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 to open boutique at Liberty CenterWLWT Cincinnati, October 12th
Like the Rookwood Pottery Co. store in downtown Cincinnati, the front of the store will carry art pottery. The back of the store will include a space for architectural installation displays and consolations, the company said. Rookwood's first retail...Read more
Repairs set for spring at monument in HamiltonHamilton Journal News, October 11th
When workers pulled up the old, threadbare carpeting in offices of the courthouse, contractors found what is believed to be Rookwood Pottery tile and valuable 100-plus-year-old hardwood floors. Rogers recently rented a sander and spent a Saturday...Read more
ART PREVIEW: Looking back at Arts and Crafts through potteryDiamondback Online, October 8th
Among the pottery and glass makers on view are Rookwood, a Cincinnati-based house; Steuben, a Corning, New York, glassmaker; and Tiffany, the crown jewel of decorative glass. The only two individual artists on view are Ohr of Biloxi, Mississippi, and ...Read more
Rookwood XXV AuctionMaine Antique Digest, October 8th
When Humler & Nolan held its Rookwood XXV auction June 6 and 7 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the emphasis was on the sale's silver anniversary, but this event was meaningful to the staff for another reason. The auction included a significant amount of Rookwood...Read more
Absolute perfectionGreensburg Daily News, September 30th
Through the combined efforts of Mary Nichols, and her hand-selected chemists, many new glazes were developed. A study of these glazes will help you in understanding the age of your Rookwood pottery. Pre-1910 finishes include the”standard” glaze, a very ...Read more
Posts tagged “Rookwood Pottery”UrbanCincy, September 14th
Just think if a vacant lot near you could be turned into a solar-powered wi-fi hub and electric car charging station, a home for egg-laying chickens, or any number of other creative and productive uses. That is what a group of thought leaders are...Read more
Wade cuts back hours as head of Rookwood PotteryCincinnati Business Courier, April 29th
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 he took control in 2011, and work there — but not as much as he has in the past. His wife...Read more
Rookwood Pottery CEO Wade exits roleCincinnati.com, 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