We are pleased to announce our Cyber Monday Sale. Save 15% on all purchases now through Monday. We have recently added over 250 pieces of quality American art pottery to JustArtPottery.com and placed over 100 items on sale. Shop now for us best selection.
Be sure to check out our annual Black Friday Sale. We have recently added several nice collections of Rookwood, Roseville and a very large collection of Van Briggle including many floor vases, limited edition Van Briggle Collector Society pieces, figural designs, as well as good, early 1920s arts and crafts examples. The Rookwood pottery includes production and artist signed examples including pieces from William Hentschel, Charles Todd, Lenore Asbury to name a few. The Roseville includes nice examples of Roseville Dogwood, Rosecraft Hexagon, Vintage and much more. Shop now for the best selection.
Below is a guest post from noted Van Briggle author and collector Kathy Honea
Described in Van Briggle early literature as a glaze containing the browns and greens found in a mountain crag, this glaze consists of a rich honey-brown with over spray of a medium-bright green.
Although certainly numerous shades of brown and green glazes were produced within the first decade of Van Briggle pottery production, this particular combination of these specific colors was prevalent in the 1920s until the mid-1930s period. Historically, the story has been repeated that the formulas for these colors were lost in the flood of 1935; which destroyed the east side of the Van Briggle Memorial Pottery building, and swept pottery, molds and written documents into the adjacent river.
Two different Van Briggle sales postcards, dating to the early 1920s; depict Van Briggle design examples, and list the glazes available as: Mulberry, Turquoise Blue and Mountain Crag Brown. These same three glaze colors were also listed in early brochures.
A few pottery examples from the 1950s have mysteriously surfaced in the Mountain Crag Brown glaze. This has been explained by Fred Wills, Van Briggle potter from 1947 to 1988, who corroborated that a potter who had worked in the 1930s and remained at Van Briggle Pottery into the 1950s, did prepare the Mountain Crag Brown glazes once and fired some pieces for sale. Fred Wills explains that potters preparing glazes multiple times, would have the formulas memorized and it would not be unusual for them to be able to reproduce them years later.
For some unknown reason, the name of the Mountain Crag Brown glaze was later incorrectly repeated as “Mountain Craig Brown” and stories even surfaced that the glaze may have been named after the Colorado painter, Charles Craig. Two previous Van Briggle authors have agreed that the perpetuation of the “Mountain Craig Brown” name has been in error.
Although commonly, but incorrectly, still referred to as “Mountain Craig Brown” we can definitely state that the early literature named the popular glaze “Mountain Crag Brown” and even elaborated the rationale for the glaze, as representing the colors found in a mountain crag.
Van Briggle Notes & More, page 168
The Roseville Falline line is one of the smallest collections in Roseville Pottery, with just 16 pieces. Considered a middle period Art Deco line, it was introduced in 1933. Many collectors use the word “elegant” to describe this line – and rightfully so. Frank Ferrell was the primary designer and the Falline line (“Fay Leen”), is easily identified because of the pea pods that adorn the various pieces. They run vertically, each with handles on both sides. There were two color patterns, those with various browns and greens and the more popular blue/green/yellow combinations.
The Art of Roseville Falline
The artistic efforts, even though they were pea pods, are quite beautiful.
Many of the pieces are darker or of different colors the closer to the top you get. It adds a certain dimension and because it’s unlike most other art pottery pieces of that era, it’s likely one reason people describe it as elegant and sophisticated.
Sometimes artists attempt to present a simple effort. They want the color combinations or perhaps the quality of the product to shine through. It’s not known, of course, if this was Ferrell’s purpose, regardless, it quickly became – and remains so today – one of the most loved Roseville Pottery lines.
Remember, this line was introduced in 1933, the same year Baneda, with its stunning shapes and hues, Blackberry, known for the nature motif of leaves and berries and Primrose, the lighter more feminine offering of the day, made their debuts. These middle period collections reveal the best of Roseville Pottery and its artists.
With just 16 items in this collection, mostly bowls, candlesticks and pitchers of varying sizes, it’s one of those highly sought after patterns.
If you collect Falline, you likely know how rare it is to find. It’s an art pottery collector’s dream.
