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Who Was the Mysterious WEG of WEG Pottery?

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Posted 1 year ago

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katinka-ka…
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Link to flickr set of entire WEG pottery collection: http://www.flickr.com/photos/81337094@N00/sets/72157633182453632/.

I bought my the first martini sort of pitcher of this WEG pottery about 2000 at a local New Jersey consignment store. After that, I just found it different places: ebay, antique stores, yard sales, that sort of thing.

One seller told me he and his wife had bought their WEG pottery thing in Greenwich Village while on their honeymoon sometime in the 1950s, but couldn't remember more than that.

An antique dealer who was selling a large set (which I didn't buy) confirmed that story that there was a guy who made this in Greenwich Village and it was hard to tell if she knew what she was talking about or was just trying to get me to buy it.

I took some of it to Antiques Roadshow, and they were not impressed.

At one point this site (<a href="http://www.modern50.com/objectsart/frederic-weinberg-pottery/" rel="nofollow">www.modern50.com/objectsart/frederic-weinberg-pottery/</a>) attributed it to Frederic Weinberg (see his name in url). Currently they are selling some but don't seem to name who made it.

At some other point, over the last 10 years, someone on ebay said this was made by William Elmer Gross or someone named William Gross and his partner Elmer. I have no idea where this story is from, and I have never been able to get a seller to confirm that, they all seem to grab it from previous descriptions.

Some current ebay descriptions say "it was made in the Front Street New York Studio Pottery of Elmer Gross and his partner William," "William Elmer Gross
Mid century pottery" "CREATED FROM THE FRONT STREET NEW YORK STUDIO ART POTTERY WORKSHOP OF
ELMER GROSS AND HIS PARTNER WILLIAM - MARKED WEG"....

Can anyone tell me who made this? Did William exist? Why would Elmer be the second initial and not also have a last name initial?

What's the story with this?

Unsolved Mystery

Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.

Comments

  1. katinka-katinka, 1 year ago
    I meant to post this in mystery section, and I'm not sure if I did, but I also posted it elsewhere, and two super helpful people gave me pointers to obits that led to more info.

    There was a gallery in NYC called WEG gallery, which I'm guessing was named after the owners, William Forauer, who died in 1998 at age 74, just a year after Elmer Gross, who died in late 1996 at age 89.

    William Forauer's obit mentioned that Elmer and William were life companions, and also said William had endless good humor, an open smile and gentle enthusiasm and all of those things made people like visiting their gallery.

    Elmer's obit did not mention those things, but he was originally from Wilkes-Barre before he ended up in NYC running a retail ceramic business.

    Anyhow, those two articles helped me find a 1952 nyt story about some new collections on view at the Willow, 184 West Fourth Street:

    "A gray glaze marked with faint black lines consitutes the background for the delicate motifs that decorate the objects in the Weg ceramic group made by Elmer Gross and William Forauer. This collection includes a cylindrical martini mixer and a rounded water pitcher, the latter with a large handle in a semi-hoop shape. Both of these having matching rounded cups."

    Then someone mentioned that later, I might be interested in seeing what is up with the NY public library, who has a grant for this: NYC Chronology of Place, a Linked Open Data Gazetteer, and they were totally right! I am interested in that! I still want to find their gallery and stuff, but it was a total relief to know who finally made this and that they had names and a sense of humor.

  2. katinka-katinka, 1 year ago
    Thanks, Bellin68! I love it too!

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