This month’s museum feature is especially neat, a variety of unique pieces from our collection of Roseville Pottery, a company whose popularity was at its peak during the 1930s and 1940s. This unique grouping of pieces includes a large vase from the Iris-Blue pattern, a large coffee pot from the Raymor-Autumn Brown Matte Finish pattern, an oval bowl and basket from the Pinecone-Brown pattern, and a teapot, creamer, and sugar from the Apple Blossom-Pink pattern. These pieces are particularly rare, and represent significant finds in collectible pottery.
Roseville Pottery Company was incorporated on January 4, 1892. Located in Roseville, Ohio, the company was first known for its unique stoneware products including umbrella stands and various types of pots and painted wares. Around 1898, the company relocated from Roseville to Zanesville, Ohio. Roseville Pottery had developed such a brand following though that the decision was made that the company should keep its original name. In Zanesville, the company would continue to grow by enlarging its facilities and acquiring more skilled artisans. During its peak production, Roseville would operate continuously four plants with 30 kilns, manned by over 300 people. (Under the management of George Young and his son Russell, the company would grow from having a capital stock value of $25,000 to over $1.2 million dollars by World War II.)
Pinecone-Brown Oval Bowl and Basket by Roseville Pottery
In keeping with the artistic trends of the day, Young commissioned the famous Art Nouveau pottery line Rozane. Historical records indicate that each piece from this line sold for around $0.50 each. Pieces from Rozane were also some of the first to bear Roseville’s backstamp. The name Rozane would eventually come to apply to all of the art pottery lines introduced by Roseville. Two of the most popular were Rozane Egypto and Rozane Crystalis.
In 1918, George Young was succeeded by his son, Russell T. Young. Like many other American companies, Roseville struggled to make ends meet following the stock market crash of 1929. Years before, a young designer named Frank Ferrell submitted designs for a rustic line of pottery called Pinecone. Although his initial submission was rejected by the company’s management, in 1931 Pinecone went into production and became the best selling pattern ever produced by Roseville Pottery. Following World War II, Roseville had trouble maintaining its prior growth. Several attempts to recapture the American consumer’s interest were undertaken.
Roseville Pottery was, throughout it history, associated with matte finished potteries, not glossy-finished designs. Casual designs that were glossy, like Homer Laughlin’s Fiesta, were tremendously popular with housewives of the time, so Roseville commissioned several lines of high-gloss finish dinnerware but their products never caught on. In a final effort to revive the popularity of the company’s wares, a new line was introduced called Raymor. The 1952 design was symmetrical, oddly shaped, and incredibly modern. Prior to its release, a new indestructible dinnerware made of hard plastic was introduced to the market by another company and managed to capture the United States market for tableware. Many historians list the introduction of this "Melamine" as a key contributing factor to the end of the Roseville Pottery company. In 1954, Roseville was sold to Mosaic Tile Company.
Apple Blossom-Pink Tea Pot, Creamer & Sugar by Roseville Pottery
Although the historic Roseville Pottery Company no longer exists, you can still enjoy the intense beauty of the company’s creations when you visit the Replacements, Ltd. museum. And while the very rare Roseville pieces featured here are not for sale, we do offer a "Find This For Me" service for Roseville pottery pieces, which you can access starting at the link below. Our Showroom and Museum are open from 9:00am to 7:00pm ET, 7 days a week; free tours are available from 9:30am to 6:00pm ET, 7 days a week. The Showroom and Museum are conveniently located between Greensboro and Burlington, NC, at exit 132 off Interstate 85/40. Make plans to come see us, and leave with a few pieces of collectible Roseville Pottery to create Art Deco ambience in your home!