The Roseville Pottery Company was an American pottery manufacturer in the 19th and 20th centuries. Though originally simple household pieces, the design of the pottery was popular with the American Arts and Crafts movement and pieces are now sought after by collectors.
The company was founded by J.F. Weaver in Roseville, Ohio, in 1890. It was incorporated in 1892 with George Young, a former Roseville salesman, as secretary and general manager. Under the direction of Young, the Roseville company had great success producing stoneware flower pots and other practical household items. In 1895, the company expanded by purchasing Midland Pottery, and by 1896 George Young had amassed a controlling interest in Roseville Pottery. In 1898, they purchased the Clark Stoneware Company in Zanesville, and moved the headquarters there.
In 1900 George Young hired Ross C. Purdy to create the company's first art pottery line—Rozane. The Rozane art line was designed to compete against Rookwood Pottery's Standard Glaze, Owens Pottery's Utopian, and Weller Pottery's Louwelsa art lines. The name Rozane was created as a contraction of "Roseville" and "Zanesville". By 1901, the company owned and operated four plants and employed 325 people.
Frederick Hurten Rhead was the art director of Roseville between 1904 and 1909. He is associated with the Della Robbia line. (At the time of writing one of Rhead's vases holds the record as the most expensive piece of American art pottery: however, this is a piece of studio pottery from Rhead's California period). Frederick's brother Harry Rhead stayed on at Weller after Frederick left.
Frank Ferrell became the art director for Roseville in 1917 and was responsible for creating many of the most popular Roseville designs. Among the most popular designs created by Roseville are Blackberry, Sunflower, and Pinecone.
Roseville Pottery produced its final designs in 1953, and the following year their facilities were bought by the Mosaic Tile Company.
Since the company closed, Roseville pottery has seen two distinct revivals: one with baby boomers in the 1970s, and again in the late 1990s and early 2000s during the Mission Style revival.
Today, many Roseville styles remain relatively common while rare pieces can fetch hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Because Roseville's designs were so influential, replicas and counterfeits are common, and the wide variety of kiln markings—or the lack thereof—on genuine pieces can be confusing for collectors.
A large urn in the Laurel style; note the heavy art deco influence
Patterns and Lines
- "Roseville:America's Decorative Art Pottery". Wisconsin Pottery Association.
- John Bomm (1998). Roseville In All Its Splendor. L-W Publishing. ISBN 0-89538-095-1.
- Robert & Sharon Huxford (2001). Collectors Encyclopedia of Roseville Pottery, Vol.2. Collector Books. p. 7. ISBN 1-57432-235-4.
- "Uncommon Clay: Ohio Art Pottery". Kent State University Museum.
- Marie Proeller Hueston. "Roseville for Beginners". Country Living.
- Evans, Paul (1987). Art Pottery of the United States: An Encyclopedia of Producers and Their Marks. New York: Feingold and Lewis. ISBN 0-684-14029-2.