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.
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Preview the Nippert auction itemsCincinnati.com, September 26th
The Nipperts' art collection contained works by famed Cincinnati-connected artists Dixie Selden and E.T. Hurley, Carl Schmidt and Paul Ashbrook, pieces of Rookwood pottery and a rare blue Lalique perruches, or parakeets, vase which Mallatte dates "to ...Read more
State of the ArtCincinnati CityBeat, September 17th
Two Cincinnati-based artists — Assistant Professor of Painting at the Art Academy of Cincinnati Jimmy Baker and Rookwood Pottery artist Terence Hammonds — are included in the upcoming Crystal Bridges national survey of contemporary American artists, ...Read more
Living on the Air in CincinnatiHockeybuzz.com (blog), September 2nd
For part of the time I I lived in Cincinnati, I had a beautiful apartment in a grand old home in Mt. Adams. Socially, I hung out at The Blind Lemon for drinks and frequent The Rookwood Pottery for dinner. The Blind Lemon had an outdoor bonfire in its...Read more
Morse Museum in Winter Park 2014-15 seasonOrlando Sentinel, August 28th
In this new exhibit, the Morse presents a representative group of the lovely gifts that survive from the Morse-Genius wedding, including Tiffany art glass, Rookwood pottery and Gorham silver. • Louis Comfort Tiffany's Laurelton Hall: Curator tours...Read more