Unmarked Arts & Crafts (Mission, Prairie, Nouveau) vase?

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Post by Ho-nez August 9th 2015, 8:11 pm

Can't figure this one out. A local antique shop that specializes in Arts & Crafts said they "wouldn't have been surprised to see a Rookwood mark." Alas, the only markings are some faint numbers and possible signature, which appears to be under the glaze. Has a matte glaze drip decoration that reminds me of Nouveau-era violets or irises. Some light crazing on the bottom. 12cm high.

Unmarked Arts & Crafts (Mission, Prairie, Nouveau) vase? Arts_v10
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Post by NaomiM August 9th 2015, 8:13 pm

I can see a 125 but the signature is too faint. Can you post a close up of the impressed mark please


Last edited by NaomiM on August 10th 2015, 11:33 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Ho-nez August 10th 2015, 3:37 am

There is no impressed mark. It looks like there might be one in the photo, but that's just a small impression in the glaze from the kiln stilt. I figure this one will likely be identified by form and glaze, if at all. I'm not optimistic, but the internet hive-mind has certainly answered weirder questions.
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Post by Mordeep August 10th 2015, 9:07 am

Well the clues for me are in the design, the glaze, and the signature faint though it is.

Although I know little about American ceramics. I know a bit about European ones. Little indicates its English to me, we didn't really get into this sort of pottery until very late in the game. It could be American? But I gather most art potteries from the states are well documented and a signature even faint as it is would have rung some bells to somebody.

That leaves two very obvious countries of origin to me. France and Austria. The French loved this type of multi glaze effect vase from the 1890's right up until the 1st world war. The signature is the sort of thing I would expect from them.  On the other hand the Austrians also loved art pottery of this type and are known for seemingly putting numbers on just about anything they could. I would check factories and individual art potters from the period from both countries. Flicker is great for browsing lots at the same time.

It is also worth mentioning that throughout the late 19th century and early 20th America had an abundance of world fairs and other shows that many foreign potters attended to sell decorative objects like this. It could be a way to explain how it got to Minnesota?

A link to all the fairs
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_world%27s_fairs
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Post by denbydump August 10th 2015, 9:18 am

I was thinking French too. The colours are similar to Denbac, and that faint signature
could just be also.
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Post by Mordeep August 10th 2015, 10:39 am

Here are a couple of great links for you to delve into. Pininterest pages are pottery porn of the highest order, I have lost days looking through that site. A quick scan through the first link though makes me think it even more likely it is French. You may even find a likely culprit if you follow up on some of the names.

Good luck

https://www.pinterest.com/astrodanrob/french-art-pottery-1875-1915/
https://www.pinterest.com/jonopalski/pottery-art/
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Post by Ho-nez August 10th 2015, 9:44 pm

Wow, thanks for all the help. Even if I can't nail this down, I'm certainly learning a lot. I've taken some clearer pics, which may be helpful.
Unmarked Arts & Crafts (Mission, Prairie, Nouveau) vase? Arts_c10
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Post by Mordeep August 10th 2015, 11:15 pm

The one thing that will clear this up is some macro images of that base signature. If you can avoid flash and take them in strong natural light. You stand a good chance manipulating the image to make reading what it says possible. Plenty of programs on the old web that will let you add filters to images. With that I think you will be able to read it. Then it becomes easy. The design and style have got you this far, just a little push should get you an answer.

P.S

Looks like the signature is a name with the 2nd word almost being Wilson or similar? A surname?

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Post by 22 Crawford St. August 10th 2015, 11:44 pm

Mordeep I can see the No. 125 but .....


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Post by Ho-nez August 11th 2015, 5:00 am

Mordeep - I'm an old hand at Photoshop, but I didn't think it would offer much in this case. The signature is under a thick semi-translucent glaze that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to read.

I tried a little unsharp-mask on the attached image, but all it did (to my eyes, which are admittedly not what they used to be) was make the crazing a lot more crisp. I've got a macro lens I'll dig out tomorrow to see if I can capture some more detail.
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Post by denbydump August 11th 2015, 8:02 am

The first thing to do is turn the vase upside down, and pour some bleach into
the foot-well, and leave it for a few hours, to clean up that crazing.
It usually works, you may be surprised!
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Post by Mordeep August 11th 2015, 3:24 pm

denbydump wrote:The first thing to do is turn the vase upside down, and pour some bleach into
the foot-well, and leave it for a few hours, to clean up that crazing.
It usually works, you may be surprised!

That is a very old dealers trick. After being burned a few times with this cleaning method. I can often now be found sniffing pottery that I am looking to buy. You will be surprised how many hairlines mysteriously appear on items weeks after they have been bought simply as a result of a good bleach before sale hiding it from sight. But in this case I agree it should remove some of what is obscuring that signature (just don't shout if it ends up reading made in china).

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