The Fascination of Roseville Pottery Cosmos Pattern

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

Roseville Pottery Cosmos

Roseville Pottery Cosmos

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.

 

Just Art Pottery New Inventory

By now, many Just Art Pottery clients head straight to the new inventory page on the website. It’s where collectors get a head start on finding those rare pieces they might have been seeking for years or they might find an unexpected gem. If you’ve not visited the New Additions page, here’s what you’re missing:

Cambridge Pottery Vase

This classic Cambridge Pottery vase is representative of everything that defined the American art pottery company; the glossy brown glaze being the most obvious. This vase stands 6” tall and is 4” wide. It’s in mint condition and that classic glossy glaze is emphasized with the floral pattern in rich hues of gold and orange. The shape itself adds to the appearance as it has a slight narrowing midway down the design. If you’re a Cambridge Pottery fan, this is a remarkable addition to any collection.

Door Pottery Art Deco Vase 

This is another must-see for anyone drawn to the more contemporary designs in this particular art sector. The matte glaze incorporates hues of brown, and at first glance, it could resemble wood. It’s a classic Door Pottery design, indicative of the art deco model it’s so well known for.

If you’re a collector of the traditional Zanesville potters and haven’t really considered some of the more modern lines, Door Pottery is a fine place to start. Admittedly, I have always been drawn to McCoy pieces and several Roseville patterns, but over the past year or so, I’ve found a new appreciation for these art deco lines and I can’t help but wonder why it took me so long to “discover” it.

Ephraim Faience “Black Bears in a Cave” Vase 

At first glance, unless you’re an avid Ephraim Faience collector, you might not recognize this vase as part of its collection. Of course, the attention to detail, the truly artistic ways the hues reflect off of the others and just the presentation in general gives it away. This vase is 10 ¼” tall and at its widest is 6 ½” wide.  There are a few other Ephraim Faience pieces available on the New Additions page, as well.

Don’t forget new inventory is added all the time and to stay in touch with everything going on at Just Art Pottery, follow us on Twitter and join the conversation on the Just Art Pottery Facebook page, too.

What Art Pottery Consumers Should Expect

There are so many American art pottery lovers who are leery about purchases they make. It’s understandable; there are plenty of unethical dealers who are less interested in maintaining the authenticity of the sector and more interested in taking the money and running. There exists a code of ethics and reputable sellers adhere to these rules and are committed to running honest, above the board businesses. Here is the foundation in which Just Art Pottery operates.

The American Art Pottery Association is responsible for defining what those business practices and ethics are. One of the most important guidelines is that sellers must adhere to any contract, either verbal or written. Those art pottery dealers who are dedicated to the industry will not rescind a contractual offer, but instead, will honor it.

Not only that, but today’s art pottery is often bought and sold online. This presents unique challenges for businesses that are seeking to build trust in the community. It’s challenging because as consumers, we’re all leery of what we purchase online. We’re worried about our financial information floating around and we’re worried that we’ll receive something and discover it’s nothing like it was advertised. All it takes is one person who doesn’t respect good business habits to make things hard for all others. That’s why it’s even more important that a seller accurately demonstrate any damage. Ideally, he will provide clear photos so that consumers can make informed decisions. Further, ensuring the prices are prominently displayed is also important; it’s all about transparency.

Despite a seller’s best efforts, sometimes damage isn’t pointed out until after the piece has been bought and shipped to its new owner. A reputable company will make it right. More importantly, a company must provide definitive policies so that its customers will make their selections with fewer worries about what his options are should the product not live up to his expectations.

The dynamics associated with art pottery dealers are poles apart from those who sell new merchandise or other retailers. We’re buying and selling pieces that have been owned by others and that have been around for decades – that’s the whole purpose, right? That doesn’t mean quality isn’t an important element.

For the vast majority of sellers, these rules are no-brainers and for Just Art Pottery, we take great pride in putting these practices in place every day. If you haven’t browsed our inventory lately, now’s a great time – we have many outstanding new arrivals that we’re excited about. Have comments or feedback? Drop us a line or join the conversation on Facebook.

 

Teco Pottery

Teco Pottery originally began as Spring Valley Tile Works in Terra Cotta, Illinois in the late 1800s; 1881 to be exact, and was a major player in the Prairie School arts and crafts movement that was later made popular by Frank Lloyd Wright. William Day Gates could often be found experimenting with different clay and glazing combinations, though the company profits came from drain tiles, finials, urns and other materials used to as fireproofing materials. Soon, though, his appreciation of the clay and glaze variations became more prominent and he cleverly named this new branch Teco Pottery – It’s a play on the words “TErra COtta”.

