New Hull Pottery Orchid VaseBy Mark Chervenka, editor ACRN
New Hull Pottery orchid vase
Reproduction floral patterns in Hull Pottery are available. The new orchid pattern vase in Fig. 1 was purchased from a midwestern reproduction wholesaler in 1999 for $45. It is marked like an original with "Hull, U.S.A. 304-10¼″ stamped into the base (Fig. 2). Colors are also like the original with a light blue base, ivory middle and pale pink top. Original Hull shape 304 orchid vases in this size sold for $250-$325 at the time these reproductions came onto the market.
The maker of the new Hull is uncertain. The color of the clay and overall technique is very similar to other reproduction pottery made here in the United States such as Watt, Weller, Rookwood and certain pieces of Roseville.
All of those reproductions are made with the same very pale almost white clay bodies. Originals have a definite yellow or beige tinge to the clay. The new Hull is the same white clay body. All the new clays are also more like the softer bodies used in pieces made for china painting as compared to the denser, harder bodies of the originals.
This article will examine the floral Hull, of course there may be more reproduced shapes and other patterns out there. The earliest Roseville reproductions begin with a single 8″ magnolia vase first reported in December, 1996. By spring 1997, there were over 100 different pieces of reproduction Roseville.
The new Hull orchid vase is far better quality than the new Roseville. New colors have been subtley applied in a smooth even blending that easily matches the blending on original pieces. Molded detail on new pieces is also very good (Figs. 5-6). The original pattern shown here is exceptionally sharp. You would have to be very experienced to detect a reproduction looking at color and mold detail alone.
A better way to catch the new orchid vase is by looking at the mark and taking some simple measurements. The word Hull in the new mark, for example, is in a script style. Hull in the original mark the original is in block lettering (Figs. 2-3). The size in the new mark is written as 10 and one-quarter; the original size is written 10 and three-quarters.
The new vase is about one half inch shorter than the original: new vase measures 10¼″ high; original is 10¾″ high. Circumference around the widest part of the vase (the lower bulge) is 22 5/8"; the same area of the new vase is only 21 7/8".
The only significant quality problem with the new orchid vase is pitting. However, you need to hold the vase in just the right angle to see the shallow pits in the glaze (Fig. 6). There is the occasional burst bubble or pit in original glaze, but nothing like the widespread repeated patches of pits in the new. Average size of the new pits is about the size of a pinhead; some larger, others smaller.