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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Weekly Roundup of eBay Vintage Home FindsHuffington 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 spaceCrain'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
Port authority approves sale-leaseback for old SCPA apartment projectWCPO, July 22nd
Core has said it intends to maintain the historic architecture and character of the 105-year-old building, including 13 original Rookwood Pottery water fountains. The preliminary budget includes more than $6 million in state and federal historic tax...Read more
Wade cuts back hours as head of Rookwood PotteryCincinnati 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 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
Rookwood Pottery owner plans $75 million development in Over-the-RhineCincinnati 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 holidaysCincinnati.com, 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 Cincinnati.com readers toured the factory Nov...Read more