By 1902, Teco Pottery was introduced to the nation and that began a successful effort that resulted in more than 500 designs being released in less than two decades. While we don’t know for sure when the last pieces of Teco Pottery were actually produced, there exists documentation that suggests it continued until at least 1923.

If you’re familiar with Teco Pottery, you know that tell-tale matte green finish. What many aren’t aware of, though, is that it’s part of more than 90% of the entire pottery collection. Some of the pieces have interesting charcoaling, a darker gray, that overlays the green. The combination of these two glazing efforts is truly remarkable. Other colors you’ll find in Teco Pottery are brown, a deep red, pink and blue. Yellow is sometimes found as well. Teco Pottery is one of those collections that the more you display, the more dramatic that presentation is, and a lot of that has to do with the green glazing efforts.

Another unique look that’s part of this American art pottery collection is the abstract designs. There are a lot of clean and defined lines that are both dramatic and effective. To a lesser degree, there are pieces that aren’t as sharp-lined, but it’s most certainly those pieces that have angles that are most sought after. Many people use “architectural” in their descriptions – and that’s accurate too.

For those who love Teco Pottery as much as we do, you owe it to yourself to explore the records that are maintained at the University of Minnesota. Among those records are the original architectural drawings.

Have your own Teco Pottery collection? We’d love to see it! Drop us a line or share them on the Just Art Pottery Facebook page.

Newcomb College Art Pottery Exhibition

The Columbus Museum recently announced it will be displaying “The Beautiful and Practical: Newcomb College and American Art Pottery” exhibition. It will displayed from now until January 6, 2013. What’s so exciting is there are more than 80 selections of beautiful glazed or otherwise decorated American art pottery. While the “star” of the exhibit will be Newcomb College pottery, there will also be several metalware selections, textiles and other pottery exclusive to Louisiana. In fact, all of the pieces are from Southern collections and many of them are from the Louisiana State University Museum of Art. If you’ve not seen any of these displays before, this is a perfect opportunity if you’re going to be in or near Georgia over the holidays.

A few of those notable art pottery companies that will be represented include Cambridge Pottery, Fulper Pottery, Marblehead, Rookwood Pottery and one of our own favorites, Van Briggle Pottery. You can also expect to see several Weller pottery pieces as well. This is important for the Columbus Museum because it provides a perfect opportunity to show its own proud Newcomb Pottery vase, which was completed by the esteemed master decorator Sabina Wells.

American art pottery, especially those pieces from the turn of the century and even well into the 20th century, are handmade creations, ensuring no two are ever alike. The artists who played such pivotal roles in this amazing sector of American art were always very talented and most certainly in demand. What we’re left with here today is results of their tremendous talents.

While we typically collect art pottery for the beauty of each piece, they were often created to be functional as well. In some instances, the artistry was often a second consideration to the utilitarian purposes. Eventually, though, a shift began that resulted in a focus on the visual appeal. Lucky for us, there are still many collections and pieces for us to enjoy strictly for that visual appeal.

Of course, Newcomb College Pottery was born of a way to provide women in the southern region the opportunity to secure a trade. It was natural their jobs would be created in the arts. A lot has changed, but one thing remains true: women love a beautifully put together home and that was the draw for those seeking to learn more about opportunities in art pottery. Newcomb Pottery was founded in the 1890s at Sophie Newcomb College in New Orleans and remained in business from 1895 to 1940. For many years, it was the only educational facility for these types of trades in the entire southern U.S.

About Columbus Museum:

As an American art and regional history museum, and the second largest general museum in Georgia, the Columbus Museum offers a diverse collection to the public. The Museum houses over 14,000 artifacts and objects that tell the story of the Chattahoochee River Valley’s development, an American fine art collection from a host of renowned American artists, a hands-on gallery for children, the finest traveling exhibitions from across the U.S., and the historic Bradley Olmsted Garden.

For more information about the Columbus Museum or the Newcomb College and American Art Pottery exhibition, please visit www.columbusmuseum.com.

Why Sell Your Art Pottery With Just Art Pottery

It may seem like a foreign concept to some collectors, but buying and selling pottery is part of the passion and experience of those who appreciate the beautiful artistic efforts. The artists who really defined the American art pottery movement are many and it makes sense that some of us like to own a bit of each of these artistic efforts. And if you’ve decided to part ways with a few or all of your pieces, whether it’s because you want to focus on a new pattern or wish to experience the excitement that comes with starting a new collection, we would like to invite you to consider selling your collection to Just Art Pottery.

