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.

 

Roseville Raymor

It’s always fascinating to learn about a company’s inner-workings, and especially if an otherwise successful company hits a speed bump. It tells much about the heart of the company: the one who’s making the decisions in order to get it over the speed bump. Roseville Pottery is no different.

During one of those proverbial “speed bumps” in the early 1950s, Roseville Pottery made the decision to introduce a new line to

Roseville Raymor

sort of spruce things up. Instead of sticking with the tried and true combinations of years earlier (something most savvy business owners would do), the decision makers instead elected to introduce a couple of new lines. Enter Roseville Raymor and its young and slightly less traditional artist, Ben Seibel. His efforts included a more expensive glaze, an entirely different manner in which each piece was “power pressed” and more than a few setbacks, especially when it came to expensive repairs to the kiln. In fact, some accounts show that up to 25% of the production efforts during these days were lost because of the mechanical problems.

Still, Seibel remained determined and consistent. He had an image in his mind of how this particular line of pottery would fill a much needed space within Roseville Pottery.  It was all about a contemporary flair. In fact, for me, it’s easier to picture the various artistic efforts from this period into how they would fit into those amazing stages of homes that were so popular on television during that time. The high gloss, the slight tip to abstract and the deep vessels were something you might would find on an old episode of Betwitched or maybe I Dream of Jeanie – right during that television transition from black and white to color. The vibrancy of the blues and greens and even pinks – they’re all remarkable and used in all their glory on these sets. If he felt the heat from the cost of producing Roseville Raymor, it’s a shame because it’s one of the more decorative patterns within the entire Roseville Pottery collection.

A Closer Look at Roseville Earlam

Many collectors of Roseville pottery will hone in on one particular design element and for those who treasure the Roseville Earlam line, that specific element is the simple arts and crafts forms and the quality matte glazes. The subtle colors provide the perfect canvas for light to produce exceptional dimensions; indeed, it looks as though it’s been masterfully shadowed. With just 22 various Earlam shapes, it’s a natural assumption that the artists would have been assertive in their efforts of ensuring it stands out. The most obvious way to accomplish that is via the inclusion of irregular asymmetric efforts or even geometric efforts, similar to what we see in the Roseville Futura lines. That’s not the case, though.

The extent of many of the pieces in this line are little more than open neck or slightly expanded bottom. There’s an absence of

Roseville Pottery Earlam Blue Green Handled Vase

floral motifs, animals, people or anything else, for that matter. Some offer handles, but almost always they’re placed near the top of the vase or pots. That’s the beauty of it: simple and clean served the purposes nicely.

The Earlam line also offers several console bowls and strawberry pots – with one even offering a saucer. With the exception of the occasional candlestick pairs and umbrella stands, the majority of the shapes are vases and bowls. The one unlikely – though beautiful – inclusion is the hanging basket. It comes as no surprise to learn it’s always in high demand.

The green matte against that pale yellow glaze really bodes well with this line, which was introduced in 1930. There’s one important consideration – most pieces from this line had paper labels, and like any other line that had the stickers, when they fall off or are otherwise removed, many assume it’s not authentic. There are some with handwritten markings, but it’s impossible to identify which shapes the writing is more likely to be found.

What’s not at all surprising is the Frank Ferrell influence; remember, he tended to steer clear of the more feminine elements, such as flowers, and preferred a more streamlined presentation. Still, whatever his reasons were, his ability to transform those artistic images in his mind to the potter’s will is exactly what makes this line of Roseville pottery so spectacular.

The Vast Roseville Futura Art Deco Line

What’s not to love about what is arguably the most versatile Roseville Pottery pattern.  Roseville Futura is all about the art deco style, complete with sharp lines, dimension and extraordinary color choices. Considered a middle period line, Futura was introduced in 1928 and really put Roseville  in a new light.

Remember, both Roseville Carnelian and Roseville Rosecraft were introduced just two years earlier. While both of these arts and crafts patterns have their own draw and remain popular with collectors today, they also seemed to set the stage for what was coming. Rosecraft’s primary colors were brown and green and had only 10 shapes. Meanwhile, Carnelian didn’t sell well and the majority of any unsold pieces were pulled and re-glazed as the Carnelian II pattern.

