A Breif History of Roseville Pottery
- The Roseville Pottery Company was an American art pottery manufacturer in the 19th and 20th centuries.
- Along with Rookwood Pottery and Weller Pottery, it was one of the three major art potteries located in Ohio around the turn of the 20th century.
- Though the company originally made simple household pieces, the Arts and Crafts–inspired designs proved popular, and Roseville pieces are now sought after by collectors.
- The company was founded by J.F. Weaver in Roseville, Ohio, in 1890. It was incorporated in 1892 with George Young, a former Roseville salesman, as secretary and general manager.
- Under the direction of Young, the Roseville company had great success producing stoneware flowerpots and other practical household items. In 1895, the company expanded by purchasing Midland Pottery, and by 1896 George Young had amassed a controlling interest in Roseville Pottery. In 1898, they purchased the Clark Stoneware Company in Zanesville, and moved the headquarters there.
- In 1900 Young hired Ross C. Purdy to create the company’s first art pottery line, named Rozane (a contraction of “Roseville” and “Zanesville”)
- The Rozane line was designed to compete against Rookwood Pottery’s Standard Glaze, Owens Pottery’s Utopian, and Weller Pottery’s Louwelsa art lines. By 1901, the company owned and operated four plants and employed 325 people.
- Frederick Hurten Rhead was the art director of Roseville between 1904 and 1909. He is associated with the Della Robbia line, and he designed or oversaw the Juvenile, Donatello, Mostique and Pauleo lines.
- Frank Ferrell became the art director for Roseville in 1917 and was responsible for creating many popular Roseville designs.
- Among Roseville’s most popular designs are Blackberry, Sunflower, and Pinecone.
- The Roseville Pottery Company produced its final designs in 1953, and the following year their facilities were bought by the Mosaic Tile Company.
- Since the company closed in the 1950s, Roseville pottery has seen two distinct revivals: one with baby boomers in the 1970s, and again in the late 1990s and early 2000s during the Mission Style revival.
- Today, many Roseville styles remain relatively common while rare pieces can fetch hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
- Because Roseville’s designs were so influential, replicas and counterfeits are common, and the wide variety of kiln markings—or the lack thereof—on genuine pieces can be confusing for collectors.
How to Spot a Reproduction Roseville
- The maker’s mark in the image to the left is one of the many different types of reproduction marks found on fake Roseville Pottery imports. Notice the shape of the “R” in Roseville and the way the letters are straight rather than slanted slightly to the right in comparison to marks on genuine examples.
- While the absence of U.S.A. is a clue to reproduction marks in some cases, it’s not always an indicator.
- This mark was mistaken for a genuine, but it appears to be a fake mark after further investigation.
- If this were a genuine older mark, the absence of U.S.A. would not necessarily indicate that it is fake.
- However, the way the “S” is slanted, according to a collector who studies pottery voraciously, can be an indication that a Roseville mark is not genuine.
- Most older pieces will have a slanted “s” in Roseville, while almost all newer marks have an “s” that has little or no slant like the one shown here.
- Remember, however, that determining fakes solely on the mark used can be a bit tricky, especially for the beginner.
- Many times, you have to look at the color, glaze, and the way the piece is decorated to determine whether or not a piece of Roseville is authentic.
Genuine Roseville Marks
- This mark example was seen on a piece confirmed as genuine Roseville.
- Note how the “s” has a definite slant in this mark, unlike the one shown in the previous slide.
- While the way the “s” takes shape is not always an indicator of a mark being authentic, it is one important clue.
- Note that there are also genuine Roseville pieces that are not marked.
- The overall quality of the mold, decor, and glaze must be examined to determine authenticity in these pieces.
Roseville Lines & Production Dates
- Apple Blossom 1948
- Artcraft 1933
- Artwood 1951
- Blackberry 1932
- Bleeding Heart 1938
- Clematis 1944
- Dahlrose 1924
- Della Robbia 1905
- Dogwood 1918
- Egypto 1905
- Falline 1933
- Freesia 1945
- Ferella 1930
- Ixia 1937
- Foxglove 1942
- Futura 1928
- Laurel 1934
- Peony 1942
- Mara 1905
- Magnolia 1943
- Mongol 1905
- Olympic 1905
- Pauleo 1914
- Pinecone 1931
- Poppy 1930
- Rozane 1900
- Snowberry 1946
- Sunflower 1930
- Vista (Forest) 1920
- Water Lily 1943
- Wisteria 1933
- Woodland 1905
- Zephyr Lily 1946
- Donatello 1916
Egypto, Ixia & Futura Examples
Ferella, Falline & Olympic Examples