Van Briggle Pottery was founded in Colorado Springs in 1901 by a husband-and-wife team (well, not technically, since Artus and Anne didn’t marry until 1902) who had been decorators for Rookwood Pottery of Cincinnati. The most prized Van Briggle pieces are pre-1910, with “AA” (for Artus and Anne) incised on their bottoms. Because Van Briggle used molds for its pieces, production was able to continue long after Artus’s death in 1904. The company is still producing classic Van Briggle designs today.
The acclaim accorded Van Briggle was almost instantaneous. The same year he founded his pottery, Van Briggle took first prize at a show in Paris. The Louvre paid a whopping $3,000 for the winning piece of a male nude wrapped around the opening of a vertical vase. Titled “Despondency,” the piece would become one of Van Briggle’s most famous vases.
In fact, Van Briggle is probably best known for its vases. The “Lorelei” vase, also from 1901, is like a female version of “Despondency,” while “Lady of the Lily” from the same year depicts a female nude leaning against an enormous calla lily. Figurative and floral motifs were a mainstay of the company’s visual vocabulary, although the pottery also produced a number of jugs, whose sides were populated by spiders and spider-like decorations.
One of the other hallmarks of Van Briggle was its luscious satin matte glaze. Hues ranged from Turquoise Ming (still produced today) to a maroon glaze called Persian Rose. Van Briggle was also highly regarded for its architectural tile, which decorated fireplace hearths, chimney tops, and wall fountains.
After some ownership changes in the 1910s, Van Briggle regrouped and continued to produce tall and squat Art Nouveau vases with philodendron, iris, and other floral motifs. Animal figurines became an important part of the company’s line, be it as purely decorative objects and modestly functional ones—elephant bookends, especially in pink, were quite popular. And dragonflies, which had captured the fancy of Tiffany, Lalique, and other designers, also graced the sides of Van Briggle vases.
In the 1930s and ’40s, matching oak-leaf-and-acorn candlesticks shared catalog pages with quarter-moon vases, lamp bases with coordinated shades, and seashell planters, which were sold in the postwar years in 8-, 12-, and 16-inch lengths. Another category of Van Briggle pottery from that era was the American Indian ware, which ranged from tall vases crowned by relief heads of stern-looking braves to small objects depicting Hopi maidens.
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CBS4's Jim DeFede speaks to Profit IncMiami's Community Newspapers, January 26th
Among the many enjoying DeFede's talk were Profit Inc.'s President Stacy Alonso; Past Presidents Dr. Joe Briggle, Robert Beans, and Kemp Mobley; CBS 4's David Sutta, Mike Sutta; Fernando Obregon; Don and Mara Van Orsdale; and Dr. Gayle Carson, ...Read more
Paul Evans, Wendell Castle, George Nakashima, Harry Bertoia, Robert Arneson ...ArtfixDaily, January 21st
George Nelson, Charles & Ray Eames, Luigi Gentile, Arthur Court, Karl Springer, Edward Wormley, Finn Juhl, Hans Wegner, Ib Kofod-Larsen, Frank Lloyd Wright, Roycroft, Van Briggle, Mougin, Barovier, Yoichi Ohira/Munari, Venini, Christopher Dresser, ...Read more
The Specialists of the South to hold estate auction Jan. 31Destin Log, January 2nd
Also sold will be a Cybis seated girl with jewel box, a Boehm fawn, a French porcelain desk set and a pair of circa 1940-1960 Van Briggle vases with stylized iris decoration. The Specialists of the South, Inc., has been serving the Panama City...Read more
Year in review: A roll call of some of the people we'll missDallas Morning News, December 31st
the longtime girlfriend of Mick Jagger. March 17. Stockton Frederick Briggle, 79. A Dallas native and Southern Methodist University graduate who created popular dinner theater productions in Dallas in the 1960s and was executive director of the NBC...Read more
Must See Must Do: What's happening in the Colorado Springs area this weekendColorado Springs Gazette, October 9th
So many people will wonder "is this a real Van Briggle?" when they spot pottery pieces or tiles around area fireplaces. It's the pottery important to local history, and the Pikes Peak Regional History Lecture Series presents "Van Briggle by the Numbers...Read more
Van Briggle sale now set for 2013Colorado Springs Gazette, December 28th
Photo - The Van Briggle Pottery retail store on South Tejon Street has been closed for + caption The Van Briggle Pottery retail store on South Tejon Street has been closed for several months. The current owners plan to put the famed Colorado Springs...Read more
Van Briggle Pottery, a Springs institution, for saleColorado Springs Gazette, December 1st
Craig Stevenson, who along with brother Jeffrey Stevenson and sister Kendra Stevenson Rodriguez inherited Van Briggle after their mother's death last year, said they expect to sell the business over the next two or three months. Its retail location...Read more
Beer to Van BriggleColorado Springs Independent, September 29th
The spot: the historic Midland Terminal Railroad Roundhouse at 600 S. 21st St., former longtime home of Van Briggle Art Pottery. The Roundhouse, which has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979, is one of the Springs' signature ...Read more