In the recent movie “Summer Hours“, the eldest son Frédéric complains the vase donated and exhibited in the museum does not show how it should be used in reality while the other of the one-of-the-time pair went to the former house keeper who has no idea of its worth and requested it for its sentimental value. That’s the true nature of the best art pottery: they were produced for utilitarian purposes yet their values may outshine flowers so much that not many collectors would dare do that. At least for me, with four cats to spoil, I know if I ever had such a beautiful vase, it would be permanently placed behind a glass.
As I wondered around the new American Wing of Metropolitan Museum of Art today, I spotted two spectacular pottery vases. Both are probably made during the first two decades of the 20th century, the colors, glazes, texture and patterns speak of the height of arts and crafts. Both were made in Zanesville, OH, a small town along Interstate 70 where a few famous pottery factories such as Roseville, Weller, Owens and Brush before the depression.
From July 11th, the annual pottery lovers reunion will start in the Zanesville with room sales and two auctions.
Belhorn Auction Services will host 15th Annual Summer American Art Pottery Auction on Sunday July 12, with over 400 pieces of pottery including Roseville (106+ pieces), Weller (35+ pieces), Hull (65+ pieces), Nicodemus (34+ pieces), Peters & Reed (13+ pieces), Rookwood (13+ pieces) and Rose Cabat Feelies (5). On Wednesday July 15, another auction Pottery Lovers Reunion 2009 Auction will include nearly 600 lots of pottery. The reunion of lovers including dealers and collectors makes the Ramada Zanesville a center of room sales and social activities for the upcoming week. They even have a theme for this year– “Portraits”– for the mixer party on Tuesday night. I imagine it will be a night of laughter and story-telling but little hand-shaking since both hands would be busy holding wine glasses and pottery vases.
Art pottery holds the value well in the current market. On June 27, Neal Auction sold a Newcomb pottery vase for a record of $169,200. The Belhorn auction may not have such star lots, but I doubt you would rush to put the water and flowers in if you win one. Below are a few pottery vases that have caught my eyes.