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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Recent News: Rookwood Art Pottery
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Copper & Kings to host artisan marketThe Courier-Journal, March 27th
Art Eatables; Blue Dog Bakery & Cafe; Kenny's Farmhouse Cheese; Exum's Double Smoked Country Hams; Woodlands Pork; McDowell Farms Salsa; Funked & Fermented Kimchi Lab; Foxhollow Farm; Rookwood Pottery Co.; chef Annie Pettry of Decca; ...Read more
Fun and free events this weekend: March 27-29Cincinnati.com, March 27th
Artists on hand to answer questions about pieces. Details: 5-8 p.m. Friday, Rookwood Pottery Company Store, 1209 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-381-2510; www.rookwood.com. Free Kids' Movie Day. “The Lorax.” Popcorn and hot chocolate provided...Read more
State auction of unclaimed items brought in $93000Chicago Tribune, March 23rd
Other high-rolling lots included one with a $50 liberty eagle 1-ounce gold piece, which sold for $2,775, and one with a Rookwood Pottery vase that went for $1,075. A lot with a Chicago Cubs 1965 Ernie Banks baseball card and a Chicago White Sox Frank ...Read more
Things to do this weekend: March 27-29Cincinnati.com, March 22nd
Free. 513-721-2787; www.cincinnatiartmuseum.org. March 27: Final Friday, 5-8 p.m., Rookwood Pottery Company Store, 1209 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine. Selection of newly created Flying Pig paperweights and one-of-a-kind, hand-painted Grove Rabbits, ...Read more
Holiday Sale 2014Maine Antique Digest, March 11th
When Cincinnati Art Galleries sold its auction business in 2009, the Auctions at Rookwood (owned by Rookwood Pottery Company) and, later, Humler & Nolan (which acquired the business in 2010) agreed to a five-year non-compete clause regarding artwork ...Read more
The New York School of Interior Design Displays Photographs of the City's ...Architectural Digest (blog), March 10th
The exhibition “Rescued, Restored, Reimagined: New York's Landmark Interiors” at the New York School of Interior Design features photographs of some of the city's most beautiful interiors, such as Manhattan's City Hall, located at Broadway and City...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