Often, when the name Weller Pottery comes up, it’s equated with the the Lonhuda or even Louwelsa lines. Both included hues of brown, striking high gloss finishes and compelling shapes. Plus, these were two of the biggest lines within Weller Pottery – in the Louwelsa line alone, there were more than 500 shapes and sizes.
But it was the Sicard line, made between 1902 and 1907 that many insist was the crown jewel within the Weller Pottery family. What many aren’t aware of is this was developed by Weller in an effort to keep up with two competing potteries – both of which were bigger and more well known. To up the ante, Weller Pottery met the demands of the artist of whom the line is named after. Jacques Sicard was approached by Weller with a request to develop the line. Sicard agreed to do so, but only if the pottery company would also hire his assistant, Henri Gellie.
Weller Pottery agreed to bring both men on board and even offered a bonus if both met the terms of a five year contract. It was a deal seemingly made in heaven if one’s judging by the divine pieces found in the Sicard line. There is a certain mysterious aura surrounding this line – and it’s due to the nature of the artist. Whether it was a sense of not wanting anyone critiquing the art in its developmental phases – the decorative methods were ones Sicard created – or some mischievous nature meant to increase curiosity, Sicard often locked himself and his assistant in their studio. When the two were in a group, they often spoke in French, leaving those within ear shot slightly paranoid that they were the topic of conversation.
There were several color combinations and it’s the iridescent glaze that sets this collection apart. The artist made jewelry boxes, candy dishes, vases and even plaques and the line in its entirety has only increased in value over the years. Some Sicard vases are valued at $12,000 or more. The heights in the vases vary greatly, which, for collectors, makes for perfect display presentations.
The five years Sicard and Gellie spent at Weller Pottery were well spent. Once the contract was up, however, the pair returned to France.