When Samuel Weller launched his one-man, one-room pottery in 1872, he did everything himself. He dug the clay from the Fultenham, Ohio, soil, threw and fired his pieces, and carted them into nearby Zanesville, where he sold them door to door.

At the time, Weller’s repertoire ranged from flower pots to cuspidors, with the occasional piece of stoneware thrown in for good measure. Little could anyone have guessed that within 30 years, Weller Pottery would employ 500 people and be one of the biggest names in hand-painted art pottery in the United States.

While Weller’s roots may have been solo, his success owed a lot to the artisans he hired. The first of these was William Long of Lonhouda Pottery. Long was only at Weller a year or so, but Weller produced his Louwelsa pieces for many years to come. These vases and other decorative objects featured generally dark backgrounds, upon which were florals or portraits, which appeared frozen beneath their shiny overglaze.

The next outsider to help Weller achieve his vision, and success, was Charles Babcock Upjohn, who was hired in 1895 as Weller’s art director—he remained with the firm for almost 10 years. Upjohn is credited with the popular Dickensware II line of 1900, whose surfaces featured figurative illustrations that were literally lifted from the pages of Charles Dickens novels.

Next Weller hired the English potter Frederick Hurton Rhead, who was also only at Weller a year (1902-1903) but left a major mark before moving on to Roseville and Arequipa (Rhead is probably best known as the designer of Fiesta). Among other things, Rhead is credited with Dickensware III, which was a kind of embossed version of Upjohn’s time-consuming-to-produce line. He also produced a number of hand-painted faience plates.

Jacques Sicard, a French ceramist, arrived shortly thereafter. He was brought to Weller to share the secrets of an iridescent majolica. Sicard eventually produced the Sicardo line for Weller, but unlike Long and Rhead, he refused to reveal his formula and methods, leaving the pottery in 1907 with the secrets still in his head.

Coincidental with Sicard’s tenure at Weller was that of Austrian Rudolph Lorber, who brought a menagerie of figurines to the firm. He also excelled at embossing techniques and wa...

The Hobart line aside, Weller did not throw off its Art Nouveau roots. One of the pottery’s biggest sellers during the 1920s was its Hudson line of vases, whose floral paintings were decidedly nostalgic for the turn of the century, and are today considered among the finest examples of hand-painted production pottery in the early 20th century. Simultaneously, Weller produced several lines that used relief on their surfaces to dramatic effect, from the birds and daisies of the Knifewood line to the floral decorations of Marvo.

By the 1930s, the days of hand painting at Weller were numbered. Indeed, the company’s painted lines during the decade, from Bonito to Stellar, were extremely simplistic compared to what had come before. By 1935, Weller was only making molded pottery and in 1948, after struggling to stay afloat during World War II, the company closed for good.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Gouda Design

Gouda Design

Stuart Lonsdale and Kim Lindley's excellent tribute to and reference on Gouda Dutch Art Pottery and Delftware. The … [read review or visit site]

Cowan Pottery Museum Associates

Cowan Pottery Museum Associates

Dedicated to raising awareness of the ceramic art work of R. Guy Cowan and his Cowan Pottery Studio in northeastern… [read review or visit site]