Just Art Pottery has a national base that includes some of the most well known and respected experts in Roseville, Newcomb, Van Briggle and other pottery lines. Our growing clientele has come to rely on Just Art Pottery for ethical business practices and professional relationships with the entire art pottery community.

It’s for these reasons, and more, that Just Art Pottery is a sound choice for turning your collection – regardless of how small or big it is – into a fair profit. We pride ourselves on our relationships with both collectors and buyers and our commitment ensures we are always combing the most unlikely places to bring to our customers those rare pieces. We’re often searching for a specific pottery line or piece for a customer and other times, we are simply searching out those collections that are nothing short of awe-inspiring.

We invite you to contact us if you have any questions or would like to discuss the options available. We are also able to offer nationwide pickup in most instances and we hire only the best shippers to ensure the safety of your investment during transit. We welcome the opportunity to discuss the potential for relationship that will benefit all of us and in some consignment instances, we’re able to provide a cash advance in anticipation of a sale.

Whether it’s one of Just Art Pottery’s auctions or if you’re interested in a more traditional consignment arrangement, we look forward to hearing from you. Give us a call at  (309) 690-7966 or drop us a line for a confidential conversation to discuss your options.

 

A Look at Fulper Pottery

Fulper Pottery has been around since 1814 – and there are millions of fans and collectors around the world. A New Jersey potter, Samuel Hill, had been making pottery strictly for utilitarian purposes – such as storage crocks, drain pipes and other similar pieces.

Of course – and fortunately for those of us who appreciate Fulper Pottery – the decision was made to pursue a more artistic avenue – but that would come later.

It wasn’t until 1858 when Abram Fulper began the process, shortly after Sam Hill’s death, to buy the pottery company. Within a couple of years, he was the proud new owner of one pottery company that focused primarily on stoneware and to a lesser degree, tiles. The years rolled by and Fulper’s sons soon found themselves overseeing their father’s company. By the 1880s, the name changed to Fulper Brothers and, true to the initial functions of the company, the brothers continued with their father’s legacy of stoneware and tile.

Enter the third generation of Fulpers. In 1899, the company’s name was changed yet again to Fulper Pottery Co. The elder Fulper’s grandson, William Hill II, became both secretary and treasurer of the company. He was a recent graduate of Princeton University as well as a veteran of the Spanish-American War. Still, the company produced the same utilitarian household items such as storage jars and cookware.

It was William H. Fulper II who decided it was time to move away from those drain pipes and storage jars and focus more on an artistic approach. The first line was said to be more “casual” than elegant, but it was popular. By the turn of the century, the company’s main pottery, John Kunsman began throwing vases and jugs with a more simple and solid color glaze. They used the sidewalk to display these new offerings and before long, it was winning prizes for its design elements. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Of course, these are but a few of the highlights of this company with an incredibly rich history that’s both fascinating and revealing. For those interested in a deeper understanding of Fulper Pottery, there are several great books on the subject. Also, be sure to check out our Fulper Pottery collection on Just Art Pottery.

 

Passing on the Roseville Pottery Appreciation

I never thought I’d look at people younger than me and think of them in terms of the “younger generation”. That’s what

Roseville Azurean

grandparents do! But, after hanging out with my best friend’s sixteen year-old daughter this weekend, I’m beginning to differentiate the generations.

After getting completely flustered with only half of her attention for the most part of the afternoon (those pesky cells and their texting features!), I finally said, “OK, sunshine…here’s what we’re going to do. Put that phone away and let me show you a few things that you just might appreciate one day.” Of course, that was met with a roll of the eyes and a reluctant and rather drawn out “OK”.

I pointed to a few pieces of my favorite Roseville Pottery patterns. “What do you see, Sam?” After a pause, she said, “I don’t know. A bowl with a bunch of holes in the top of it.” Taking a deep breath and resisting the urge to roll my own eyes, I began explaining to her what a flower frog is. I explained how they’ve traditionally been used to hold flower arrangements in place. Before long, I had her attention and began telling her different “Roseville stories”.

I showed her a few wall pockets I have arranged on my living room wall. She asked what purpose they served. I think her exact words were, “Yeah, it’s pretty. But what does it do?” She’s a lovely girl who appreciates lovely jewelry, so I used that to my benefit. I said, “Wouldn’t this be pretty hanging on the wall just above your jewelry box to hold the rings you wear every day?” She particularly liked the Roseville Freesia.

From there, we moved on the different glazes and beveling efforts that really set Roseville apart. I explained to her what a jardiniere and pedestal were and before long we were on the Just Art Pottery website going over window boxes, vases and candle holders.

