Founded in 1880 by Maria Longworth Nichols, Rookwood pottery is a favorite of collectors for the quality of its pieces, which were hand-decorated by a diverse group of artists (though some simpler pieces were mass-produced, especially during the Depression).

Rookwood pieces were sold at the factory showroom and at jewelry and department stores nationwide. Drawing from European and Asian styles, the company was very involved with the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau movements, and its pieces are still prized as some of the best examples of those styles.

In addition to its signature vases, Rookwood also produced architectural tile and smaller items such as bookends, paperweights and figurines. There were between 20 and 25 artists decorating pieces at the Rookwood factory at any given time (some of the most notable included Kataro Shirayamadani, Albert Valentine, Sara Sax, and Jens Jensen).

Rookwood’s artists were innovative and helped change the way art pottery was created and designed. Kataro Shirayamadani covered the entire piece with decoration versus just the front as was previously done, and Laura Fry created the atomizer, allowing artists to evenly apply glazes and use color gradations. In the early 1900s, Rookwood began using matte finishes and vellum glaze, a translucent matte glaze.

Collectors should note that the vast majority of Rookwood pieces are very clearly marked. Very early pieces say “Rookwood,” and later pieces (starting in the mid-1880s) feature the Rookwood logo: a backwards R and P side-by-side. Rookwood closed its factory in the 1960s, but the copyright has been continuously enforced.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Gouda Design

Gouda Design

Stuart Lonsdale and Kim Lindley's excellent tribute to and reference on Gouda Dutch Art Pottery and Delftware. The … [read review or visit site]



This archived overview produced by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts offers thumbnail sketches of the design moveme… [read review or visit site]

Cowan Pottery Museum Associates

Cowan Pottery Museum Associates

Dedicated to raising awareness of the ceramic art work of R. Guy Cowan and his Cowan Pottery Studio in northeastern… [read review or visit site]

Chicago Silver

Chicago Silver

Paul Somerson's incredible reference on handwrought metalwork from the American Arts and Crafts movement of the ear… [read review or visit site]

The Pottery Studio

The Pottery Studio

This 7,000-plus page site lives up to its self-billing as a 'knowledge base' with examples of work from all major a… [read review or visit site]

1910 Metal

1910 Metal

A detailed tribute to the lesser-known artistic metalwork craftsmen of the Arts and Crafts movement. In addition t… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Rookwood Pottery 6-1/2" Shape 2115 Tan Steel Gray Mottled Shape 1924Rookwood Pottery #1816 7" Slim Tapered Vase Brown Green Gray Metallic Glaze 1911Antique 1925 Rockwood Vase Katherine Jones Beautiful Oil Spot Floral Blue/greenAntique Rookwood Art Pottery 1886 Cameo Glaze Cup And Saucer Artist Signed Rare Rookwood 1913 Arts & Crafts Pottery Bowl Stickley Era Shape #1674 Rookwood 3" Decorated Matte Vase By Louise Abel #1842 Rookwood Vase By Sallie TooheyPair Antique Rookwood Bookends Girl On Bench Blue Dated 1920 Clean NrRookwood Pottery 2814 6" Vase Caramel Cream Molded Detail 1928 Butterscotch1915 Rookwood Arts & Crafts Style Ash Tray/coin Tray Cincinnati Insurance Co. Rookwood Matte Ivory Vase 1935Early Rookwood 1882 Fa Pottery Pitcher Ewer 8" BeautifulEstate Fresh Antique Signed Rookwood Seaweed Jug Great Condition 2 1/2" TallBeautiful Rookwood Vase, Xxix, Pattern 2112, 1929, Art Deco, MintRookwood Matte Blue Flower Pot Or Bowl 19221949 Rookwood Rook Cream Colored Pin Tray Dish Ohio Art Pottery 1920 Rookwood Pottery Blue Paneled Vase With Tree Landscape Motif 4-3/4" High Rookwood 1912 Cabinet Bowl/vase ~matte Green With Dark Maroon Highlights!Rookwood Dog Perfect Condition9 1/2" 1927 Artist Signed Rookwood VaseRookwood Pottery Sugar & Creamer 1932Vintage Antique 11" Rookwood Art Pottery Floral Bowl Pink Cobalt Xxviii #2875 NrVery Nice Rookwood Vase With Cat Tail DecorationArts & Crafts Era 1921 Rookwood Pottery #2532 Bowl 7in. Wide X 3in.Rookwood Pottery Vase #2312 Matte Cerulean Blue 6-3/8" X 3-3/4" Near Mint - 1926The Second Book Of Rookwood Pottery Book By Herbert Peck - Rare

Recent News: Rookwood Art Pottery

Source: Google News

Soapdish: Updated insider's guide to OTR and Downtown
Soapbox Cincinnati, May 25th

The circa 1921 main building includes a barrel-vaulted concourse, with a Rookwood Pottery entry arch, marble floors, Bottincino marble wainscot, metal trimmings, decorated ceilings, with fanciful medallions showing little children and frolicking...Read more

Peek inside Smale Riverfront Park's swanky new event space: PHOTOS
Cincinnati Business Courier (blog), May 19th

The Anderson Foundation was established in the late 1990s to support the causes the sisters championed during their lives and funded the new facility. The space features unique lighting and wall art from Rookwood Pottery. To take a look inside, click...Read more

A Name in History: Clement Barnhorn was a noted sculptor whose work can be ...
WCPO, May 12th

It featured 62 photos and examples of his sculpture including a Baldwin piano, altar relief for Maria Longworth Storer (founder of Rookwood Pottery) and a bronze portrait of Duveneck. Barnhorn's work, both private and public, is visible throughout the...Read more

Wade cuts back hours as head of Rookwood Pottery
Cincinnati Business Courier, April 29th

Rookwood Pottery is one of the city's most iconic brands, dating back to its 1880 founding by Maria Longworth and status as one of the best American ceramic art companies. “I like the excitement of taking risks and because entrepreneurship enables me...Read more

Rookwood Pottery CEO Wade exits role, April 28th

Martin Wade is leaving management of day-to-day operations at the Rookwood Pottery Co. Wade, 65, gathered Rookwood employees Monday to inform them of his exit, according to sources with knowledge of the meeting. He has served as the company's ...Read more

Rookwood Pottery owner plans $75 million development in Over-the-Rhine
Cincinnati Business Courier, November 26th

Wade, the owner of Rookwood Pottery Co., plans to develop a large chunk of properties around the historic Grammer's German restaurant at Walnut and East Liberty streets. The three-phase project would include nearly 100 apartments, 40,000 square feet of ...Read more

Rookwood Pottery adds daily tours through holidays, November 18th

Recent tours hosted by The Rookwood Pottery Company at its Over-the-Rhine factory have been such a big hit that the company has decided to offer daily tours from Nov. 28 through Dec. 23. Forty Enquirer and readers toured the factory Nov...Read more

Rookwood pottery
Observer-Reporter, November 15th

Look at the bottom of a vase to identify it. This vase has marks indicating it is a piece of Rookwood pottery made in 1883 by a talented decorator. It auctioned for $5,290 at Humler & Nolan of Cincinnati. Unmarked it would have sold for much less...Read more