Fans of Rookwood Pottery likely have several pieces that have a unique tinting that is unlike any other American art pottery. The gray tinting found on some Rookwood Pottery shapes was incorporated from around 1915 through 1932. There’s been some debate about whether or not it was actually used before 1920, though in recent years, it’s not been questioned as much by modern collectors. Either way, it is a superb decision to opt for the semi translucent and glossy finish. The hazy appearance in many pieces is due to what’s described as a “thicker glaze pool”.
The markings are often indicated with a “D.G.” incision, which stands for “dark gray” and there are some pieces that are simply marked with the word “gray”.
It’s also interesting to note that this glaze was used in Starkville, Mississippi, where much of the commercial ware was made.
Remember, Rookwood Pottery also brought the exceptional yellow tinted glaze. It is stunning, especially on one of the Rookwood vases from 1923. The lovely yellow serves as a striking background to the dainty red flowers and green vines. At the opening of the vase, there’s a deep bluish-gray that extends into the vase itself. Meanwhile, the bottom is a perfectly coordinated green. If the crisp colors within the yellow glaze pieces are cheerful, then the gray tinting pieces are more dramatic, even if many of them have floral patterns.
If you’re a collector of these particular Rookwood Pottery lines, odds are, you’ll find these pieces with either painted artist initials or incisions with the initials. As with many companies in the 1930s, the Great Depression would soon serve as a devastating inhibitor for all things artistic. In fact, the pottery produced during the depression was strictly for utilitarian purposes versus decorative ones.
Needless to say if you run across anything with the dramatic gray tinting, you’ve indeed found a spectacular item that’s worthy of any collection.
For a company with a rich history dating back to the late 1880s, many collectors treat their efforts as investments and with Rookwood Pottery, it’s a sure thing. The company ceased production in 1967.