Holiday Decor: Roseville Bushberry, Roseville Clemantis

It’s that time of year again – and for many of us, it’s what makes the rest of the year worth the wait. Maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but still, it really is an exciting time for American art pottery collectors. For me, it’s the perfect time to beautifully include my art pottery into my holiday decor. With my niece, who’s now shown an interest in what I love so dearly, it’s certainly that much more special. While I don’t have an entire collection of any Roseville pattern, I do adore each piece I do own – it all has a story.

This year, I’ve already decided on what I’ll be using as my centerpiece for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you’re into “holiday mode”, and wondering what you can do this year to add to the seasonal beauty, check out a few of my personal favorites – they may become yours too.

Roseville Bushberry

This glorious pattern is considered late period, as it made its debut in 1941. With the primary colors of blue, green and orange, they provide that rich color combination that’s perfect for the holidays. There remains some debate, friendly debate, mind you – but debate nonetheless on how many shapes were included. The advertisements of the day tout 64; however, the factory stock pages only show 61. With a growing movement that makes the Roseville Bushberry pattern more valuable, it’s finding a new popularity – which is quite impressive considering it’s already a favorite among many Roseville collectors.

While some people don’t believe in making their Roseville pottery into useful vessels on their dinner tables, it’s just too hard for me to resist. While I would never put food in any of my pottery, I do like using the Roseville Pottery Bushberry Blue Bowl, which you can see here, for little non-food uses. Think toothpicks or even individually wrapped mints. Tip: Try to keep them out of reach of little hands – but understand if you’re a lone pottery lover, your guests may not understand your efforts of keeping them out of little hands.

Roseville Clemantis

Roseville Clemantis is another beautiful choice for the holidays. It too is considered a late period pattern and was released just three years after Bushberry. It’s the rich brown, blue and green color combinations that make this one a great choice – plus the red flowers remind you of Chrysanthemums, which, of course, is the traditional flower for Christmas. These are beautiful choices for holding dried flowers and make a spectacular centerpiece. Tip: I wouldn’t encourage (in fact, I discourage) adding live flowers which will require water in the vessel. It’s just a safety precaution I take.

There are several vases in this pattern – which is why they make great centerpieces. Consider adding matching dinner napkins (I use gold because of the centers in the flowers on my vases).

Of course, these are just a few ideas. Are you considering incorporating your Roseville Pottery? We’d love to hear about it! Leave us a comment or visit our Facebook page and our Just Art Pottery Roseville Pottery Facebook page. Photos are always great, too!

 

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.

Roseville Pottery Trivia

Think you know everything there is to know about Roseville Pottery? It’s often the details that get lost in our minds. For instance, did you know Roseville Pottery’s first line was Rozane? And did you know it was developed to keep pace with two competing lines, Weller’s Louwelsa and Owen Pottery’s Utopian?

Roseville Pottery, based out of Zanesville, Ohio, had to compete with at least twelve more American art potteries within Zanesville. Still, its business model, ability to recruit some of the best known artists and commitment to quality was the driving force behind its reputation.

Roseville Pottery’s incorporation papers were filed in Zanesville on January 4, 1892. Among those signing them were J.F. Weaver, Thomas Brown, G. Young, Charles Allison and L Kildow. A depression during the 1890s resulted in Roseville Pottery being forced out of business.

As it was seeking to regroup, the company decided to put its wares in A&P grocery stores – it proved quite successful, too.

These days, we’re accustomed to marketing efforts by companies via Facebook and email. While technological opportunities didn’t exist during Roseville Pottery’s heyday, it did have a familiar marketing plan. A brochure from 1905 offered customers a free Rozane paperweight that would be a part of a customer’s first shipment – but only if the customer provided at least three names of friends, neighbors and family members. There is one interesting statement in this particular ad that states the company only wanted those prospects “whose purses might permit them to purchase Rozane”. That’s not common in today’s contemporary ads. We never hear a salesman say, “Give me the names of those whose credit can pass”.

Sometimes, a trip down memory lane is all that’s needed to remind us why we appreciate the beautiful American art pottery that was so carefully created more than one one hundred years ago. With the rich history serving as the foundation, Roseville Pottery provides a truly inspirational story.

