Searching for Porcelain & Pottery
Van Briggle pottery has been made continuously 1901 until the present day. Dating modern and current pieces can be challenging. The word Original in marks, for example, has been used since the 1920s. Original in the mark indicates a piece was thrown on a wheel rather than poured in a mold. Modern pieces made today with Original in the mark are not particularly more desirable than pieces without the mark.
Van Briggle pottery has now joined Roseville as a target of widespread fakes and reproductions. Reports and examples of forgeries have been seen and purchased across the United States from Florida to California. The new pieces seem to be the most numerous in Ohio and Indiana. Artus and Anna Van Briggle
Most collectibles have some means of identification: factory mark, catalog shape, reference books, specific finishes or color. Van Briggle Pottery, however, often requires a close examination of more than just one characteristic.
Reproduction floral patterns in Hull Pottery are now appearing. The new orchid pattern vase in Fig. 1 was purchased by ACRN from a midwestern reproduction wholesaler for $45. It is marked like an original with Hull, U.S.A. 304-10¼″ stamped into the base (see Fig. 2, next page). 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 are currently selling for $250-$325.
This new majolica pitcher is quite convincing at first glance. It has pink glazed interior and cobalt blue exterior. The ivy pattern is similar to authentic Victorian designs. It measures 5 high; no permanent mark; retail $18.
Original Watt Pottery cookie jars have been selling in the $1,500 price range for years. The earliest confirmed reproductions date to September 1996 but may have been available earlier. Distribution of this fake followed the pattern of earlier Watt Pottery reproductions. They showed up first in New England states including the Brimfield markets, then locations in the south east such as Spartanburg, South Carolina. Wholesale prices to dealers were about $60; the fakes sold to unsuspecting collectors for around $500 each.
Copies of Roseville art pottery vases marked like originals began appearing in the American market in October 1996. Two of the frist confirmed patterns reproduced were Magnolia and La Rose.
Reproduction majolica marked on the base with butterflies and flowers was sold in the mid 1990s. It was first reported in the New England states in 1994. Sam Pennington, who was at the time the publisher of Maine Antique Digest (MAD), obtained the sample (Fig. 1) after hearing complaints from dealers and collectors. Note the unusual impressed markings of butterflies and flowers (Fig. 2). These markings have no known old counterpart.
Old Sleepy Eye collectibles are primarily premiums, advertising items and promotional pieces from the Sleepy Eye Milling Company of Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. The town's name and the company's distinctive trademark were taken from a Sioux Indian Chief, Old Sleepy Eye. Founded in 1883, the company continued in operation till 1921. One of their best known premiums is a series of blue and white pottery pitchers.
A new vase like the one shown below was recently offered as vintage Weller Pottery in an online auction.