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See this red clay dish by Harris G. Strong left. Georgia, Alabama, and North and South Carolina have available veins of red clay that are suitable for pottery, so consider makers in those geographical areas if you have a red clay pot to identify. Of course there are lots more, but if you have a piece of pottery with a red clay base, this is a start.
There are many different shades of "red" clay, but red and deep pink clays have been readily available to the potter for centuries, and this color often gives the glaze a different look than it would have with another color clay. Yellow clay was primarily from Ohio, so most of the Ohio potteries used yellow clay. RosevilleMcCoy and Brush are examples of the yellow clay potters. For an example, see the yellow clay bowl produced by McCoy right.
Robinson-Ransbottom was mostly yellow clay. Watt Pottery is in a class I call yellowware, since they used a clear glaze over the yellow clay instead of colors. Robinson-Ransbottom, Blue RidgePurintonWatt all made some yellowware with a clear glaze over the yellow clay.
Take a look at the Watt Pottery yellowware bowl left. Weller sometimes used yellow to cream colored clay, but just when you think you have learned how to identify these pots by clay color, an anomaly shows up. Look at this Weller piece in red clay! Hull and Shawnee are a cream color with a pink tint to the clay.
So are American Bisque and Royal Copley. Don't confuse this with pink clay-used by Coventry and Kay Finch and a few other California potters, including some Hagen-Renaker. See how the pink clay Dutch boy left has a pink clay color so his face, base and backpack don't require additional paint? Camark and some Arkansas potteries as well as Texas potters used a white to ecru clay, primarily.
See the dry foot on the Camark console bowl right. Niloak is often white clay, and much of the Niloak was heavier with a wider foot left or base than many other American potteries of that era. Alamo and Gilmer are Texas potteries using white clay. See the white clay base right.
A quick aside about Alamo and Gilmer: Alamo and Gilmer potteries were related companies and used many of the same designs - some originally from famous Texas potter Harding Black.
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Stangl Pottery is often made of a white clay, too. Some Hawaii pieces are also white clay, like this Hawaiian pitcher on the left. Beige clay was used by Rosemeade and some eras of Drydenprimarily Kansas Dryden. This green Dryden pitcher right shows the beige clay clearly. Monmouth which later became Western Stoneware used a sandy clay, often seen with a maple leaf and USA incised into the clay. If you examine a pot like the sandy jug leftyou can quickly recognize the clay and maple leaf.
Some of the southwest Native American pottery is beige clay, too. This pitcher right is marked Acoma on the side. Mosaic Tile made pieces that were not tiles, and they often have a beige clay. See the odd boomerang ashtray left by Mosiac Tile. Heath used a sandy clay for much of its dinnerware lines. Dryden and Rosemeade may be sandy clay, too. This Heath bowl is clearly marked, but notice the clay color on the unglazed ring.
Any pottery that has been soaked in water may be beige, too, so beware of dirty bottoms! The Foot The shape, glazing and markings of the "foot" or base surface of the piece which makes contact with a supporting surface ie - table or shelf can be as revealing as the color and texture of the clay.
Many pieces of pottery have a dry rim around the bottom edge, known as a dry foot. This green Camark ashtray right has a white unpainted rim.
Others have a completely dry or unglazed bottom, and still others have wedge shapes on the bottom. Royal Copley frequently used bars across the bottom. Note the bars across this Royal Copley planter left from the manufacturing process. American Bisque used the wedge shapes routinely, so that is always my first guess on a piece with a dry wedge foot. Here's a good example of the American Bisque wedge foot right. Companies using a dry foot include most of the Ohio companies and some Stangl of New Jersey.
Several companies used stilts for glazing pottery, and the bottom will be glazed over completely with three small marks for the stilts. Haeger and Royal Haeger are often glazed like this. Stilt marks left may look like damage at first, but are a good distinguishing feature. There are also some California potters who used stilts or firing pins for most of their glazing.
Metlox was one California pottery using firing pins. Notice the three flaws on this Metlox pitcher rightindicative of firing pins. Vohann is another example of a glazed bottom with firing pins. These stilt marks left can help you establish the maker of this bowl. RedWing also RumRill and Stangl used stilts for some of their ware lines. Take a look at the marks on this RumRill console bowl right. Peters and Reed often has three stilt marks, too, and the old pieces show red clay under the glaze.