And then the curtain was raised for Roseville Futura

Roseville Pottery Futura Spittoon Vase 403-7

. Think of a color – any color – Futura offers it. No “one-hue color” with this line, you’re bound to find those deeper greens that are stunning under a heavy gloss, those moss greens that are ideal for detailing and it’s the same with all of the colors.

There are 78 Futura shapes and most are marked with paper labels (don’t forget, those paper labels are likely to have been lost through the years, which means many would be unmarked) with a few that offer hand written shape numbers.

Futura made impressive strides in its heyday and the potential was there for a long run, but like all things in the late 1920s, what “was before” rarely “was after” the stock market crash. Futura was dealt an unfair fate. Even after some recovery, the mindsets of people were raw with all too vivid memories of poverty, hunger and fear. The collective priority of a nation shifted. For many collectors who own any Futura pieces, there’s a certain realization. These pieces were likely made by artists who were confident in the future and purchased by consumers who weren’t yet worried about the possibility of what lied ahead. Regardless of the motivation for collectors, there’s such beauty and detailing to every piece from the Roseville Futura Line.

Here’s a list of all Roseville Futura pieces:

Bowl   

187-8 tan            Balloons Bowl

187-8 gray         Balloons Bowl

188-8 tan            Aztec Bowl

188-8 gray         Aztec Bowl

189-4                   Sand Toy

190-3                   Blue Box

191-8                    Square Box

194-5                   Little Flying Saucer or “Ashtray”