Roseville Art Pottery Wall Pockets

There is something so striking about a collection of American art pottery wall pockets. Take it a step further and make it a collection of Roseville Pottery wall pockets, and you have a beautiful – and rare – collection. Many of us don’t have a six, eight or more Roseville wall pockets, but there’s no doubt these treasures are not likely to leave the family. If you’re like me, these get written into the will!

What makes Roseville Pottery wall pockets so different has a lot to do with the versatility of these creations. The glaze lines, shapes, textures and a host of other creative efforts come together to form the perfect wall decor. The fact that many of the lines with Roseville Pottery include a wall pocket sweetens the deal even more.

Roseville Snowberry

One of the really popular lines, Roseville Pottery Snowberry, has its own wall pocket. It incorporates interesting straight lines and even has small handles. The beveled florals along with the way the browns, pinks and greens play off each other, makes this a definite must-have if you ever come across one. The good news is it’s a fairly affordable piece. These beauties measure 5 1/4″ in height and are 8″ wide.

Roseville Poppy Gray

Another favorite, at least of this writer, is the Roseville Pottery Poppy Gray wall pocket. I love this one because of the way the artists extend it with two miniature pockets on either side. Another eye-catching inclusion is the lovely pale yellow and light blue-gray glaze combination. It’s the perfect frame for the white poppy pair that defines this wall vase.

Roseville Freesia Green

For those who appreciate the more dramatic side of Roseville Pottery, the Freesia Green is definitely worth a bit of time searching out. The soft black allows the matte green glaze to jump out, even as what appears to be very light pink dandelions are gracing center stage. It too offers dual handles and is sure to the centerpiece of any Roseville Pottery wall pocket collection. The design has a wide opening at the top and flows downward to a soft point at its base.

These are just a few of the wall pockets that are part of the Roseville name. If you have a collection, we’d love to see your photos. We’re always inspired by other Roseville Pottery fans.

Roseville Pottery Orian

The middle period line that’s all about vivid colors and a rich gloss glaze is Roseville’s Orian; curiously, it’s also one that’s often overlooked. Considered art deco, this contemporary collection offers those vibrant colors this time period is known for and certainly presents the willingness to take a risk that Roseville Pottery was known to do.

In the mid-1930s, during the height of its popularity, it was referred to as a “solid color line that is a real achievement in ceramic art…inspired directly or indirectly by the Chinese vases of the Ming period”. It was also noted for the unique contours and glaze combinations. It’s interesting, too, that while trying to grasp the right adjectives for this post, I ran across an apt description related to the designs: “shapes are lovely but in no way extreme”. That’s true, too – they’re unique and and certainly creative, but we’re not talking on the level, of say, the aggressive designs George Ohr was known for. The result is a fun presentation of narrow handles, wider vases and pedestal bases – lots of pedestal bases.

It’s believed there were sixteen shapes with this Roseville pattern – and they’re all beautiful choices. If you run across them, and if you’re an art deco fan, odds are, it’s going to be difficult to pass up. There are several vases in a wide range of heights, widths and glaze colors, along with bowls, candlesticks, wall pockets and even a lovely rose bowl.

You’ll recognize the Roseville Orian. Look for the glossy finish, smart color combinations (one favorite is the yellow and green that really makes the vases stand out). Also, those narrow and usually low resting dual handles are generally a giveaway along with the classic “pedestal base”. While there are several tan pieces, they’re not likely to sell for as much as their more colorful counterparts. Also, note that in the bowls, the interior of the actual bowl is usually white, which is a nice contrast with the reds, greens and yellows on the outside of the pieces.

Roseville Pottery Florals: Roseville Sunflower, Water Lily

There are countless patterns, glazes, shapes and color combinations that define the Roseville Pottery as a whole. One of those themes is the creativity and elegance found in those lines of florals. Some are definitive, such as the Roseville Sunflower or Apple Blossom collections and others are a little less obvious, such as those sometimes found in Roseville Crystal Green, which, incidentally, remains difficult to find.

We thought we’d explore two of the more recognized Roseville Pottery lines: the Roseville Water Lily and Roseville Sunflower. There are a few similar features, but for the most part, each is quite distinctive in its own way. For instance, the Roseville Sunflower patter is considered middle period collection, as it was introduced 1930. The Water Lily pattern was unveiled in 1943.

