Roseville Creamware

Ah – the Roseville Creamware line. This is definitely one of those collections that you’ll spend your life searching for because you’re so drawn to it or it will be one you’ll steer clear of – love it or strongly dislike it.

Roseville Pottery Creamware

Maybe one of the reasons this is, first, one of the more versatile Roseville design lines, but more importantly, not a favorite among some collectors is because of the decals. Some thought they were being shortchanged with this collection, but once you consider the times, it becomes clear as to why the pottery company incorporated these less-expensive decals. Production costs were always in the forefront and consumers were watching their funds closely.

There often wasn’t enough in the budget for decorative pieces and when there were, it had better be an affordable venture, or the consumer of the day would walk right on by. This, coupled with the end of the so-called Arts & Crafts era, proved to be a challenge for the art industry as a whole and certainly those in art pottery.

In the early 1900s, the Roseville Creamware was unveiled, complete with its decals. There were floral patterns, people – sometimes animated, messaging (several fraternal societies used Creamware for coffee mugs, complete with the frat’s branding – and an extensive line called Juvenile.

If you can get past the absence of bold artistic efforts and rich color hues, Creamware really is a lovely collection; unfortunately, anyone who agrees often does so as an afterthought. It’s just not one of those lines that catch your eye. Then there are those that just look misplaced.

There is a rather interesting design – one of those that look out of place. The Creamware chamber pot throws you for a loop. First, it’s heavily decorated on the outside with “Novelty Steins” – mostly kids. But when you lift the lid, many discover this eye painted in the center of the pot. It’s really remarkable as it looks quite real, much the way a 3-D eye would appear in a more modern setting. Some of those pots also have a message: “Wash me out and keep me clean and I won’t tell what I have seen.”

The Juvenile pieces almost always have decals of children in various ages. Some offer up nursery rhymes as well. Even though it was heavily produced for quite some time, it is considered a valuable line and one that’s highly sought after.


The Inspiration for Roseville Olympic

The brick reds, glossy black and pale yellows found in the Roseville Olympic line suggests a Greek approach from the artist. It’s a striking line, most of which have those deep glosses that really allow them to stand out. But if indeed believe the early 1900 line is simply a Greek influence, you might want to rethink that.

In fact, John Flaxman, another well known artist of his time, mostly for his Neo-Classical designs, was the true inspiration. Some say the images are absolute efforts of reproductions.  And going even further back before Flaxman, the argument’s been made that Homer’s The Iliad and The Odyssey – both tragedies – was the foundation of the inspiration.

The pieces themselves are modeled after the Roseville Creamware; the red pigments were applied over the bodies, careful to camouflage any similarity to the Creamware line. From there, decorators were tasked with transferring the reproduced lines to the bodies, and from there, the artists completed the final look.

And here’s another interesting element: Olympic wasn’t the only line that drew its inspiration from Flaxman. Both Della Robbia and Old Ivory have remarkable similarities, even if they’re not as obvious as those in the Olympic line.

Most of the Olympic pieces were marked with “Rozane Pottery” and were the last of these striking Roseville Pottery designs that defined Rozane.

This particular line is also one of the more expensive lines. The color combinations are rich and generous as they drape the various vessels. There’s a lot of detailing in this line, too. Often, you’ll discover intricate pattern décor along the baselines, necks or even right inside the design. It really is a beautiful line to collect.

As mentioned, this line was introduced in the early 1900s and was instantly popular in those early days. Even by today’s standards, this line presents as quite contemporary and is as popular today as it was then.

Incorporate your Roseville Pottery into Holiday Celebrations

Too many times, we find ourselves scrambling to locate the ideal centerpiece for our family gatherings, especially those special Christmas dinners that we want to ensure are absolutely perfect. As we run from florist to florist or department store to department store, we often overlook the beauty that’s already in our homes, courtesy of our American art pottery collections.

If you’re a Roseville Pottery fan, you already know how versatile your collection is and while there’s not definitive Roseville collection designed especially for Christmas, there are choices within the various collections that can really set the tone for your holidays.  The best part is that you don’t necessarily need a traditional red and green Christmas theme (although there are a few choices that match those color themes). A beautiful Roseville vase with hues of winter white or evergreen works well with silk Chrysanthemums or other holiday floral choices.

As mentioned, there are a few Roseville Pottery pieces that do have a more traditional Christmas theme. The Roseville Creamware collection offers holly-inspired designs. There’s a unique side-pour pitcher with vivid reds and greens against an off-white base. This would make a remarkable centerpiece with the right floral arrangement. Allow the colors to play off each other and you’re sure to have a finished look that’s nothing short of inspirational. Also in this line is a fern dish. This is another beautiful choice, partly because of its footed design. It adds a bit of height, too, which is what most of us like in our centerpieces. If you don’t already own any of these pieces, keep your eyes open – you never know when you’ll come across this particular Roseville design and once you do, it’s sure to be a new addition to your collection.

Another unlikely, though elegant choice for Christmas is found in the Roseville Corinthian line. Granted, it’s probably not the first thing you think of, but the deep green hues in the grooves of the pieces has a certain holiday feel. There are small berries, similar to holly, that coordinate nicely, too. It’s Italian inspired, so you know it’s all about the detailing and this Roseville line doesn’t disappoint.

If you’re not in possession of any of these pieces, remember Roseville Pottery has several lines that incorporate rich reds and brilliant greens. Even those Roseville pieces that don’t have a lot of height can be transformed into the perfect showcase for a bouquet of fresh mistletoe and of course, the other traditional Christmas flowers.

Remember, it’s all about the creativity. The subtle – and even not-so-subtle – Roseville designs makes it easy to allow that creativity to take over.