Saturday, December 15, 2007
Daryle Lambert: Know the Rare Ware in Roseville
Roseville pottery is perhaps the best known of all the pottery companies in America. Every dealer is aware of the common patterns of this very decorative pottery, and even most of the more rare patterns. With the production of even their common designs being reproduced today, Roseville prices are on the skids. In fact, I seldom even pick up a piece of Roseville anymore because people that own it still think that all the production at the Roseville pottery is still in demand, and so their prices to sell are too high for me to make a profit on it.
One exception in Roseville, however, is called Della Robbia. Now we're talking. If you come across a piece of this pottery produced by Roseville, you have something really special. This line began in 1906 and the designer was the world famous Frederick Hurten Rhead. They introduced seventy-two versions that year alone. Several years later, they brought out a new line of Della Robbia, but it was far inferior to the early pieces.
When you see a piece of Della Robbia, what really catches your eye is that it is deeply carved, sometimes as much as one eight of and inch deep, and then it's finished in a polychrome enameling. These pieces are eye dazzlers.
Rhead worked for some of the best pottery companies in this country before going to Roseville. The first company that employed him when he immigrated to this county was the Avon Company, where he worked from 1902-1904. Then he worked with another well known company that you have heard me talk about -- The Weller Company, before he moved on to Roseville.
His love of pottery seemed to keep him on the move, finally ending up in California with the Arequipa Company. He also had a brief stay with Jervis on his way out west.
I have to admit that I don't have any great stories of finding a wonderful piece by Frederick Rhead, but I am still looking. I know that there is one out there that has my name on it. These can be the real sleepers. Yes, if you find one, the price might be rather expensive, but when you get to the place in the 31 Steps to Your Millions where you need high-end items to take you to the next step, I suggest you look for Frederick Rhead pieces. The sky is the limit for his better examples, and this is where some real money can be made for you. What would you think if I said $50,000 may be too little for the right piece.
If you should come across a piece of Frederick Rhead before the time comes when you can afford to buy it, don't hesitate to call or e-mail us for assistance through our Associate Program.
As you can see, all Roseville isn't alike. Even the common pieces have different price ranges. You can study which patterns and colors bring in the highest prices. By knowing these differences, you will have trained your mind and your eye to spot a real treasure.
Today's Photo is a Roseville Della Robbia vase that sold for $38,850 and set a world record at the Pottery Lovers Auction in 1999.
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