Roseville Sunflower

Easily distinguished by the golds in the sunflowers and often with a green foundation, the Roseville Sunflower pattern is really quite sought after – from the time it was introduced until modern day, it’s often which serves as a striking complement to those vivid oranges and gold in the raised sunflowers.

It enjoyed a surge of popularity in the 1990s, and as a result, its value increased, too. If you’re looking for markings, because paper labels were sometimes used, it might be you come across a Roseville bowl or vase with no marking. There were some that had hand written shape numbers, which can help with identification. Many of the pieces had dual handles, which certainly adds to the overall presentation. A few of the examples of Sunflower pottery include umbrella stands, wall pockets, and of course, bowls and vases.

Roseville Water Lily

As mentioned, Water Lily is one of the newer lines and was introduced in 1943. Its standard colors are brown, blue, and pink, which blend in a beautiful manner. Like Roseville Sunflower, the Water Lilly also has several vases with two handles. Part of the draw to this particular pattern are the unique textures. The florals are raised and the smooth matte finish works to really accentuate the design elements. This Roseville Pottery pattern includes vases, bowls, bookends, ewers, jardinières and others.

Avoid Buying Fake Roseville Pottery

One major reason people avoid collecting American art pottery is because they fear not being able to differentiate between fakes and true Roseville Pottery.

The truth is, some of the fake Roseville pieces have a sense of authenticity that makes it difficult to tell apart from true Roseville Pottery. Aside from getting your collection appraised (which we always strongly encourage), you may never know for sure. Then again, there are those who see the beauty and would still purchase it, even if it were a fake, so that

Collection of Roseville Baneda

they could display it in their home. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, except you probably paid Roseville Pottery prices for fake Roseville pieces.

For those who find it difficult to tell apart, there are a few tell-tale signs that might clue you in. Keep in mind – this is all very subjective in that what one’s idea of a “dull glaze” might be different than another’s – again, this only reiterates the importance of a professional appraisal.

Take a look at the glaze on your piece; fakes lack a certain depth and without a “clear” look; it can even look dull and flat. Also, the glaze shouldn’t hinder the nuances of clay underneath it.

Take a look at the handles (if applicable). Fake pieces usually have bigger handles in terms of their dimensions. Again, this is subjective, but for those familiar with this line of art pottery, the differences are obvious.

How about the detailing? Authentic Roseville Pottery offers a lot of detail – the vines, florals, etc. The Roseville artists always took pride in their detailing efforts.

There were many Roseville marks through the years; so many that sometimes even collectors question a Roseville marking. There are those with Roseville U.S.A. or wafer marks or ink stamps – the marking often dates your Roseville piece; however, fraudsters will do their best to replicate the markings in order to fool buyers.

So what should you do to keep from being taken? We always tell customers to study their Roseville pieces they know are authentic. Usually, once you know what truly is real, the fakes become easier to identify. It’s also a great way to learn more about the history of this dynamic line of American art pottery.

If you’re looking to have your Roseville Pottery collection (or any other collection) appraised, give us a call. All of our appraisals are done in accordance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPA). Greg Myroth is a member of the Association of Online Appraisers and abides by the AOA Code of Ethics. For more information, visit our Just Art Pottery appraisal page.

Roseville Della Robbia: Unlike Anything Else

The Roseville Pottery Della Robbia line was described as “unlike anything else” in the 1906 Roseville catalog. The textures and sgrafitto decorative inclusions define this beautiful line.

The Roseville Della Robbia really stood out the moment it was introduced around the turn of the century. The textures, courtesy of hand incised designs placed on the shapes, which had been slip cast at least two times, set it apart from all other Roseville offerings. Frederick Hurten Rhead described the process involved with this very detailed group:

I had produced some interesting sgrafitto process decorations…the problem involved casting in two colored slips with an incised and carved design…it demanded extreme care and neatness… and the ware had to be handled very tenderly.