For many art pottery collectors, Ohio is the place to go when they’re looking to learn more or expand their Roseville Pottery or Rookwood Pottery collections, but that’s not to say other regions of the country don’t have a lot to offer collectors. When you think of the south, odds are, it’s George Ohr, also known as the Mad Pottery of Biloxi and of course, the renowned Newcomb Pottery out of New Orleans, that come to mind.
But what do you associate with art pottery makers west of the Mississippi and specifically, Colorado? Van Briggle Pottery is one of those timeless names, forever associated with the best in American art pottery, but this wasn’t the only company in Colorado. In fact, Denver China and Pottery opened its doors within a few weeks of Van Briggle’s opening. What’s so interesting is the influence this company had within the art pottery community. So influential was Denver China and Pottery, the decision makers with Weller Pottery had considered relocating to the area after seeing the beautiful creations coming out of Denver China and Pottery.
William A. Long, who founded the highly respected (both then and now) Lonhuda Pottery, also founded Denver China and Pottery in 1901. If it was regional authenticity he was aiming for, he succeeded. He was committed to using materials, including clay, found only in Colorado.
There were two especially notable glazes used in the company’s wares. At that time, Grueby had seen great success with the matte green glaze it had perfected. Proof of that success and timeless quality is found in modern day. Odds are, you have something in your own collection that incorporates that rich green glaze. Once people realized that not only was Denver China and Pottery a force to be reckoned with, but that it was also giving them what they wanted, the company’s success soared. The matte glazing efforts were paying off.
There was one more glaze technique used by Denver China and Pottery. It was luminous, elegant and even suggested a fragility not seen in other pottery collections. The iridescent glaze was incorporated with great success and because of that, it remains popular within the pottery community.
If you’re not familiar with this line of American art pottery, the story is fascinating. Some of the works are on display at The Smithsonian National Museum. Also, if you live in or will be traveling through Colorado, be sure to explore “Colorado Kilns,” an exhibit running through October 1 at the Colorado History Museum. This is an annual conference, so if you’re unable to attend this year, it would make a great vacation for next year.
As always, we’d love to see photos of any Denver China and Pottery pieces you may own.
For avid Roseville Pottery collectors, it’s near impossible to discuss the logistics behind the beauty in the Earlam line without mentioning Frank Ferrell. He was, after all, the creative force behind many Roseville lines – including Earlam. Part of our ongoing appreciation for this particular line isn’t so much what it offers, but rather, what it doesn’t offer.
Unlike many – if not most – of Roseville’s patterns, Ferrell opted to not include florals or the geometric shapes that were trendy at the time. Instead, you’ll find softer lines, plenty of curves and bulbous centers. Many of the pots and vases also had tell-tale handles on either side that collectors are always searching for, even today. The Earlam shapes are limited, especially when compared to some of the other Roseville pottery lines. It has just 22 shapes and most are vases, bowls and pots. While there are none with floral decorative elements, there are a few strawberry and crocus pots, which add further distinction.
For those who appreciate the more muted glazes, Earlam is for you. The efforts made to ensure each piece was unlike any other, in sort of an “imperfectly perfect” way, were subtle. The rims also offer an interesting dimension as most are ridged with a slightly darker tan or brown. There’s something really special about this important Roseville pattern.
The green shading, with its matte finish, coupled with the soft yellow that transitions to deeper yellow-gold colors play off of the other for a truly visual appeal that brings artistry to new levels. Keep in mind -though these were the two primary hues, you can find Roseville Earlam with shades of blue and brown. Ferrell knew he was on to something and fortunately for us, there remains a decent amount of Earlam pieces that can be found today – though it’s unlikely anyone who has any part of this collection would ever dream of parting ways with it.
Aside from occasional bevel, or “ridging” efforts, this collection is beautiful because of the simplicity. It’s allowed to be appreciated for those two primary colors – green and yellow – and, of course, the abundance of space in the bowls and vases. Why Ferrell opted to forego the “tried and true” decorative path is not known, but the Roseville Earlam line stands on its own and remains in big demand.
