottery appraisal page.