Archives for April 2014

A Closer Look at Roseville Earlam

Many collectors of Roseville pottery will hone in on one particular design element and for those who treasure the Roseville Earlam line, that specific element is the simple arts and crafts forms and the quality matte glazes. The subtle colors provide the perfect canvas for light to produce exceptional dimensions; indeed, it looks as though it’s been masterfully shadowed. With just 22 various Earlam shapes, it’s a natural assumption that the artists would have been assertive in their efforts of ensuring it stands out. The most obvious way to accomplish that is via the inclusion of irregular asymmetric efforts or even geometric efforts, similar to what we see in the Roseville Futura lines. That’s not the case, though.

The extent of many of the pieces in this line are little more than open neck or slightly expanded bottom. There’s an absence of

Roseville Pottery Earlam Blue Green Handled Vase

floral motifs, animals, people or anything else, for that matter. Some offer handles, but almost always they’re placed near the top of the vase or pots. That’s the beauty of it: simple and clean served the purposes nicely.

The Earlam line also offers several console bowls and strawberry pots – with one even offering a saucer. With the exception of the occasional candlestick pairs and umbrella stands, the majority of the shapes are vases and bowls. The one unlikely – though beautiful – inclusion is the hanging basket. It comes as no surprise to learn it’s always in high demand.

The green matte against that pale yellow glaze really bodes well with this line, which was introduced in 1930. There’s one important consideration – most pieces from this line had paper labels, and like any other line that had the stickers, when they fall off or are otherwise removed, many assume it’s not authentic. There are some with handwritten markings, but it’s impossible to identify which shapes the writing is more likely to be found.

What’s not at all surprising is the Frank Ferrell influence; remember, he tended to steer clear of the more feminine elements, such as flowers, and preferred a more streamlined presentation. Still, whatever his reasons were, his ability to transform those artistic images in his mind to the potter’s will is exactly what makes this line of Roseville pottery so spectacular.

The Vast Roseville Futura Art Deco Line

What’s not to love about what is arguably the most versatile Roseville Pottery pattern.  Roseville Futura is all about the art deco style, complete with sharp lines, dimension and extraordinary color choices. Considered a middle period line, Futura was introduced in 1928 and really put Roseville  in a new light.

Remember, both Roseville Carnelian and Roseville Rosecraft were introduced just two years earlier. While both of these arts and crafts patterns have their own draw and remain popular with collectors today, they also seemed to set the stage for what was coming. Rosecraft’s primary colors were brown and green and had only 10 shapes. Meanwhile, Carnelian didn’t sell well and the majority of any unsold pieces were pulled and re-glazed as the Carnelian II pattern.

And then the curtain was raised for Roseville Futura

Roseville Pottery Futura Spittoon Vase 403-7

. Think of a color – any color – Futura offers it. No “one-hue color” with this line, you’re bound to find those deeper greens that are stunning under a heavy gloss, those moss greens that are ideal for detailing and it’s the same with all of the colors.

There are 78 Futura shapes and most are marked with paper labels (don’t forget, those paper labels are likely to have been lost through the years, which means many would be unmarked) with a few that offer hand written shape numbers.

Futura made impressive strides in its heyday and the potential was there for a long run, but like all things in the late 1920s, what “was before” rarely “was after” the stock market crash. Futura was dealt an unfair fate. Even after some recovery, the mindsets of people were raw with all too vivid memories of poverty, hunger and fear. The collective priority of a nation shifted. For many collectors who own any Futura pieces, there’s a certain realization. These pieces were likely made by artists who were confident in the future and purchased by consumers who weren’t yet worried about the possibility of what lied ahead. Regardless of the motivation for collectors, there’s such beauty and detailing to every piece from the Roseville Futura Line.