The Pottery Studio

The Pottery Studio

This 7,000-plus page site lives up to its self-billing as a 'knowledge base' with examples of work from all major a… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Weller Pottery Burntwood Claywood Vase Arts & Crafts Mission Spiderweb DesignBeautiful 13" Sarah Reid Mclaughlin 13" Wisteria Weller Hudson Pottery Vase NrArts Crafts Weller Aurelian Oil Lamp Base By Millie Mitchell 1900 Tiger Lillies Rare Weller Woodcraft Pottery Apple Tree Comport/ Compote 10"Rare Weller Lavonia Nude Maiden Wall VaseRare Weller Parrot Jardinere And Pedestal Large VintageVintage Weller Pottery Burntwood Claywood Hanging Basket Original ChainsVtg Antique 1915 Weller Forest Vase Art Deco Pottery 8” Perfect Condition CraftsVintage Weller Pottery Malverne BowlC 1910 Weller Pottery Bedford Pattern Umbrella Stand Arts & Crafts Antique YqzSmall And Medium Weller Majolica Blended Pink Green Floral Jardiniere'sWeller Old Antique Fine Art Pottery Vase By Davis Arts And Crafts Deco Ceramic Weller Pottery Vase Fox Hunt Horse And RiderAntique Weller? Art Pottery Frog Flower Frog Rare Arts And Crafts Period PieceWeller Art Pottery Rare Dickensware Green 8 Inch Vase Squeezebag Bows & FlowersAntique Weller Art Pottery Eocean Fish Jardiniere Ca 1900 VaseWeller Pottery Scenic Jug With Cabin & TreesVintage Weller Woodcraft VaseAntique Vtg Wm Weller Muskota Starfish Star Fish Seastar Sea Star Florists FrogWeller Pottery Louwelsa Line Brown Vase Signed Eugene RobertsWeller Jardiniere Pot Ivory Knifewood Squirrels Birds OwlsWeller Owens Lessel Art Pottery Iridized Gold Magenta 12" Geese In Flight Weller Art Nouveau 9 3/4" Tall Poppy Sculpted Vase In A Gorgeous Presentation Vintage Weller Ware Ribbed Hand Made Matte Green Pottery Vase Arts & CraftsWeller 1905 Fru Russet 6 1/4" Maroon Grey Green Fabulous VaseVintage Weller Pottery Vase Since 1872 Signed Antique Weller Squirrel And Oak Leaf Flower PotOld Art Pottery Hanging Or Sitting Planter Pot Roseville Or Weller Early AntiqueWeller Art Pottery Delsa Vase 6"Weller OrrisWeller Pottery Woodrose Basket Large 9 1/2 X 5 1/2Antique Art Pottery Standard Glaze Jardiniere Stand Weller Brush Mccoy RosevilleSet Of Weller Rose Embossed Buckets Circa 1915 - 1920Weller "woodrose" Pottery Basket Weller 10 Piece Pottery Set Pitcher Pale YellowVintage Weller Muskota Signed Pottery Flower Frog "mushroom With Frog"Vintage Weller American Art Pottery Zona Rabbit Bluebird Child Rolled Edge BowlWeller Pottery Pitcher With Flower MotifWeller Pottery, Cameo Ewer Vase - Peach & White RoseVintage Weller Pottery Cream And Tan Small Bowl Arts & Crafts Mid Century

Recent News: Weller Art Pottery

Source: Google News

"Tradition of Progress" Exhibit
Maine Antique Digest, April 13th

The sunflower motif of the mantel is seen again on a glazed architectural tile by Mary Louise McLaughlin of Cincinnati, one of a variety of pieces of art pottery from makers that include Ohio's big three: Rookwood, Roseville, and Weller. Arts and...Read more

Soap far so good for so-busy Julia
Oxford Mail, April 11th

Products are sold online and in Illyria Pottery in Jericho. There have been collaborations with Bluedog & Sought in Woodstock and Eau de Vie on ... The summer diary so far involves goodies finding their way to the VIP area at the Isle of Wight Festival...Read more

Meals on Wheels gets Culinary Lift
Montgomery Advertiser, April 4th

Weller created a tray for each table that included key lime tartlets topped with fresh berries, lemon-glazed shortbread cookies, petite brownie bites, miniature mocha cupcakes topped with salted peanuts and white chocolate bark filled with pistachios...Read more

Historic Look: Weller House and auction sale
Zanesville Times Recorder, February 22nd

Weller removed the small portion of the original house and added the long porch on the front and the north side. Among the furnishings of the Weller house were many fine examples of family pottery, including pieces of Lonhuda, Louwelsa and Sicardo ware...Read more

DOUG'S Q-C COLLECTIBLES Particular pottery piece appeals to plenty
Quad City Times, November 23rd

This wonderfully wistful example of art pottery was made by the Weller Pottery Co. Sam Weller established the business in Fultenham, Ohio, in 1872, but moved it to Zanesville, Ohio, in 1882. By 1915, Weller was the largest art pottery company in the world...Read more

More than 350 pieces of Weller pottery and Royal Bayreuth figurals will be ...
ArtfixDaily (blog), April 15th

LONE JACK, Mo. – A little more than 350 lots of rare and unusual Weller Pottery and Royal Bayreuth figurals from the single-owner lifetime collection of Dale and Nancy Carter will come up for bid on Saturday, April 26th, at Dirk Soulis Auctions, in the...Read more

Weller art pottery in much demand
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 18th

Art pottery made by Weller is a favorite among collectors. The company made art pottery in Zanesville, Ohio, from 1893 to 1948. From the 1920s to the 1940s, Weller also made less sophisticated pottery for the yard called "Garden Ware." Stone-colored ...Read more

Weller pottery still popular with buyers
Ct Post, February 23rd

Weller pottery was first made in 1872 in Fultonham, Ohio, but by 1882 Weller had moved to Zanesville, one of the main cities where pottery was made in Ohio. Hundreds of thousands of pieces of decorative art pottery and florist wares were made at Weller ...Read more