Rhead’s biggest problem was ensuring his beloved Della Robbia line wouldn’t be too expensive to mass produce, especially considering the Roseville Pottery decorators “were highly paid as wages go in the art potteries”. Before long, Rhead figured out a way to outsource the work – and this was long before “outsourcing” became a modern catchphrase. Instead of the high wages to the decorators, he instead brought in high school girls who showed promise in their art classes. After extensive training, Rhead was confident these young girls had mastered the process. “I had a working force of ten girls…at the end of two months could execute any of the illustrated pieces”.

Of course, what we’re left with is the beautiful hand decorated Roseville Della Robbia, complete with its textures and dimensions – all because one artist’s determination to bring it to the public. One final note regarding the art pottery line’s history: many of the high school girls who worked on these pieces were hired immediately following their high school graduation.

Mid-Century Trends in Art Pottery

Those colorful and funky designs found in what’s referred to as “mid century” art pottery is often what many of us refer to as vintage; it’s definitely trendy, but finding a single adjective or definition is where the challenge begins.

Vintage. Mod. “1960s style”. Art Nouveau. Art Deco.– these are all used to describe the colorful movement in art pottery and general home décor during the 1950s and into the 1960s. But what defines this very specific line of American art pottery? And how do you differentiate between the real thing and those “dime a dozen” pieces that were so common during this time period? Here’s a bit of info that can help you when you’re ready to explore what this particular line offers.

There are no shortage of names, styles or even materials that are identified with this time period. A personal favorite is Blisscraft of Hollywood. That, of course, isn’t ceramic pottery, but it is indicative of the trends of the day – and you can’t mention these trends without there being an acknowledgment of the parts that define the sum.

Roseville Pottery, which comes as a surprise to many, is often included in that sum. Many of the Roseville vases that were made in the early 1900s are easily found in today’s literature on mid-century pottery. It makes sense. Roseville Pottery is so versatile that it works with, well, anything – from ultra contemporary design efforts to those art nouveau pieces to the designs that came from the same time period the pottery was made. Think about, say, the Roseville Sunflower line. It’s colorful, timeless and frankly, works with any art déco piece you can imagine. The point is to not discount this particular line – it serves its purpose in every era.

Finally, another important element in this distinctive art pottery is the color and specifically, the color combinations. Think vibrant oranges, rich greens, vivid pinks and reds – they all come together on a whim, which is the only way when you’re combining artistic effort and color.

With more of us turning once again to mid-century art pottery and everything that it implies, you can expect to see a surge in prices, too. Still, it’s a great way to add to a collection and frankly, it’s ideal for those who’ve just discovered American art pottery and are looking for a starting place.

Roseville Pottery Della Robbia

Roseville Pottery, to many, is known by its more popular lines, such as Roseville Pine Cone or even the beautiful Roseville Zephyr Lily. There were many lines this pottery company released, including the lesser-known, though stunning, Roseville Della Robbia.

Della Robbia is perhaps one of the most striking lines of Roseville Pottery. It’s an early line, released in 1906 and is often known as Rozane Della Robbia. It’s interesting that there are a few very unique and specific lines that are associated with Roseville, but the truth is, this pottery company had more than 110 lines, and some of the more beautiful collections are too often overlooked. One of those collections is, of course, Roseville Pottery Della Robbia.

Textures, Glazes and Colors

Perhaps it’s the expense associated with owning any of these pieces. They began as Rozane Royal or sometimes even Roseville Cremo shapes, only to be laid aside and picked back up again with a new focus. That new focus includes wonderful textures and distinctive glazes and color combinations. More importantly, each piece was carved, detailed and colored by hand. Once you see the detailing, you begin to understand the love that surely went into each vase, ewer or fern dish.

Other Decorative Elements

It’s really quite a versatile line, too. Unlike other lines, such as the Roseville Sunflower line that has a very specific color combination and decorative elements, the Della Robbia offers up different color combinations and patterns. One Della Robbia may include abstracts and scallops while another piece has a more feminine floral design. There’s one particular vase that has clear Japanese influences. This is only part of what makes this such a special collection.

Della Robbia Shape Numbers

There were 23 shape numbers associated with The Roseville Della Robbia and you’re as apt to discover a vase with carved penguins and trees as you are hand carved and very detailed flower petals. It’s truly one of the more sophisticated lines and frankly, that attention to detail that defines Roseville Pottery was never more evident.