Weller Pottery

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wikicollecting

2015-06-26 10:35:11

Weller Pottery was a producer of high-quality pieces of pottery from 1872 until 1948.

History and description

Weller Pottery began in 1872 under the guidance of Samuel Weller. The initial premises were in Feltonham, Ohio and comprised of a cabin containing one kiln. Weller produced a small range of products which included bowls, vases and flower pots.

1882 saw Weller move his company to Zanesville, also in Ohio and in 1893 the company joined forces with the Lonhuda Faïence Pottery company. The partnership dissolved within the year but Weller retained rights to the Lonhuda brand, producing pieces under the new name Louwelsa. This proved to be one of Weller's more popular lines and included over 500 different pieces.

In 1895 art director Charles Upjohn joined the company and worked there until 1904. Under his influence Weller began producing the Dickens Ware range. Another influential director at the company was Jacques Sicard who worked there from 1902 until 1907.

The 1920s saw Weller change it's focus from hand-decorated items to commercial art pottery and by 1935 only moulded pottery was produced. Weller ceased production in early 1948.

Guide for collectors

Weller Pottery produced a range of lines in it's years of operations offering much scope for collectors. Because of their reputation for hand-decorating, items of considerable interest to collectors include those with high levels of detail. This includes tobacco jars in the shape of men's faces – the pieces named 'The Skull' and 'The Irishman' are in high demand as only a small amount were produced.

Collectors can recognise and date their pieces by identifying traits common with each line. For example, the Sicard line was known for it's iridescent finishes while the Weller Etna range favoured gloss.

Value

Prices for pieces of Weller Pottery can widely differ with the more inexpensive pieces typically being those produced after 1935 using the moulding process. These can be sourced from as little as $12-35.

More expensive items include those produced during the Sicard period and those from the Weller Cretone and Xenia range. These can sell at up to $500 at auction.

The Weller Jardieneres – including the much sought after 'Watermelon Mammy' cookie jar can reach up to $1,000

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