[Editor's Note - My apologies for those of you looking for this week's Pink Saturday post. I've caught that cold bug going around and just not up to it today. Join us next week and hopefully I'll be going strong, again!]
Welcome and thanks for joining us on our fourth Friday at “The Flea”. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the pottery available at A Classy Flea. “Why pottery?”, you may ask. Pottery is something you can find in almost any antique mall, flea market, thrift store, garage sale… need I go on? Pottery can be found in any color with any pattern at any price point. I have also seen many parents getting their children interested in antiquing and collecting by starting them collecting a specific type or maker of pottery.
As I strolled through the store looking at pottery to include in this week’s post, it became obvious that I had to define a subset of what we have available. I could probably publish a coffee table book on pottery just using what we have available today. So, I decided to only highlight US potters, and provide a little information about them.
When you mention US pottery, most people immediately think of the potters who populated Ohio at the end of the 19th century. Let’s take a look at a few:
Rookwood Pottery was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio by Maria Longworth Nichols in the year 1880. Pottery lovers everywhere can spot the unique look of the Rookwood glaze. One of the best things about their pieces are that they are clearly marked, including the year it was produced. This vase dates to 1928.
Rookwood Vase 6” #2989: $175 (NET)
Speaking of distinctive glaze on pottery produced in Ohio, none is probably more recognizable than those produced by Roseville. The Roseville Pottery Company started operations in 1890 in Roseville, Ohio. It incorporated in 1892 and moved to Zanesville, Ohio.
Roseville Bittersweet Yellow Ewer #816-8” ca. 1940: $225 (NET) Roseville Dahlrose Vase, 8” ca. 1924: $149 (LRA)Roseville Green Zephyr Lily Bookends #16: $99 (GRE)
Weller Pottery was founded by Samuel Weller in Fultonham, Ohio in 1872. The pottery was moved to Zanesville in 1888.
Continuing with our Zanesville potters, you might be expecting us to be overwhelmed with McCoy. Planters and vases marked McCoy are readily available at garage sales and estate sales all around Atlanta. Unfortunately, the market has been saturated with McCoy fakes it has diminished the collectability of the real thing. While walking the store, though, I did come across a rare Brush Art Pottery piece:
You often hear Brush Pottery referred to as Brush-McCoy. The two potteries did join forces for a while but were actually two independent potters for most of their existence. Here’s a glimpse at the Brush mark on the bottom of this piece:
This cookie jar was tucked away mostly hidden by a bunch of other things. It has a top that doesn’t match, but the value in this piece is the jar, anyway. I’m including this one in the post because shoppers often have found hidden treasures throughout our shop.
Brush Pottery Cookie Jar ca. 1940’s: Sale $6 OMG (PHL)
Shawnee Pottery started in Zanesville in 1937. Most of the items they produced were often found in the five and dime stores of their day. Since they were so inexpensive, they were considered “throw-away” and can be quite collectable today.
The small pitcher in front is another type of item that is often collected, mini-pitchers. These are small (obviously) so they don’t take up much space. They can be found in almost as many shapes and colors as their larger counterparts.
Shawnee Mini-Pitcher: $9 (SHEL)
New Fiesta Pitcher: $15 (B)
In addition to Zanesville and Roseville, another small town in the same area of Ohio that spawned potteries was Crooksville. One of the earliest potters here was Burley & Winter. Burley Winter Pottery was started by William Burley and Wilson Winter in 1872. It continued under several different names until 1932.
Also located in Crooksville was Hull Pottery. Hull produced a plethora of decorative pieces that looked very much like and competed with McCoy.
Hull Duck Planter #104: $49 (GRE)Hull Dancing Lady Planter #955: $43 (BJS) Here’s a great shot of why pottery can be so much fun to collect. These three pieces have completely different shapes but look so wonderful together since they are the same pattern.
Hull Pottery Matte Magnolia Pattern:
#8-10-1/2” Vase: $99 (NET)
#11-6-1/4” Vase: $55 (NET)
unmarked 5” Ewer: $29 (NET)
We will finish up our visit to Ohio with a few examples of Watt Pottery. Watt Pottery was incorporated in 1922 at the site of the Burley Pottery. Watt holds a special place in my heart as being the single most expensive piece of pottery I have ever sold, a double apple sugar jar for over $1500!
But, let’s face it, A Classy Flea is located in Georgia and I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight two well known Georgia Potters.
W. J. (Bill) Gordy was born into a potter’s family in 1910 and opened his own studio in 1935. Cars would line up for miles, hours before sunup on the days that Bill would empty the kiln. His works are displayed in the Smithsonian as examples of southern folk pottery. He was also a founding member of the Piedmont Arts Festival in Atlanta and would turn pottery at the show. Mr. Gordy died August 19, 1993.
WJ Gordy 3” Creamer: $22 (B)
WJ Gordy 7” Ewer: $28 (B)
You can’t mention “Georgia Folk Potter” and not think of Lanier Meaders. Lanier Meaders notoriety came about almost by accident. The Meaders family pottery was started by John Meaders in the 1820’s on Mossy Creek, just outside Cleveland, GA, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. It was eventually passed on to his grandson, John Milton Meaders in the late 1800’s. John Milton’s son, Cheever, continued the family tradition through the depression and World War II. In the 1960’s The Smithsonian and PBS combined to document southern US folk potters. During their travels searching for artists, they were intrigued by the works of Cheever. However, on the scheduled day of filming for the PBS documentary, Cheever was too ill to work. His son, Lanier, jumped in and demonstrated how he made his face jug. Lanier had started making these for the tourists that drove through the area headed for Florida. As a result of the interest generated by the PBS documentary, The Library of Congress commissioned Lanier, Cheever and his Mother to produce a show in Washington DC. Lanier’s works are still on display in The Smithsonian. Lanier Meaders died in 1998.
Be sure to check back tomorrow as we participate in another Pink Saturday.
A little about us - We are located in Marietta, GA, about a half mile east of "The Big Chicken". With over 25 full time dealers, we are open 7 days a week. You can get much more information by clicking on the link here. As pretty as these items are, and as much as we want you to have them, our policy prohibits us from selling any of these items without you seeing them in person.