This year is going to be different from the last few and the buying patterns, I believe, are changing. By working hard for over forty years, I have gotten to the place where, if I see a piece, I have a fair idea of its value. This is no longer true when it comes to studio pottery. Studio pottery is pottery that comes from the individual artist not a company. It seems that every day I hear names that don't ring a bell with me when someone asks, “What do you think about this vase by so and so.” Yes, the studio pottery market might well be the hottest market out there and most dealers aren't even aware of what is going on.
I hate to tell you but when I see a hand thrown pot or vase on a table with low end items, my first thought is that it was made yesterday. But that isn't really the case; it is just my preconception. There is no telling how many pieces with values over $2000 I have passed by because I just couldn't get it through my hard head that I didn't know everything. Here is a suggestion that I guarantee will fatten you bank account. Go on the Internet and pull up past auctions by Rago, Treadway, Christie's, Sotheby's and Butterfield and look at their past auctions where studio pottery has been sold. Then, make a list of all the pieces that brought over $1500 and the artist that made them. Put the list in your wallet or purse and carry the list with you at all times.
What is the reason for the list? Here is my suggestion. Whenever you're out, pick up every piece of pottery you see, check the name on its side or bottom and compare it with your list and this will help you find those treasures. Yes, there will be many that you can't recognize but that is okay too. In those cases, write the signature down and research it later. Also, when visiting the antique shows where you're doing research, check out the studio pottery pieces and make a copy of all the signatures on them if they aren't already on your list.
I am going to throw a few names at you and the chances are that you won't recognize them. But in the future you should and there are so many more you should recognize that can make you real money. Here are four of the names: Maija Grotell, Adelaide Alsop Robineau, Otto Heino and Rene Buthau. Did you know any of them? I have to admit I didn't but I am learning.
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