It is always a pleasure for me to help someone increase their knowledge about rare and unusual antiques and collectibles. Yesterday I asked if there was anything that the readers might like to know more about and my faithful member, Vicki, wanted to know more about Pewabic pottery. Thanks Vicki. I will give it my best try.
Pewabic pottery was started in 1903 in Detroit, Michigan by a lady named Mary Chase Perry. Isn't it interesting that, while most business were started by men during this era, pottery companies seem to be an exception? Rookwood pottery, started by Maria Longworth Nichols in Cincinnati, Ohio is just another great example of this trend. In fact these ladies might have been the real women behind the women's movement.
This company is still in business but the best of Pewabic could possibly have been in the 40's when most of the wonderful pieces were made, with glazes that possibly had no equal. When Pewabic first started, their pottery was quite heavy and perhaps a little primitive compared to the finer works of that day. But by the 1940's their beautiful glazes and carved pieces were stealing people's hearts. At first they concentrated on the matte finishes but this soon changed as they included Lustres and Flambes to their portfolios. Two applications of their work that I really like are their drip glazes and the hand carved pieces that today will bring huge money.
Since all Pewabic pottery is "One of a Kind", you will never see two pieces alike. For this reason Pewabic can retain its value even though it may have some slight damage. I have to admit that I haven't purchased any great pieces of Pewabic, but it hasn't been because of not trying. You will find that the Pewabic pieces are signed and the mark is simple with just the name and perhaps a row of clovers over it.
Before I started to research for this blog, I figured that I would have very little trouble finding great examples of vases by Pewabic that sold for very high prices, but guess what? Even though I know that a heavily carved vase with a great glaze could command $10,000 or more, I couldn't find any in my catalogs. It seems that this company's wares are quite rare and don't seem to come to the market that often. If you are able to find a better piece of Pewabic, there is no doubt that you have found a true treasure. Good luck in hunting!
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