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Also known as the “oldest pottery in America,” the Harker Pottery Company was incorporated in East Liverpool, Ohio, in 1890, but was later moved by the Harker family to Chester, West Virginia. It made pottery teapots and other kitchenware from the 1840’s until the mid-1970s. The company first produced yellow ware and copied Rockingham ware from Rockingham England. In its late years, Harker Pottery produced stoneware and crockpot liners.
A Brief History of Rookwood Pottery is an article that explains where Rookwood Pottery originates from as well as other interesting tidbits about the company. There are Rookwood collectors everywhere in the world and they continue to collect this beautiful art pottery even with the company out of business since 1941. Outasite!! Antiques is part of NOVA-Antiques, the Mid Atlantic website for all things antique & collectible.
Rookwood Pottery originated in Mount Adams, Ohio in the late 1870’s and was founded by Maria Longworth Nichols. In the beginning, she Ms. Nichols painted blank china items and later hired others to help her create one of the most renowned potteries in the world. He attention to detail and her quest for perfection led to making some of the most stunning if not perfect pieces of beautiful art pottery. This and the fact that Rookwood easily made the transitions from one era to another flawlessly, makes Rookwood Pottery some of the most sought after and desirable art pottery in the world.
It is not unusual to find Rookwood Pottery in different styles and colors reflecting the eras it was produced in. From Victorian to Art Nouveau to Art Deco, Rookwood Pottery never lost a beat. They produced beautiful pieces and were the first to introduce some of the most striking glazes, such as Iris, Vellum, Sea Green and Ariel Blue. One of the last styles of Rookwood was Ombroso, which was used on cut pottery and was a very dark lusterless brown glaze. After its rise to greatness, Rookwood Pottery succumbed to the Great Depression and never totally recovered.
In 1941 Rookwood Pottery filed for bankruptcy and closed its doors. However, this was not the end of the great art pottery maker, because its fans have never let it die. There are still many Rookwood collectors and in 2004 a record auction price of more than $375,000 was realized for a piece of their art pottery. In addition, the company was revived in 2006 when The Rookwood Pottery Company purchased all that remained of the original company, including original molds, recipes and trademarks, allowing Rookwood Pottery to live on into the future.