In 1940, the film Rebecca, which starred Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine, became an unexpected success. It’s likely because it revealed the darker side of the human condition. There’s one scene in particular where Fontaine’s character, the very young and new wife of Olivier’s Maxim de Winter, has come to live in Manderley, the massive mansion where the first Mrs. De Winter dies. Intimidated by the housekeeper, the bride accidently knocks off the table and breaks a beautiful pottery sculpture. For years, in my mind, the housekeeper became enraged because it’s a Roseville Pottery Cosmos pattern that was destroyed. Of course, there’s no reason to really believe that, it’s just that 1940 was also the year this exceptional Roseville
pattern was released. No doubt, 1940 was the year for spectacular artistic efforts, whether in film or American art pottery.
Roseville Cosmos offers three base colors, blue, brown and green. While many are drawn to those green hues, blue seems to be the color of choice and has been for many years. It could be the matte appearance or the way the pale flowers look against the blue. For those lucky enough to have a collection that includes all three standard colors, you know well the commanding presence of this particular Roseville pottery line. There’s also a slight bit of mystery associated with Cosmos: nailing down the actual number of shapes can be a challenge. There are some vintage advertisements that make mention of 48 shapes; however, if you plunder the Roseville factory pages, you’ll find 45.
What makes Cosmos so special are the notched elements often found around the rims. They provide an unexpected dimension which shows beautifully when on display. In fact, if you’re just now discovering Cosmos, don’t underestimate the importance of a neutral background. It highlights those notches, as evidenced in this image of a tan pitcher. As a fan of raised decorative elements, there are plenty in this collection. You can see the efforts made by the artists and as far as many are concerned, these are the details that really separate the masterful artists from the novice.
This really is a great line, especially if it’s a versatile collection of shapes you’re looking for. The wall pockets and window boxes seem to always be in demand, but it really comes as no surprise to anyone who adores the Roseville Pottery Cosmos pattern. Don’t forget to check out the Just Art Pottery Pinterest page, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, too.
It’s always fascinating to learn about a company’s inner-workings, and especially if an otherwise successful company hits a speed bump. It tells much about the heart of the company: the one who’s making the decisions in order to get it over the speed bump. Roseville Pottery is no different.
During one of those proverbial “speed bumps” in the early 1950s, Roseville Pottery made the decision to introduce a new line to
sort of spruce things up. Instead of sticking with the tried and true combinations of years earlier (something most savvy business owners would do), the decision makers instead elected to introduce a couple of new lines. Enter Roseville Raymor and its young and slightly less traditional artist, Ben Seibel. His efforts included a more expensive glaze, an entirely different manner in which each piece was “power pressed” and more than a few setbacks, especially when it came to expensive repairs to the kiln. In fact, some accounts show that up to 25% of the production efforts during these days were lost because of the mechanical problems.
Still, Seibel remained determined and consistent. He had an image in his mind of how this particular line of pottery would fill a much needed space within Roseville Pottery. It was all about a contemporary flair. In fact, for me, it’s easier to picture the various artistic efforts from this period into how they would fit into those amazing stages of homes that were so popular on television during that time. The high gloss, the slight tip to abstract and the deep vessels were something you might would find on an old episode of Betwitched or maybe I Dream of Jeanie – right during that television transition from black and white to color. The vibrancy of the blues and greens and even pinks – they’re all remarkable and used in all their glory on these sets. If he felt the heat from the cost of producing Roseville Raymor, it’s a shame because it’s one of the more decorative patterns within the entire Roseville Pottery collection.
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
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.
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
. 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:
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
Candle Holder, pr
1072-4 Aztec Ladies
1073-4 Candlesticks with Leaves
1075-4 Flying Saucer Candlesticks
15-2.5 Little Round Frog
15-3.5 Big Round Frog
344-5 tan Little Hanging Basket
344-5 gray Little Hanging Basket
344-6 tan Big Hanging Basket
344-6 gray Big Hanging Basket
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
81-5 Blue Sunray
82-6 Blue Fan
85-4 2 Pole Pink Pillow Vase
381-6 Beer Mug
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
395-10 Stepped Urn
397-6 Square Cone
398-6 Green Twist
399-7 Red Vee
400-7 tan Ostrich Egg
400-7 p&g Ostrich Egg
402-8 Milk Carton
404-8 blue Balloons Globe
404-8 grn Balloons Globe
407-9 Green Fan
409-9 Football Urn
410-12 Table Leg
421-5 Brown Stump
422-6 Two Pole Bud Vase
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
1261-8 tan Wall Pocket
1261-8 gra Wall Pocket
376-15 Window Box