Friday, February 8, 2008

Daryle Lambert: Who Says It Has To Be Beautiful - Fulper Pottery

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When I first started in this business, I was always looking for something I considered beautiful. Later, I realized that technique and style was equally important. In my early years in this trade, I walked past something if it didn't catch my eye. Today that has changed. Today, the glaze or texture of a piece might give me the clue to its value.

The best example of this might be Fulper pottery. Until I became acquainted with Fulper and began to appreciate their glazes, I couldn't understand what all the excitement was about, when friends of mine found great examples of this pottery. But today, the more I am around these pieces, the better I like them. They seem to grow on me. And, the prices that the better items in the Fulper lines bring at auction will make anyone smile. This pottery might be like sardines. You might just have to acquire a taste for it.

The Fulper company was incorporated in 1899 in New Jersey, and they made pottery from 1910-1929. In that short period of time, they produced some of the most highly sought after Art Pottery that was ever crafted. Probably their most successful venture was when they discovered a way to reproduce the ancient glazes of the Orient. These are know as Crystalline Glazes, and they come in many colors. My favorites are Turquoise, Chinese Blue and Red, Copper Dust, and Leopard Skin. There are many other variations to pick from in their glaze lines, and some people base their collections solely upon pieces in one glaze color. Fulper became the Stangl Pottery Company in 1929.

The second glaze that has become popular with collectors is the Flambe glazes, and they also come in may colors. You will have to make your choice.

In Kovels guide you will find a crystalline bowl priced at almost $5,000, lamps as high as $23,000 and vases over $3,500. I think these prices are out dated, and today, those same items might bring several times what they are quoted in the book.

I have been very fortune when it comes to Fulper, because over the years, I have discovered many pieces of their pottery and never have I had to pay very much for it. In fact, most of the pieces I've found were bought at auctions for under $200. I can count on them selling for $800 to $1500 each. No, I have never had the opportunity to buy a $20,000 piece, but by purchasing so many of their pieces over the years, I am sure that the total return on my investment would be equal to that or greater.

These pieces just seem so plain and new that most of the dealers just pass right over them. I must warn you that there are reproductions and fakes out there. Be sure you know the Fulper Marks.

The best book that will show you some greatest pieces of Fulper is American Art Pottery by David Rago. Fulper will be included in any book written on American Art Potery because of its popularity.

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View Fulper Pottery at JustArtPottery.
Fulper Marks
Information/Photos about Fake Fulper


  1. Hi, I think I have a piece of Fulper, but it is unmarked. It may be from the era of the foil label that was lost long ago. It is a green crystaline (I think) glaze. I will send a pic of it to you and let you tell me. Thanks, Vicki H.

  2. Ugh. You're completely missing the point. Good Fulper is ALL ABOUT being beautiful. And, yes, awareness of their style and technique contribute to that appreciation of it's beauty.

    Also, you mention that the Fulper's reproductions of Chinese glazes are called 'Crystalline Glazes'. True only in (very small) part. There are plenty of other Chinese glazes that Fulper reproduced or were inspired to create that are not in the crystal glaze category.

    You say that you have picked up many Fulper pieces at auction for under $200 and you indicate that you can count on them selling for between $800 and $1500. I wouldn't be so sure. It sounds like, since you say one of your favorite glazes is 'Turquoise', that you are buying pieces that Fulper adorned with their 'Jade' glaze. These are low-end pieces of junk from their late era.

    Fulper made Art Pottery from approximately 1909-1935. Their output runs the whole gamut from high art to low junk. It would be wise to know which is which before randomly investing in all the 'under $200' pieces of Fulper you can find.