I continue to search for items for the 31 Club that I haven't seen before and it happened again last week with a piece of UND pottery. I have been interested in anything Western since I started going to the Eaton's ranch in Wyoming several years ago. It really didn't matter if it was a painting, pieces of pottery or Native American items. They became my new first love.
But back to this unusual find. I received a phone call from this wonderful lady asking if I would be interested in purchasing a few pieces of UND. Without hesitation my answer was yes. She sent me pictures and descriptions of five pieces but only one really peaked my interest. I have to admit I had never seen anything like it.
This small vase was 5-6 inches tall and was decorated with irregular lines of color. There didn't seem to be any rational reason for the pattern or special design but just random lines as if the person was doing finger painting as a child. Even though I didn't understand it I found that the vase was strangely appealing. Not being able to get the piece off my mind, I called my sidekick, Cecil Roeder, to get his opinion.
Wow is he good because the first thing that came out of his mouth made complete sense to me. “It is a test sample for different glazes when they are fired,” he said. As I sat there I wondered why I hadn't thought of that? Yes it is still attractive to me and maybe even more so because it is a one of a kind. When you add that it is made of red clay, which I believe makes it an early piece, and also is marked with Julia Mattson's initials, I believe it is a special piece.
I once found a plaque of a lady playing tennis and when I turned it over the inscription told me it was presented as a trophy and it gave the winner's name. I had hoped to find the owner but was unable to so I sold it on eBay where it quickly quadrupled my money.
There is a serious group of collectors for UND and most are looking for examples by Margaret Cable, Hildegarde Fried, Flora Huck and Julia Mattson. The better pieces to be found are carved western scenes or animals. There is one example that I am still looking for and it will be a piece marked “Maggie Mud” which designates that Margaret Cable made it.
You will find that the buyers will flock to you if you are offering a better piece of UND and the price should bring a huge smile to your face. I have found the most information on UND in a book by Darlene Hurst Dammel by the name Dakota Potteries. You may find it on Amazon or Abebooks.