The Stamp and Coin Place Blog: connecting the past and present of stamp and coin collecting, and looking to the future.

All About Roseville Pottery

Some kinds of collectibles simply stand the test of time, riding waves of popularity until they become cherished pieces. Roseville pottery is one such case.

Roseville was a pottery manufacturer in the 19th and 20th centuries that created beautiful and unique pieces of art pottery.

From the Freesia line of Roseville pottery

From the Freesia line of Roseville pottery

The American Arts and Crafts movement increased the popularity of Roseville pieces in its encouragement of handcrafted simplicity, a value that Roseville represented very well.

The company started in 1890 when they made earth ware for functional kitchen use. But then they hired artist Ross C. Purdy for creating art pottery to compete with the other pottery at the time. His Rozane Royal line, with glossy pieces in both dark and pastel, was successful, though it was considered a cheaper version of other companies’ pottery at the time.

By 1901, the company had four plants and employed 325 people.teaset

Early on Roseville also released the Egypto line, a total change from the previous art pottery they’d designed. The line was designed after ancient Egyptian pottery, with touches of Art Nouveau.

Roseville released a number of art lines throughout the years, each playing with their signature simplified beauty.

Frank Rhead became the art director for five years from 1904 (a vase by Rhead currently holds the record for the most expensive piece of American pottery, though it’s not under the Roseville name). Frank Farrell became art director in 1917 and made some of the most popular Roseville designs, including Blackberry, Sunflower, and Pinecone, which was their bestselling line.

As popular as Rosewood was, they closed down in 1953. Their designs did, however, experience upswings in popularity with baby boomers and during the popularity revival of mission style design in later years.

From the Pinecone series.

From the Pinecone series.

Today, rare Roseville pieces sell for up to thousands of dollars. Frederick Rhead’s Fudji, Crystalis, Aztec and Della Robbia lines were made in limited amounts and are some of the rarest Roseville pottery pieces out there.

Roseville clearly made an impact in the pottery world. Have you seen, or do you own any Roseville pottery?

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