Founded in 1880 by Maria Longworth Nichols, Rookwood pottery is a favorite of art pottery 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 in Cincinnati, Ohio, 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 entire pieces with decoration versus just the front as was previously done, while Laura Fry created the atomizer, allowing artists to evenly apply glazes and use color gradations. In the early 1900s, Rookwood artists began using matte finishes and vellum glaze, a translucent matte glaze.

Collectors should note that the vast majority of Rookwood pieces are clearly marked. Early pieces say “Rookwood” and later pieces (starting in the mid-1880s) feature the Rookwood logo, which features a backwards R and P side-by-side. Rookwood closed its factory in the 1960s, but the copyright was continuously enforced. Then, in 2004, the company was revived in Cincinnati, where today Rookwood artisans continue to produce everything from vases to mugs to candlesticks.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Modernism

Modernism

This archived overview produced by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts offers thumbnail sketches of the design moveme… [read review or visit site]

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]

Chicago Silver

Chicago Silver

Paul Somerson's incredible reference on handwrought metalwork from the American Arts and Crafts movement of the ear… [read review or visit site]

1910 Metal

1910 Metal

A detailed tribute to the lesser-known artistic metalwork craftsmen of the Arts and Crafts movement. In addition t… [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    

Great Rockwood Art Pottery Vase Blue Matte Glaze 19271934 Rookwood Kataro Shirayamadani Daisy Vase #5734 "s" Special Shape Vase MintLarge Rookwood Pottery Vellum Vase Signed Edward T. Hurley Surround DesignRookwood Pottery Arts & Crafts "bleeding Hearts" Vase 1929: A Real Beauty!!!!Rookwood Double Handle Yellow 4" Vase In Mint Condition 1928 Shape #2558Vintage 1949 Rookwood Pottery Celadon Green General Electric Light Bulb Ash TrayAntique Rookwood Green Blue 1922 #1353 Arts & Crafts AshtrayRookwood Vellum Vase 1655 F Olga G Reed Pinney Pastel Pink Berries Foliage 1912Rookwood Pottery Yellow Three Handled Vase # 2428 Dated 1930: A Beauty!Rookwood Pottery VaseCincinnati, Oh: 1908: Western View Of Rookwood Pottery And Mt. AdamsVtg Hentschel Airbrush Watercolor Painting Woman With Fruit Rookwood Pottery-nr!Pair Rookwood Vases, Matte Yellow Glaze 1920 & 1928, Style 2135, 6 Inches Tall Rookwood Pottery, Vintage 5 Sided Pentagon Bud Vase With Rooks Circa 1928Vintage Rookwood Arts Crafts Vase Semi Matte Green 1920, Style 2088, 5 1/2" TallBlue Vintage Rookwood Vase Style 2380 Date 1928 - 6 1/2 Inches Tall, Floral Art Deco Rookwood 2256b Teal Flower Bowl Large 900Rare Vtg Antique 1920s Rookwood Pottery Matte Blue Vase #2122 4-1/2" Rosehips NrVingtage Rookwood Pottery...vase W/ Frog Inset ..c. 1936Rookwood Vase-vellum Matte Glaze-signed Caroline Steinle-dated 1910--6 1/2" Tall1904 Rookwood Pottery Catalog Great Pictures Some Color Pictures Great PotteryVintage Rookwood Vase - 4 Inches Tall, Style 2559, 1930, Dark PinkVintage Rookwood Arts Crafts Matte Green W/ Stag Deer 4 1/2", 1932, Style 6214Vintage Rookwood 1929 Vase - Style 2327, Pink/grenish Matte, 7 Inches TallRookwood Pottery Vase Circa 1910Rookwood Pottery Lyre And Faun Dish 1927 Initials N.f.w. & M.c.Matte Brown Vintage 1946 Rookwood Floral Bowl -style 6424, 3" X 8 1/4" Inches Rookwood 3 Handled Vase Deco Arts Crafts 1921 #63 Pinkish Peach Mint HtfRookwood Blue Ship Arts & Crasfts Small Plate1 Single Swap Playing Card Joker #p10 Wide Man Named Rookwood 18?? Antique OldArt Deco Rookwood Pottery Chalice Vase1 Single Swap Playing Card Antique Wide #29a Man Named Rookwood 1899 Old Vintage