195-10                 Flying Saucer

196-12 tan          Sailboat

196 12 gray        Sailboat

197-6                    Half Egg

198-5                    Hibachi

Candle Holder, pr     

1072-4                Aztec Ladies

1073-4                Candlesticks with Leaves

1075-4                Flying Saucer Candlesticks

Flower Frog   

15-2.5                  Little Round Frog

15-3.5                  Big Round Frog

Hanging Basket         

344-5 tan           Little Hanging Basket

344-5 gray        Little Hanging Basket

344-6 tan           Big Hanging Basket

344-6 gray        Big Hanging Basket

Jardiniere      

616-6 tan            Jardiniere

616-6 gray         Jardiniere

616-7 tan            Jardiniere

616-7 gray         Jardiniere

616-8 tan            Jardiniere

616-8 gray         Jardiniere

616-9 tan            Jardiniere

616-10 tan         Jardiniere

616-10 gray      Jardiniere & Pedestal

Planter           

81-5                      Blue Sunray

82-6                      Blue Fan

85-4                      2 Pole Pink Pillow Vase

Vase   

Roseville Pottery Futura Space Capsule Vase 432-10

380-6                   Torch

381-6                    Beer Mug

382-7                    Telescope

383-8                    Little Blue Triangle

384-8                    Ball Bottle

385-8                    Pleated Star

386-8 pink          Jukebox

386-8 brns          Jukebox

387-7 gray          Bamboo Leaf Ball

387-7 blue          Bamboo Leaf Ball

388-9                    Big Blue Triangle

389-9                    Emerald Urn

390-10 org Bud Christmas Tree

390-10 blu Bud Christmas Tree

391-10                  Black Flame

392-10                  Shooting Star

393-12                  Four Ball Vase

394-12                  Bomb

395-10                  Stepped Urn

396-5                     Chalice

Roseville Pottery Futura Four Ball Vase 393-12

397-6                     Square Cone

398-6                     Green Twist

399-7                     Red Vee

400-7 tan            Ostrich Egg

400-7 p&g          Ostrich Egg

401-8                    Cone

402-8                    Milk Carton

403-7                    Spittoon

404-8 blue          Balloons Globe

404-8 grn            Balloons Globe

405-7                    Spaceship

406-8                    Beehive

407-9                    Green Fan

408-10                 Seagull

409-9                    Football Urn

410-12                  Table Leg

411-14                  Arches

412-9                    Tank

421-5                    Brown Stump

422-6                    Two Pole Bud Vase

423-6                    Tombstone

424-7                    Stepped Egg

425-8                    Hexagon Twist

426-8                    Winged Vase

427-8                    Mauve Thistle

428-8                    Egg with Leaves

429-9                    Purple Crocus

430-9                    Chinese Pillow

431-10                  Falling Bullet

432-10                  Space Capsule

433-10                  Pine Cone

434-10                  Michelin Man

435-10                  Elephant Leg

436-12                  Chinese Bronze

437-12                  Weeping Tulip

438-15                  Tall Teasel

Wall Pocket   

1261-8 tan           Wall Pocket

1261-8 gra           Wall Pocket

Window Box 

376-15                  Window Box

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.

Roseville Candlesticks

Candlesticks are some of the most collected items in American art pottery and Roseville has some of the most remarkable design elements and glazes. Many Roseville Pottery collectors say their collection began with just one pair of candlesticks. Most were hooked and knew they had to continue building their collection. Take a look at a few of the most popular patterns. Eclectic or traditional, glossy or matte finishes – there’s a Roseville pattern for everyone.

And speaking of eclectic, the Roseville Futura includes a candlestick design and it’s unlike anything else most have seen. First, the mouth is square and narrows the closer to the base you get. These designs have two complementing glazes – a bluish/green and more of an eggshell glaze really set these apart. But what draws the eye are the bulb shapes that grace the bottom of the candlesticks. It’s an acquired taste for many, but for the hardcore Futura collectors, this is a must have.

Apple Blossom remains one of the more popular Roseville patterns. Candlesticks are part of this line and they boast the traditional apple tree branch in the handles. The green glaze was smart and it works well with the brown and white that are part of the Apple Blossom charm. It’s little wonder that this was one of those strongest sellers when it was unveiled all those years ago.

Ah – but it’s the Roseville Dahlrose that will catch your attention and hold it. This line has a few bud vases, complete with plenty of decorative elements. Interestingly, these elements don’t overwhelm the presentation and because the bud vases are small, they easily double as candlesticks. That’s just part of the versatility a few of the Roseville patterns bring to the table. Browns and usually a few shades of green define the glazes and the abundance of the white Dahlrose against a textured body just works beautifully.

Many – if not most – of the Roseville patterns have at least one candlestick design. For those who are just beginning their collections, starting with candlesticks or even wall pockets will allow for a great start and will surely drive your passion for adding to your collection. There’s nothing better than coming across a pair of these beauties that you never knew existed. It’s an exhilarating feeling, especially if you’re able to add them to your own collection.

Roseville Pottery Ivory Line

It’s always a risk for any company – be it a clothing designer or an artist – to present a solid white line. When it’s good, it quickly becomes an elegant and simple testament to whatever it is being offered and when Roseville Pottery introduced its Ivory line in 1932, it was possibly one of the biggest gambles the company ever made from an artistic approach. The Roseville Lustre had been released ten years earlier and it was incredibly successful, partly because of the vibrancy in the colors and glaze as well as its white clay body. A few years later, in 1928, the Roseville Normandy was released. It too is known for its intricate designs and colors – mostly green as its foundation. To then present an entire collection of matte white art pottery was a bold move. But it certainly paid off.

In the catalog and in many of the ads, it was described as a collection with an “utter absence of color”. That absence of color, however, bode well with this particular collection since the shapes and other design elements were so fluid and thoughtfully designed. There were lovely window boxes that had easy vining efforts and gentle curving features and several dual-handle vases that boasted simplicity without looking plain. In a 1939 catalog – it was still a popular line then – the company reiterated its efforts of “lend(ing) dignity and beauty…and it will harmonize with all colors”. Indeed it did.

Another selling point the company used was its affordability, stating, “the pieces retail from 50 cents to $10, so that whether you are in the low or high price market, you can find your level”. Because it was such a huge success, each season new shapes were added. In fact, new shapes were designed that were used only in the Ivory line.