Here’s a list of all Roseville Futura pieces:

Bowl   

187-8 tan            Balloons Bowl

187-8 gray         Balloons Bowl

188-8 tan            Aztec Bowl

188-8 gray         Aztec Bowl

189-4                   Sand Toy

190-3                   Blue Box

191-8                    Square Box

194-5                   Little Flying Saucer or “Ashtray”

195-10                 Flying Saucer

196-12 tan          Sailboat

196 12 gray        Sailboat

197-6                    Half Egg

198-5                    Hibachi

Candle Holder, pr     

1072-4                Aztec Ladies

1073-4                Candlesticks with Leaves

1075-4                Flying Saucer Candlesticks

Flower Frog   

15-2.5                  Little Round Frog

15-3.5                  Big Round Frog

Hanging Basket         

344-5 tan           Little Hanging Basket

344-5 gray        Little Hanging Basket

344-6 tan           Big Hanging Basket

344-6 gray        Big Hanging Basket

Jardiniere      

616-6 tan            Jardiniere

616-6 gray         Jardiniere

616-7 tan            Jardiniere

616-7 gray         Jardiniere

616-8 tan            Jardiniere

616-8 gray         Jardiniere

616-9 tan            Jardiniere

616-10 tan         Jardiniere

616-10 gray      Jardiniere & Pedestal

Planter           

81-5                      Blue Sunray

82-6                      Blue Fan

85-4                      2 Pole Pink Pillow Vase

Vase   

Roseville Pottery Futura Space Capsule Vase 432-10

380-6                   Torch

381-6                    Beer Mug

382-7                    Telescope

383-8                    Little Blue Triangle

384-8                    Ball Bottle

385-8                    Pleated Star

386-8 pink          Jukebox

386-8 brns          Jukebox

387-7 gray          Bamboo Leaf Ball

387-7 blue          Bamboo Leaf Ball

388-9                    Big Blue Triangle

389-9                    Emerald Urn

390-10 org Bud Christmas Tree

390-10 blu Bud Christmas Tree

391-10                  Black Flame

392-10                  Shooting Star

393-12                  Four Ball Vase

394-12                  Bomb

395-10                  Stepped Urn

396-5                     Chalice

Roseville Pottery Futura Four Ball Vase 393-12

397-6                     Square Cone

398-6                     Green Twist

399-7                     Red Vee

400-7 tan            Ostrich Egg

400-7 p&g          Ostrich Egg

401-8                    Cone

402-8                    Milk Carton

403-7                    Spittoon

404-8 blue          Balloons Globe

404-8 grn            Balloons Globe

405-7                    Spaceship

406-8                    Beehive

407-9                    Green Fan

408-10                 Seagull

409-9                    Football Urn

410-12                  Table Leg

411-14                  Arches

412-9                    Tank

421-5                    Brown Stump

422-6                    Two Pole Bud Vase

423-6                    Tombstone

424-7                    Stepped Egg

425-8                    Hexagon Twist

426-8                    Winged Vase

427-8                    Mauve Thistle

428-8                    Egg with Leaves

429-9                    Purple Crocus

430-9                    Chinese Pillow

431-10                  Falling Bullet

432-10                  Space Capsule

433-10                  Pine Cone

434-10                  Michelin Man

435-10                  Elephant Leg

436-12                  Chinese Bronze

437-12                  Weeping Tulip

438-15                  Tall Teasel

Wall Pocket   

1261-8 tan           Wall Pocket

1261-8 gra           Wall Pocket

Window Box 

376-15                  Window Box

Hungarian Zsolnay Ceramics

Ask any Zsolnay Ceramics collector to describe this European line of art pottery in just one word, and you’ll surely hear capture-20140405-061117“iridescent”. Initially, this Hungarian family set out to create stoneware that was functional and utilitarian. A decade after being founded in 1853, Vilmos Zsolnay entered the family business and learned how his father’s business worked. Over the course of another decade, Vilmos brought the company to heights his father had never dreamed possible. World fairs and international exhibitions followed and so did the awards. Eosin porcelain became the dominant material and as the company grew, so did the Zsolnay family. Julia Zsolnay, Vilmos’s sister, married and her husband soon joined the business.

