09/06/2018 at 4:08 pm #48450
I meant to post this after the podcast J&R talked about buying lots of pottery at an auction. I LOVE pottery and buy and sell hundreds of pieces a year – it’s one of the main areas I like to trade in. I thought it might be helpful to the community to bring up an issue I encounter often. Some pots are well marked, many bear numbers or logos that really help. A very common misunderstanding is that pottery that is not marked is not valuable. This could not be further from the truth. There a ton of potteries that did not mark their pots for various seasons or designs that they made. Some of the very best early Roseville is unmarked. There are hundreds of pots that might only be able to be sold based on identification through glaze, clay color and shape. I’ve attached a picture of a few pots today that I assembled from my current collection and inventory – NONE of these pots are marked at all – zero – no number – no logo -no stamp – no date.
Tall yellow in the back is Zanesville – $100
Back Row L->R – Roseville, Hampshire, Roseville, Catalina (125, 175, 225, 150)
Front Row L-> R Bybee, Roseville, Fulper (100, 85, 200)
If you passed on these pots, you’d be passing on real value.
Not only that, but so many sellers just sell this stuff cheap when unmarked.
It takes a while to learn, but might be worth it. Don’t dismiss your gut on a nice piece. BUT – there are also tons of modern imported crap pots that are also unmarked.
If you’re buying lots of pottery – I’d start with the big makers – Roseville, Weller, and Rookwood – Every library in America is bound to have a couple good books, flipping through them will give you an idea of what to look for.
One more note – In pottery, condition is HUGE – any and EVERY issue should always be disclosed. Any chips even micro should be mentioned, any cracks, any hairlines (if your fingernail catches on a dark line – it’s a crack). I source pots frequently on ebay and have issues with 1/5 pots – Generally those end in a return. Easier as a seller to get it right the first time – describe everything.
If you ever run into a group of nice pottery and need help valuing and identifying – I’m happy to help, work with buyers and pickers all over the country. HMU – firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope this helps someone : ) – Kyle3+
09/06/2018 at 4:08 pm #48451
09/06/2018 at 5:23 pm #48453
- Location: Northeast US
09/06/2018 at 7:22 pm #48455
Thank you for sharing your knowledge! I LOVE buying pottery and have had mixed results with selling it. Ha!0
09/06/2018 at 11:30 pm #48458
Beautiful collection! Thanks for the info and the offer to help.0
09/07/2018 at 1:04 pm #48472
Retro Treasures WVParticipant
Can you give an example of one of these pieces as to how you identified it?
I find it very fascinating that the origin can be identified on something like this with no markings at all. To my very untrained eye its just a bunch of run of the mill pots.0
09/09/2018 at 9:15 am #48521
Had a look at some listings of Fulper, as they’re unknown in the UK. They seem to occupy a similar position in the market as Ruskin- basically vases decorated simply with striking glazes. Ruskin tends to be marked; the pieces seem to be either high-priced or (cough) undesirable- the last piece I saw come up at live auction was a bowl in blue and orange matt glaze which failed to make its reserve of £80.
Other undesirables in the UK market include Wedgwood jasper ware, Torquay motto ware, Mason ironstone, most Poole and Denby and those blooming Royal Crown Derby paperweights. I see examples of Flow Blue occasionally (which I gather was a big thing in the US a few years back). It’s where the printed blue transfer is intentionally made fuzzy. Almost as horrible as anything clobbered with black glaze.0
09/09/2018 at 10:10 am #48522
- Location: SC
The flow blue was intentional? Whenever I saw those pieces I always figured they were seconds – mistakes.0
09/09/2018 at 11:31 am #48526
11/30/2018 at 2:22 pm #52506
Village Creek Merc.Participant
- Location: Missouri
I am an avid pottery collector/reseller. It is always nice to go to an auction, garage sale or Estate sale and find that unmarked piece that can be attributed to a certain maker, but it is also good to allow yourself to rely on your instincts and knowledge of what you are looking for. Unmarked pottery can still sell on Ebay, but if you can put a name to the piece, all the better…. buy what you like, describe it fully and hope for the best.1+
11/30/2018 at 3:03 pm #52507
Picked up a small yellow jug at the local thrift shop. Pretty nondescript except that it had an unusual mark on the base- an oak tree and a s****ika. It was made by Ashtead Potters, a pottery set up to support disabled servicemen from the Great War. The s****ika was the year mark for 1928. Went to list it on eBay with the word s****ika in the title- got a warning that it was illegal to sell anything with a s****ika. Changed the word to “mark”. Sold the same day to someone who seems to have an interest in pottery.
Funny thing is, there’s a big Hindu population in Leicester. So we had a S****tik Grocery, and chalked s****ikas on doorsteps, and quite a few objects turn up in the local thrift shops decorated with s****ikas.0
12/07/2018 at 1:09 pm #52884
- Location: ARVADA
Late to this conversation, but thanks so much Kyle. This is really great info.1+
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