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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Recent News: Van Briggle Pottery

Source: Google News

Side Streets: List of famous Colorado Springs-area residents lengthens
Colorado Springs Gazette, October 17th

Ceramic artist Artus Van Briggle, whose nouveau-style pottery remains influential and prized more than a century after his death, should have made my first list. Reader Scott Allen of Monument suggested Ken Curtis, who was famous in the 1960s as...Read more

Side Streets: Scandalous singer, Elvira, Woodrow Wilson and other additions to ...
Colorado Springs Gazette, October 15th

Ceramic artist Artus Van Briggle, whose nouveau-style pottery remains influential and prized more than a century after his death, should have made my first list. Reader Scott Allen of Monument suggested Ken Curtis, who was famous in the 1960s as...Read more

Part 5: A Look Back at the Early Days of the Akron Rubber Industry
Tire Review, October 10th

Ralph C. Busbey, a newspaper reporter and one time Akron bureau chief for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, became the third editor of the India Rubber Review (now Tire Review) in 1924. He wrote a section focused on the early days of the Akron rubber...Read more

Must See Must Do: What's happening in the Colorado Springs area this weekend
Colorado 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

Show comes to Sheldon
Republican Eagle, October 7th

Several medleys are featured, including songs by Gershwin. Performers are Dieter Bierbrauer, Gary Briggle, Jennifer Eckes, Kendra McMillan, Aja Parham, Randy Schmeling and Erin Schwab. Musical accompaniment is by Eric Solberg and Joey Van Phillips...Read more

Home is where the hearth is: Cozy up to a fireplace
Colorado Springs Gazette, October 4th

They became less functional and more elaborate as display pieces, even boasting fine adornments such as Van Briggle tiles, with spots for the display of heirlooms and objets d'art, Witherow said. "They'd have decorative tile and mantel pieces adorned...Read more

Trinity High School Class of 1969
Observer-Reporter, September 20th

Dave Burt, Frank Chappel, Barb Golaski, Steve Brezinski and Bill Tarr; fourth row, Richard Frank, Jeff Spriggs, Randy Haught, David Russell, Scott Leckie, Bob Cunningham, Gary Gibson, Art Van Briggle, Roy Irey, Denny Mounts, Joe Kolano and Eric...Read more

YEAR-ROUND GARDENING: A day for architecture and horticulture
Colorado Springs Gazette, September 20th

Activity: From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, the Woman's Educational Society of Colorado College will provide educational tours of the Van Briggle building on the CC campus. The tour is a fundraiser for CC students who need financial assistance to pursue...Read more