Even though the family artists had their own distinctions, there’s no denying the seamless look and feel. The pottery, as mentioned, was mostly iridescent in appearance and many of their creations can still be seen in various landmarks and buildings throughout Hungary.

The iridescence is due to a process called “eosin” and it’s a hallmark for many artistic efforts during this time period (at the turn of the century). The eosin works as a glaze and gives it a certain metallic look, but the magic is found in the different colors that are anything but static. Adjust the piece slightly and what was purple becomes red. It’s a lovely presentation and as collectors can attest to, highly sought after.

The Zsolnay Hungarian art pottery centerpiece, shown above, has the eosin glaze and depicts a woman trying to capture fish. It’s a larger piece and is in mint condition. It measures an impressive 11 inches in height and measures 14 inches wide. It’s a beautiful effort that’s quite detailed. This is just one of the Zsolnay Pottery offerings that are available right now. Be sure to explore our complete inventory.

Like many companies, the various wars took their tolls on the company and the Budapest location was bombed. For a while, before being sold, the family tried to re-introduce durable and useable stoneware, but by then, there was just no turning back. The company was sold. In recent years, the family has begun to rebuild the Zsolnay Porcelain Manufacture. Two years ago, it partnered with IKEA. While it may never revert to the true European art pottery company, what we’re left with is an impressive body of work that’s highly sought after and deeply respected around the world.

The Distinction of Moorcroft Pottery

Part of the draw, at least for many art pottery collectors, is the backstory most lines offer. The richer the history, the more exciting the finds. Moorcroft Pottery is no exception. In 1897, a young man, William Moorcroft, was creating beautiful pottery pieces for James McIntyre & Co. For a while, it was an ideal partnership until Moorcroft began signing his own works with either his signature or initials. The argument could be made that it was reasonable; after all, Moorcroft had won several awards, including a gold medal at the St. Louis International Exhibition. Soon, though, it wasn’t anything McIntyre wished to continue pursuing, especially because Moorcroft refused to cease signing his name to the works. The two soon had a falling out and Moorcroft and a few other employees left to create their own company in 1913.

Moorcroft Pottery’s Long History

The company itself became well respected and highly sought after, due to the incredible talent of the company’s founder. The Moorcroft51703company itself remained in the family until the mid-1980s and while the future may not be certain, there’s no denying the incredible artistry found in Moorcroft art pottery. What we’re left with today are striking artistic masterpieces that are elegant, vivid and intricate in detail.

Just Art Pottery maintains a varied selection from this esteemed European pottery company, including a 1902 Florian Tulips and Hearts Handled vase. Its magnificent presence is part whimsical, part romantic and completely beautiful. The vase is 12” high, which easily allows it to command. The golds and blues and contrasted with the subtle white tracing of the floral effects and leaves.

The Moorcroft Hibiscus Compote brings together two of my favorite things: the hibiscus flower and the pedestal that’s often part of many art pottery designs. The rich high gloss glaze is an added bonus. In this 1949 design, you’ll notice the rich emerald green that covers the bowl with a multi-toned Hibiscus placed squarely in the bottom of the vessel. For contrast, the pedestal is a rich, glossy black that adds a more contemporary look and feel. This mint condition compote stands 4” tall and is 6 ½” wide. It’s classic Moorcroft.

Moorcroft Pottery Availability

If it’s subtle color elements and distinction you’re looking for, you really should consider Moorcroft Pottery. Many of the earlier, higher quality pieces are in museums, which means limited offerings available for collectors. In fact, the Victoria & Albert museum holds some of the most significant pieces (Moorcroft was appointed the Queen’s official pottery in 1928) and other prestigious museums also have permanent collections. We’re fortunate in that Just Art Pottery offers several pieces from this refined collection and invite you to browse our Moorcroft Pottery.