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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Rookwood Pottery adds daily tours through holidaysCincinnati.com, November 18th
The Rookwood Pottery Company is at 1920 Race St., north of Findlay Market. CONNECT 1 TWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE. Recent tours hosted by The Rookwood Pottery Company at its Over-the-Rhine factory have been such a big hit that the ...Read more
Rookwood pottery mark changed several timesAberdeenNews.com, November 16th
Rookwood pottery, made in Cincinnati since 1880, is perhaps the most popular American art pottery among collectors. The company not only made artist-decorated vases, molded bookends, art-deco figurines and commercial wares, but it also used marks that ...Read more
Marks on Rookwood pottery provide clues to valueLas Vegas Review-Journal, November 15th
Cowles Syndicate Inc. 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...Read more
Rookwood Pottery prepares for holidays with special open houseWLWT Cincinnati, November 13th
Flash forward two decades and, much like its new home in Over-the-Rhine, Rookwood Pottery is bouncing back. “We go from Texas to L.A., to New York, and we even have a few dealers in Canada and one, I believe, in Alaska,” Swan said. With 73 dealers ...Read more
Rookwood Pottery open house to feature toursCincinnati.com, November 6th
The Rookwood Pottery Company factory earlier this month, more than 100 of you asked to be included. (Graciously, the folks at Rookwood added a second tour.) The opportunity now opens to everyone during Rookwood's holiday open house Nov. 14-16...Read more
Rookwood vase recalls famous stolen potsCincinnati.com, October 14th
It sat on display for years at the Rookwood Pottery showroom (now the site of the Rookwood restaurant) in Mount Adams," Humler said. "This piece was made around 1899. Although we have not found a signature, it looks to be the work of famed Rookwood ...Read more
Rookwood in business but older pottery most valuableHeraldNet, July 24th
Rookwood pottery probably is the most famous of the art potteries made in the United States in the late 19th and 20th centuries. It was started by Maria Longworth Nichols of Cincinnati in 1880, the first of many art potteries founded by women. She saw...Read more
Rookwood Pottery hosts open house this weekendFOX19, April 21st
The Rookwood Pottery Co. hosts its annual spring open house at its Over-the-Rhine factory and studios Saturday and Sunday. The weekend event will feature new works by artists George Hibben, Roy Robinson, Dan Dutton and Allan Nairn as well as revived ...Read more