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
Source: Google News
Bug problem uncovers 126-year-old treasure in Butler County buildingHamilton Journal News (subscription), September 1st
Underneath, contractors found what is believed to be Rookwood Pottery tile and valuable 100-plus-year-old hardwood floors. Butler County Probate Judge Randy Rogers recently rented a sander and spent a Saturday helping to unearth the floors that have ...Read more
Wood often neglected medium in artTyler Morning Telegraph, September 1st
Glass, pottery, bronze, silver and of course, paper and canvas, are all used to make important, and often expensive, works of art. But wood .... n Rookwood, vase, iris glaze, mistletoe design, Laura Lindeman initials, c.1904, 4 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches, $420...Read more
Kara Sewell: Happy Birthday To MeWXIX, August 31st
Rob & Frank bought me a piece of pottery from Rookwood; it's a wishbone I have been eyeing for some time (what could be more fitting?) And I took a nice long nap! Oh my word, you know you're 33 when one of the best parts of your birthday is a nap! Do...Read more
Lifelike wooden sculpturesObserver-Reporter, August 29th
Glass, pottery, bronze, silver and of course, paper and canvas, are all used to make important, and often expensive, works of art. But wood has been somewhat neglected as art, although highly regarded for useful furniture. Eighteenth-century furniture...Read more
'Antiques Roadshow' Repeats Cincinnati Episode Monday NightWVXU, August 24th
One of the “Antiques Roadshow” programs filmed in Cincinnati three years ago repeats at 8 p.m. Monday on Channels 48, 16 and KET 2 Channel 54.2 (Time Warner 980). Appraisers evaluate a wood bust of Abraham Lincoln, apparently the first version of the ...Read more
Cincinnati story behind the Western & Southern trophyCincinnati.com, August 22nd
Since 2010, the winners have taken home The Rookwood Pottery Co. pieces to commemorate the championships. Because of that, the vases play double duty: The art work both honors the unbeaten athlete and celebrates a rich segment of Cincinnati's ...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