Van Briggle Pottery – Glaze Color (Part 3)

Most Van Briggle pottery collectors are familiar with the turquoise ming blue, mulberry, and persian rose glaze colors.  However, prior to 1912 Van Briggle pottery used a wide variety of glaze colors such as green, brown, purple, red, yellow, blue, gray, black and white.   

Other common glaze colors prior to 1960 and their period of production are noted below:

  • Mountain craig brown was produced between the mid teens and prior to 1935.  The formula for the mountain craig brown glaze was lost in the flood of 1935.  This glaze color is somewhat hard to find and Van Briggle vases in this color are seeing increasing collector interest.
  • Moonglo is a white matte glaze produced by Van Briggle pottery since the late 1940s. 
  • Persian rose is a lighter shade of the popular mulberry glaze.  Mulberry was produced until 1946 when it was replaced with lighter persian rose.  Van Briggle vases in mulberry are typically found with a dark blue overspray. Persian rose was produced from 1946 through 1968.  The Van Briggle vase on the left side of the second row is an example of the persian rose glaze color. The vase on the right side of the second row is an example of the mulberry glaze color.
  • Gold ore glaze is a scarce brown and gold speckled color that was only produced for a short period of time in 1956.  The glaze was made from gold ore from the Cripple Creek mines. Vases in the gold ore glaze color have appreciated substantially in price over the last couple of years.

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Greg Myroth – Shop here for Van Briggle Pottery

Van Briggle Pottery – The Quality of the Glaze (Part 2)

The quality of the glaze on a Van Briggle vase is often one of the most important factors collectors consider when evaluating an example of the pottery.  Artus Van Briggle was recognized for his creation of the "dead matte glaze".  The achievement of this visually impressive, high quality "dead matte glaze’ was somewhat of a rarity even while Artus Van Briggle was alive.   Hence, when a high quality, dead matte glazed example of Van Briggle comes to market it typically achieves prices well beyond those of an average glazed vase. 

Most examples of early Van Briggle (1920s and earlier) are semi-matte.  Vases were also produced in semi-gloss or gloss glazes but these examples are few and far between.  The earlier period of Van Briggle (1901-1912) also produced highly desirable suspended, crystalline glazes and vases with mottled and curdled effects.  Any of these uncommon glaze effects will often have a substantial impact on the value and desirability of an example of Van Briggle pottery.

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Next time we will look at Van Briggle colors and color combinations.

Greg MyrothShop for early Van Briggle Pottery

Van Briggle Pottery – Date or Period of Production

The period of production has a significant impact on the desirability and hence investment potential of Van Briggle pottery.  Van Briggle pottery collectors typically divide early production into the following periods:

1.  Van Briggle Pottery – 1901 through 1904

Van Briggle produced in this earliest period is typically the most sought-after by art potteryDsc3372 collectors.  This period of production is often called the pre-death period because Artus Van Briggle was alive and personally involved in the production of the pottery. 

Another factor contributing to the desirability of Van Briggle pottery from the pre-death period (1901-1904) is that original production numbers were very low and the quality was very high.  It is estimated that around 3,000 examples of Van Briggle pottery from the 1901-1904 period survive today.   

It is extremely rare to see a 1901 vase since only around 300 examples of Van Briggle were produced that year.  In fact, in over 15 years of active Van Briggle pottery buying and selling I have seen one 1901 vase available for sale.  In a typical year, a collector might see for sale 5 to 10 examples of 1902 Van Briggle vases and 20 to 40 examples each of 1903 and 1904 examples.

2. Van Briggle Pottery – Mid 1904-1912

Van Briggle pottery produced between 1904 and 1912 is also highly collectible because not only was Dsc4322_1 the pottery very high quality but during this time period Anne Van Briggle owned the pottery.  Production numbers for Van Briggle vases are estimated by Scott Nelson, in A Collector’s Guide to Van Briggle Pottery to have averaged approximately 4,200 pieces per year between 1905 and 1908.  Scott estimates production increased to approximately 6,000 pieces per year in 1909-1911 and declined to around 1,500 in 1912.  One can safely assume at least 1/2 and probably a much higher percentage of the vases produced during this time period have been destroyed.

3.  Van Briggle Pottery – 1912-1920

Van Briggle pottery vases from the 1912 through 1920 period tend to be of high quality and in relatively high demand by collectors.  In particular, dated Van Briggle vases from the mid to late teens have seen measurable increases in value over the last few years.

4.  Van Briggle Pottery – 1920s

The quality of the art pottery vases produced by Van Briggle still remained relatively high during the 1920s period.  As prices have continued to climb for the earlier dated pieces of Van Briggle pottery, the 1920s pieces have seen more modest increases and in my opinion offer some of the best values for today’s Van Briggle collectors. 

Van Briggle pottery vases marked with the USA mark signifies production between 1922 and 1926. Van Briggle pottery with the USA mark is typically a little higher priced than an equivalent vase from the 1920s without the USA mark.

Photos of Van Briggle Pottery Marks

Greg MyrothBuying and Selling Van Briggle Pottery

Evaluating Van Briggle Pottery

Scott Nelson, author of A Collector’s Guide to Van Briggle Pottery and noted Van Briggle pottery collector, recently wrote an article for the Journal of the American Art Pottery Association titled Van Briggle Pottery: How to Find a Great Pot.  In the article, Scott presents ten factors (nine of which were originally put forth in his comprehensive reference book) that should be considered in determining the value or desirability of Van Briggle pottery vases, bowls, figural pieces, etc.  These factors are:

  1. The date, or period of production. Dsc7050_1
  2. The quality of the glaze.
  3. The color or color combinations.
  4. The form or shape.
  5. The presence or absence of decoration.
  6. The scarcity or desirability of certain designs.
  7. The crispness of the mold on pieces with decoration.
  8. The size.
  9. The condition of the piece.
  10. Other special or unique features.

It is rare to find examples of Van Briggle pottery from any period of production with a majority of these features.  It is recommended collectors evaluate individual vases on the particular criteria that are most important to them. 

In future posts, each of the ten factors will be discussed in further detail and applicable photos of Van Briggle pottery will be provided where available. 

Additional Van Briggle Pottery Reference Books:

Van Briggle Pottery Resources:

Greg Myroth – Just Art Pottery

Van Briggle Pottery Fake Marks

Another Van Briggle Pottery fake mark has recently surfaced on eBay.  So far, many of the Van Briggle fakes have early, dated marks on the bottom of the vase. Most of the reproductions are vases, bowl, and tea pots that are obviously not original Van Briggle forms so they are readily identifiable as fakes by most pottery collectors.  An example of one of the fake marks is shown below.  Here is a link to a summary including photos and normal bottom marks and clay color of early Van Briggle pottery.Van_briggle_fake1_1

Greg Myroth

Buying and Selling ORIGINAL Van Briggle Pottery!