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    

1905 Rookwood Pottery Matte Green Diminutive Squatty Bowl ~ Incised Swirl 22zRookwood Vase, Carl SchmidtRookwood Arts & Crafts Vase, 1911Large Antique Rookwood Pottery Vase Rookwood Art Pottery Matte White 5" Vase ~ Bas-relief Foliate Art Deco DesignFantastic Arts & Crafts Pottery Vase With Carved Tulips?, Rookwood?, No ResRookwood Green Vellum Vase By Lorinda Epply, 1911Unusual 1907 Hand Thrown Rookwood - Mint1924 Rookwood-great Form And Glaze-mint!1928 Signed & Dtd Blue Glossy Glaze Rookwood Ovoid Decorated Vase Shape 2139Vintage Antique Rookwood Arts & Crafts Pottery Vase #2207 Matte Blue 1921Antique 1897 Rookwood American Artist Signed Standard Glaze Pottery VaseRookwood Xxviii 213 5 Blue Glaze Vase19c Rookwood Gorham Sterling Overlay Art Nouveau Floral Hand Painted Vase 6 5 7Rookwood Art Pottery Turquoise Water Lily/lotus Bookends 19461928 Rookwood Pottery 7 Inch Bud Vase Blue Matte Glaze Excellent ConditionRookwood Whisky Jug 7 1/8"t , Corn Decorated Rookwood (possibly) Rectangular Vase, With Mistletoe, (jens Jensen?)Vintage Rookwood No, 2122 Burnt Clay High Glazed Pottery VaseVintage Rookwood No, 2122 Burnt Clay High Glazed Pottery VaseNational Conference Of Catholic Charities Cincinnati Oct 7, 1934 Rookwood VaseRookwood Abstract Dandilion, Rolled Shoulder Vase # Limited EditionVintage 1920 Rookwood Swan Ball Vase #2097 Art Pottery Matt Glaze AntiqueRookwood Pottery Vintage Pink Pitcher Vase #6796 - 1953 ? Signed From Estate1916 Rookwood Pottery Arts + Crafts Style 8" Vase Pale Yellow Incised Design

Recent News: Rookwood Art Pottery

Source: Google News

Our Rich History: More on skyscrapers — and stunning styles that stand the ...
User-generated content (press release) (registration), July 28th

It's a real treat to take the elevator up to the Carew Tower's observatory for a 360-degree view of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. It's also fun to walk through its beautiful Arcade, featuring exquisite Rookwood Pottery detailing, or to saunter over...Read more

Weekly Roundup of eBay Vintage Home Finds
Huffington Post, July 26th

Don't miss the pair of Art Deco Sullivan aluminum chairs, the Kofod Larsen recliner and ottoman, the Italian marquetry nesting tables, the 1920s Nippon serving set, the Paavo Tynell for Lightolier chandelier, the Rookwood pottery bookends, the 1976...Read more

Wayne County looks to squeeze revenue from its empty space
Crain's Detroit Business, July 26th

Photo by Glenn Triest The 150-foot-long main lobby has a three-story vaulted ceiling with multicolor and interlocking hexagons of Rookwood pottery and Pewabic tile. Event and meeting space, as well as a restaurant, are among the possibilities for the ...Read more

Wolfsonian exhibit explores the artistry and social implications of the ...
Miami Herald, July 25th

Contemporary potteries and art tile works like Cambridge, Grueby, Rookwood, Muresque, Malibu and Teco produced ceramic ware of comparable sophistication. Their designs ranged from Moorish geometrics to historical scenes, portraiture to medieval ...Read more

You know you're from Cincinnati if ..., July 6th

You know Rookwood isn't a tree. Rookwood Pottery won the gold medal at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1889 — making the world pay attention to ceramics for the first time. You can visit them at 1920 Race St. in Over-the-Rhine. Enquirer staff...Read more

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

Martin Wade, owner of Rookwood Pottery and Grammer's, inside the historic bar. Wade is… more. Entrepreneur Martin Wade is cutting back on his daily duties at Rookwood Pottery, according to sources. Wade will continue to own half of the company, which ...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