Ultimately, by the time the Ivory line was retired, it had been made available in 183 shapes. Several bowls in various sizes, vases, pillow vases, bud vases, sand jars and candlesticks were just a few of the shapes. The fact that it was a simple white matte frankly added a certain sophistication and one that people were drawn to. It was a nice change of pace and despite the risky choice of following such a line as Roseville Normandy, there’s no denying that whoever made that decision had hit a home run. The Roseville Ivory line remains as popular and collectible today as it was in the 1930s.

Roseville Pottery Candle Holders

Oh, the holidays – we don’t know about you, but we can smell the turkey and dressing and many of us are already studying our Roseville Pottery collections to determine which pieces will grace our holiday meal tables. Candle holders are an absolute necessity around here. In fact, it’s not unusual to choose the tablecloth, dinner ware and yes, even salt and pepper shakers around the Roseville candle sticks. This year, at least at my table, I’ve decided to go full traditional. And that equates to choosing pieces from the Roseville Pottery Pine Cone collection.

If you’ve not seen the double candle holders that are part of the Roseville Pine Cone collection, you’re missing out. There is a set available now that’s in mint condition. They measure 5 inches in height and are 4 1/4 inches wide. Part of the beauty in these candlesticks is found in the double holders on each piece. The deep orange and brown combination, along with the pine cone in the middle of each candle holder are indicative of everything that represents Fall weather. The interior of the holders have a glossy blue finish. This would be lovely on any table, but they just seem especially fitting for Thanksgiving. Also, there are other pieces that are part of this collection that make fine centerpieces, too.

Have you considered Roseville Pottery Freesia as an option? This pattern offers up that deep blue which is a great choice for the holidays. It easily coordinates with other traditional fall colors and the the Freesia Blue candle holders have a nice height – 5 inches, as a matter of fact, that works well with a more formal table setting. The small double loop handles add to the overall beauty, too and the small yellow flowers that adorn the center and base of the holders are an ideal finishing touch.

Finally, there is a lovely set of Roseville Pottery Moss Blue candle holders available now. These aren’t easily located; indeed, this was a rare find. The lighter blue and green combinations are beautiful and the design elements, including a flared out center, will draw attention. Imagine a pair of navy blue taper candles in this set – the sky’s the limit and the colors and hues make it easy to incorporate nearly any color you choose.

These are just a few of our suggestions, of course, but if you do incorporate your Roseville Pottery into your holiday decor, we’d love to see photos!

Looking for an American Pottery Sale?

It’s not often we do a post on our sale page, but there are some incredible finds that are definitely must see. And here’s a hint: there’s even a few Roseville Pottery rare finds on sale. Take a look –

Of course, the first thing I’m dying to talk about is the Brush McCoy Pottery Majolica Brown Amaryllis Vase. This spectacular find is stunning. It’s in factory original condition with a small stilt chip in the vase. The vase measures 4 1/4″ tall and 2 3/4″ wide.  Also – and this is exciting – there’s also a matching vase if you would like a pair. Note the deep, rich blue and brown hues. It truly is a beautiful work of art.

The Roseville Pottery Primrose Pink Flower Frog is a unique choice and makes a great addition to your collection. With lovely hues that coordinate flawlessly, this flower frog brings the unmistakeable Roseville Pottery flair and attention to detail. It has the traditional Roseville marking and the number 22 on the underside. It’s in excellent condition with a small nick on the underside. It’s visible only when you turn the frog over. It measures 4 3/4″ high and 3 1/4″ wide.

Another exciting find is the Roseville Pottery Vista vase. This beautiful creation is also in mint condition. It’s a massive 18 inches in height and 8 inches wide – think about how this would look in the middle of your holiday table. It definitely demands to be noticed. The raised artistic efforts add texture to an already striking appearance. Imagine those hues of blue and gold and green in your Thanksgiving presentation!

Of course, the sale items rotate pretty quickly, and these aren’t the only two sale items. Visit our Sale page regularly to get the best deals on those pieces your own collection is missing. Also, as we prepare to head into the new year, if you haven’t already liked our Just Art Pottery and our Just Art Pottery Roseville pages, now’s a great time to do so. We love the interactions and it’s also where you get the latest news on what’s going on.