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John Foster

Accidental Mysteries


Redware pottery is an area of collecting that I have never focused on. I found it a bit too decorative for my taste. But recently, after some study on the art and craft of redware, I see why people covet it. To try and understand what makes a stellar redware piece, I took a look at a recent auction by Pook & Pook, an auction house founded in 1984 in Chester County, PA. Redware is a simple, utilitarian form of pottery that was very popular in the 18th and 19th century. What caught my eye at this auction was the vast difference in pricing. While some redware pieces commanded prices over $20,000, others sold for modest prices in the hundreds of dollars.

So what makes a top piece of redware? For today’s column, I only selected plates for comparison. “Condition, size, age, technique, maker (if known) and uniqueness of the decoration bring the highest prices,” confirms Anne Gilbert, from the site Antique Detective. It appears that the collecting attributes of rarity and quality still hold true.

Redware
Pennsylvania redware pie plate, 19th c., attributed to Diehl Pottery with yellow, green, and brown stylized tree decoration, 7 7/8" dia. 
Realized Price: $20,145. 


Redware
Bucks County, Pennsylvania sgraffito redware charger, ca. 1810, attributed to Conrad Mumbauer, with a tulip and pinwheel decoration, 11 3/4" dia.
Realized Price: $11,258 


Redware
Bucks County, Pennsylvania sgraffito redware charger, ca. 1810, with tulip and pinwheel flower decoration, 12 3/4" dia. 
Realized Price: $22,515 


Redware
Pennsylvania redware pie plate, 19th c., with vibrant green and yellow combed slip decoration, 6 1/2" dia. 
Realized Price: $21,330


Redware
Pennsylvania redware tart plate, 19th c., with yellow and green wavy slip lines crossed into a grid pattern with manganese dots in the centers, 4 1/2" dia. 
Realized Price: $18,960


Redware
Bucks County, Pennsylvania sgraffito redware charger, ca. 1805, attributed to the pottery of Jacob Funck, Haycock Township, with green tulip decoration on a yellow slip ground, 12 3/8" dia.
Realized Price: $3,555


Redware
Pennsylvania redware tart plate, 19th c., with yellow, green, and manganese slip clover decoration, signed Andrew Hedman 1852, 3 3/4" dia., together with the account book of Andrew's son Michael Headman, also a potter.  Realized Price: $18,960

  Redware
Connecticut redware charger, 19th c., with yellow and green slip decoration, 13 3/4" dia. Illustrated in Harold F. Guilland, Early American Folk Pottery, pg. 143.
Realized Price: $2,015 


Redware
Pennsylvania redware pie plate, 19th c., attributed to Diehl pottery, with green and brown slip decoration, 6 3/4" dia.
Realized Price: $1,126


Redware
Pennsylvania redware tart plate, 19th c., with yellow, green, and manganese slip decoration of wavy lines and stars, 4 5/8" dia.
Realized Price: $6,518


Redware
Redware pie plate, 19th c., with yellow slip fern decoration, 9 3/4" dia. 
Realized Price: $1,422


Redware
Pennsylvania redware pie plate, 19th c., with yellow slip decoration, 9" dia. 
Realized Price: $444


Redware
Pennsylvania redware pie plate, 19th c., attributed to Diehl pottery, with yellow, green, and brown slip tulip decoration, 7 3/4" dia.
Realized Price: $17,775 


Redware
Pennsylvania redware pie plate, 19th c., with yellow slip decoration, 9" dia.
Realized Price: $770 


Redware
Redware pie plate, 19th c., with combed yellow slip and green splash decoration, 10" dia.
Realized Price: $1,422


Redware
Jacob Medinger (Montgomery County, Pennsylvania 1856-1932), sgraffito redware shallow dish with a spread winged eagle decoration, 7 3/4" dia.
Realized Price: $948 


Redware
Pennsylvania redware pie plate, 19th c., with brown and yellow slip decoration, 9" dia.
Realized Price: $474 


Redware
Pennsylvania redware pie plate, 19th c., with yellow slip squiggle line decoration, 9" dia.
Realized Price: $395


Redware
Pennsylvania redware pie plate, 19th c., with yellow slip star and fern sprigs, 9 3/4" dia.
Realized Price: $504 


Redware
Pennsylvania redware pie plate, 19th c., with concentric circle slip decoration, 9 1/4" dia. 
Realized Price: $563 


Redware
Redware shallow bowl, dated 1819, with green and red slip decoration, 10 1/4" dia. 
Realized Price: $652


Redware
Early English slip decorated redware shallow bowl, ca. 1800, 8" dia.
Realized Price: $5,451


Redware
New England redware plate, 19th c., with yellow slip loop design, 9 7/8" dia.
Realized Price: $770


Redware
Stahl pottery sgraffito and slip decorated redware plate, dated 1936, 10" dia. 
 Realized Price: $770


Redware
New England slip decorated plate, 19th c., with trailing slip initials, 10 1/4" dia.
Provenance: Harry Hartman.
Realized Price: $593


Posted in: Accidental Mysteries, Craft

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