So, if you see three little flaws on a glazed bottom, these are not damage-they are stilt marks or firing pin marks used for the firing process. Examining the bottom for stilt marks may reveal some numbers that may help with identification, too.
For many years, three numbers were used to identify many of the shapes for American pottery. Some companies only used two numbers for some of the shapes, and some used four. These are numbers that are in the mold, not handwritten. Just a glance at the foot shows the numbers on this McCoy or Brush pot left. Notice the tilt to the numbers? If you see three numbers at a slant on a yellow clay pot, it may be Brush or McCoy.
RedWing and RumRill are routinely marked with numbers, and sometimes the name. Some of the pieces were also marked with a letter, a dash, then a number - so items marked similar to "M" are often Redwing Murphy Era. Three square numbers on a white pottery bottom may be Alamo Potterymade in San Antonio, Texas from aboutor it may be Gilmeranother Texas pottery in business for much longer.
Notice the block style to the numbers on this Gilmer vase right made with white clay. Remember to look at Camark and Niloaktoo, because they used a white clay for much of their production.
Note the difference, though. Alamo and Gilmer often have a completely unglazed bottom, while Camark and Niloak may have just a dry foot. Compare these cups and saucers left with the Gilmer vase above.
The way the numbers are written, the style of number and even the number of numbers are all significant in determining the maker of a piece of pottery.
It is that combination of details that help the pottery enthusiast to determine the maker. This article is about the identification of American pottery by the bottom, and it is not my intent to vary from that topic much, but it is difficult to look at the bottoms and not see the tops-so a comment on glaze seems essential here.
Robinson Ransbottom Pottery Gallery at More Than McCoy: Page 1 of 4 Robinson Ransbottom, aka RRP Roseville Pottery Co., of Roseville, Ohio. RRP started in business before , and has just recently gone out of business. They were one of American's great old pottery companies that made stoneware, spongeware, art pottery, vases, planters, birdbath inserts, dinnerware, . Most American pottery pieces have some weight to them-unlike the Japan imports of the s, s and s that seem fairly light in comparison. Robinson-Ransbottom was mostly yellow clay. Watt Pottery is in a class I call yellowware, The same general dating . Stoneware demand and production declined, and Robinson-Ransbottom produced pottery as well as stoneware after that time. Robinson-Ransbottom produced stoneware with the blue crown logo; some some marks show "RRP" in the crown. Others have a number inside the crown, often indicating the size of the crock or bowl.
Once the clay color has been examined, the weight of the pot has been considered, and it has been determined to likely be an American pottery, then a cursory glance at the glaze may help with certain identification.
The glazes in pottery went with fashion of the day, and trends can be noted, although there are lots of exceptions. Great detail in hand-painting and hand-work including sgraffito Scratching the surface to create a graffiti design. More information through this link to Wikipedia. Think Rookwood and Newcomb. Seth Thomas Clocks. Purses and Luggage. Vintage Aprons. Vintage Clothing. Vintage Hankies and Boxes. Cultures and Ethnicities.
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Sell Pottery. Cleaning: RRP Co Pottery. A Brief History. In , Frank Ransbottom and his brother started a pottery company in Roseville, Ohio to make stoneware and pottery. By Ransbottom Pottery was the largest producer of stoneware jars in America. Aroun they merged with Robinson Clay Products Co. who created bricks and tiles. ROBINSON-RANSBOTTOM POTTERY Volume 5 Issue 4 The Ransbottom brothers had alot of experience in pottery. Frank learned from his father, Alfred. His father operated the Bluebird Pottery on farms in Perry and Muskingum Counties in Ohio. Frank's brothers, Ed and Mort, held important positions at Roseville Pottery. Aroun they merged with Robinson Clay Products Co. who created bricks and tiles, and the name was changed to RRP Company, reflecting Robinson Ransbottom Pottery, and product lines expanded to include gardenware in addition to their art pottery and functional goods.
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