Two hours later, she had sweet talked me out of one of my favorite wall pockets and had an understanding of the importance of American art pottery. I wasn’t the least bit surprised when she announced Roseville Azurean is her new favorite. That kid loves blue. Her bedroom is blue, blue is the primary color of the high school she attends and I have a strong sense that I’m going to be investing in pieces from this beautiful line for birthdays and Christmas – and I couldn’t be happier.

What was most important, though, is I started out with a typical teen who could care less about a flower frog and by the time it was over, texting was the last thing on her mind and she walked away with the seed planted and a new appreciation for art – specifically, Roseville pottery. Will this be an everyday thing with her? Of course not. What I hope, though, is that it will encourage her to broaden her horizons, develop her own passion for the real beauty in the world and hopefully, serve as something that she equates to time spent with me when she’s older.

Just Art Pottery Bargain Bin

Have you checked out the great finds in our Bargain Bin? This is a great opportunity to add to your art pottery collection or if you’re new to this particular art sector, it’s the best place to start. Check out a few of the latest additions to the bin –

Drawn to the more whimsical side of American art pottery? Then the Abingdon Pottery cookie jar is probably just what you’re looking for. This sweet Miss Muffet, who’s resting on her tuffet, dates back to 1949-1950 and is mint condition. The bottom is marked and this cookie jar measures 9 1/2″ tall and 8 1/4″ wide.

The Coors Pottery blue handled vase is a perfect example of how less is sometimes more in art pottery. The blue glaze on this double-handled vase contrasts nicely against the white glaze on the inside of the vase. It’s in excellent condition and measures 6 1/2″ tall and 7 1/4″ wide.

The unique presentation is what sets this Haegar Pottery Marigold Agate Earth Wrap Vase apart. The rich sunflower gold and yellow hues are a powerful base against the contrasting red and brown that present as abstract designs. It’s modern look and one many collectors are drawn to.

Hull Pottery remains one of the most recognized names in the industry. The Hull Pottery bow knot blue wall pocket is just one reason why. This design has a beveled handle, two side pockets and pink flowers with soft green leafing efforts. It’s a little vintage, a little traditional Hull and a lot of style. This is one that can be difficult to locate, so if you’re contemplating adding this to your Hull Pottery collection, now’s the time.

Speaking of vintage, there’s also a Rorstrand 1960s Swedish Titus art deco vase. This vivid vase offers a glossy finish against a rich blue and hues of brown. The lighter base color works well with both the colors and general design. It’s handpainted and is 6 1/4″ tall and at its widest point, measures 6″ wide.

These are just a few of the many gems you’ll find in the Just Art Pottery bargain bin.

 

Just Art Pottery New Arrivals

If you’ve not seen the new arrivals at Just Art Pottery, now’s the time. There are several Ephraim Faience Pottery pieces we’ve added, along with a few distinctive Rookwood Pottery pieces.

Fans of the rich blues found in some Rookwood Pottery pieces will definitely appreciate the Rookwood Pottery 1927 vase. It’s in mint condition and has a geometric design that provides texture and contrast. It’s marked with the Rookwood logo, shape mark and date. It measures 5 3/4” in height and 2 3/4” wide.

One of the most beautiful colors used in any art pottery is purple. The Rookwood Pottery 1928 vase has the characteristics of what made this pottery company so popular – attention to detail, expert shading and contrasting and creative design efforts. This 7” tall vase is in mint condition and is everything Rookwood fans have come to know and love. Definitely worth a collector’s consideration!

There’s also a dramatic Chicago Crucible Pottery Twist Vase that’s recently been added. The darker glazes add a certain dramatic elegance and the masterful shaping efforts hit the mark. What begins as a square opening soon is a flowing design, complete with a wider base. The matte glazing effort is just right on this sophisticated design.

Not surprisingly, many of the Ephraim Faience Pottery pieces sold quickly, but there remain several exceptional selections, including the Wood Violet vase. The almost-iridescent glazing sets this beauty apart. Shades of green and purple come together in such a way that’s not often seen in art pottery. This experimental vase is in mint condition and is a must-have for Ephraim Faience collectors. It measures 4” tall and is 6 1/2” wide. It’s marked with the logo and stamped “Mary Pratt”.

Finally, we take a look at the Ephraim Faience Pottery Climbing Bear Candle Holder. Again, this is a striking use of colors and glazing efforts that provides that dramatic look this pottery company is so well known for. It too is in mint condition and presents with a traditional cone shape. It is yet another wonderful addition to any collection.

These are but a few of the new arrivals available now. Be sure to check often, too, since we add to our inventory weekly.