Crown Potteries Co.

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wikicollecting

2015-06-26 10:53:08

Crown Potteries, originally Crown Pottery Co of Evansville, produced a wide range of pottery products between the years 1902 and 1962. The mark (pictured) was used on majolica, ironstone, semi-porcelain and white granite.

Background

Pottery is generally considered to be containers made from clay. "Pot" is a term used for any number of container forms. Both words derive from the Old English potian, "to push". When we consider how the potter pushes as they throw the clay on the wheel, it is easy to see how the process got its name. The term "pottery" may also be used as an adjective with some objects, such as small figurines.

In industrialized countries, modern pottery can be classified two ways. There is commercial pottery or ceramics which are produced in factories, and there is studio pottery which is produced by individual craftsmen. You may also hear of "art pottery," which may be either produced commercially or by an individual craftsman.

The Crown Potteries Company was in business from 1882-1956. The photo is the mark used on majolica, ironstone, semi porcelain and white granite.

1882 AM Beck an immigrant from England moved to Evansville, Indiana, starting a small pottery producing majolica.

1884 Beck died and the pottery was sold to Bennighof, Uhl, and Company, who began the production of whiteware.

By 1891 Bennighof, Uhl, and Company moved to Huntingburg, Indiana and sold the buildings in Evansburg to the Flentke family, who reorganized under the name of Crown Pottery.

1902 they took over the Peoria Pottery Co. of Peoria, IL and the two potteries assumed the name of Crown Potteries.

Around 1955/6 Crown Pottery closed.

Collecting information

Crown Pottery Co. is highly collectible among buyers from the Midwest, in mint condition.

Crown Potteries Co. is distinct from Crown Staffordshire. Note Crown Staffordshire China Company, Ltd., by a standard printed trademark. On top is the month of production. Below in a curve are the words in caps "FINE BONE CHINA." Underneath is "CROWN," with a crown image and the established date of the manufacture. Lastly are the words "ENGLAND, STAFFORDSHIRE." Another example of identification is Blue Willow pattern, which retains a "willow design, smooth edge and gold trim."

Marks showing crowns have been used since the early 18th century and are still in use today. While some marks are the basic design of a curved line on the bottom with lines jutting out toward the top, most marks are crowns with elaborate details. Capo-di-Monte factory in Naples, Italy, used a mark of a crown over the letter "N." After the Capo-di-Monte factory closed, the Ginori factory in Doccia, Italy, purchased the mark. The mark was used from 1771 to 1821 and was originally hand-painted over or under the glaze. Companies both in and outside Italy have used the mark ever since. The country name appears under the mark after 1891, if the pottery or porcelain is sold in the United States. The Crown and N is one of the most faked marks found today.

Pottery manufacturers usually stamp their products with their name and location. Contemporary potters and students often (but not always) sign their work or use a potter's mark, an impressed symbol, in lieu of a signature. However, a lot of potters from the 1800s and before did not, and a lot of contemporary potters don't as well. Luckily, all Crown pieces are stamped and therefore very easily identifiable.

Very rarely will standard homeowner's insurance cover artwork or collectibles. However, in the case of Crown Potteries Co. it will.

Price guide

Crown Pottery Co., although collectible, is not especially valuable. Complete, mint condition dining sets are generally worth a maximum of $60, although finding someone willing to pay this figure may be difficult. Most Crown Potteries Co. sells online and in goodwill stores for between $3 and $10.

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