The Roseville Pottery Co. was founded in 1892 by George Young in Roseville, Ohio.
Dear Helaine and Joe:
I am enclosing photos of a vase that is in near-mint condition with no chips or scratches. It stands 14-3/8 inches tall and is marked “Roseville U.S.A. 97-14” on the bottom. Would you have any idea when it was manufactured and its value?
Thanks for your help,
E.D., Buffalo Grove, Ill.
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The Roseville Pottery Co. was founded in 1892 by George Young in Roseville, Ohio. The first plant was in the old J.B. Owens factory, and the company primarily focused on making flower pots and stoneware storage jugs.
Before founding Roseville, Young had been a schoolteacher and a Singer sewing machine salesman, but he had not had much success in any of his previous callings. Roseville did very well from the beginning, and the company began buying up other pottery facilities in the area.
By 1902, the company had bought two plants in the Zanesville, Ohio, area and by 1910 had left the town of Roseville altogether. Roseville Pottery did not start making art wares until around 1900, and some of these early wares are very rare and have a considerable value.
Around the time of World War I, the company began abandoning these handmade and expensive wares to make art lines in favor of “commercial art lines,”which are molded objects with only a little unskilled hand finishing. Some of these lines, like “Futura,” “Pinecone” and “Blackberry,” are of great interest to collectors, but other Roseville commercial art lines are of lesser interest.
Roseville managed to prosper through the 1940s, but began running into financial troubles. The factory closed in 1954.
The rather large vase in today’s question is from a line called “Magnolia,” which was introduced by Roseville in 1943. The company’s advertising read “Beauty to Enthrall You!” and went on to state that it was “A charming floral pattern sculpted on fascinating new art shapes.”
It was produced in three colors — tan, blue and green — with the latter being the color of the piece belonging to E.D. Magnolia was manufactured in a large range of shapes that ran the gamut from baskets and ewers to candlesticks, window boxes and flower frogs.
The best we can determine, vases were made in sizes that ranged from 4 inches tall all the way to very large examples 18 inches in height. As a general rule, it is the bigger the better when it comes to Roseville Magnolia vases, and at one time the largest size was valued in the $1,200-$1,400 range.
Unfortunately, times have changed and the value of Roseville in general has dropped — and, in some cases, it has dropped significantly.
If the piece is chip- and crack-free, it should be valued for insurance purposes between $350 and $500.
(Helaine Fendelman and Joe Rosson are the authors of “Price It Yourself”(HarperResource, $19.95). Contact them at Treasures in Your Attic, PO Box 18350, Knoxville, TN 37928. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.)