Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Saturday, July 30, 2005
Hype Or Spike?

Rookwood Pottery, Sarah Sax, 1906 Dark Iris Glaze

The August 1st cover story on the front page of the Central Edition of Antique Week suggests that interest and prices for American Art Pottery are, only now, “moving into the limelight” following almost 10 years of rising values and expanding collector interest.
The article quotes David Rago’s 2003 Official Price Guide to American Arts & Crafts:

No single event can claim responsibility for the steady resurgence of interest and pricing…But by 1996, there were already examples that there may be no turning back on the popularity of these items…By 2001 prices for average pieces tripled and, for the best work, increased five fold.

Readers of this blog should know that only last week I posted on the extraordinary hammer price attained by a lone 6” square Kensington Art Tile Company relief portrait tile sold over Ebay.
Previously posted reports on Cincinnati area pottery auctions in this space over the last few years, including Cincinnati Art Gallery auctions from 2003, 2004 and 2005, a rather interesting auction conducted in November 2004 by the Forsythe family and a June 2004 Treadway Gallery auction, while intermittently strong haven’t yet approached the spikes seen prior to the demise of the tech bubble.
Does the very recent sale of the once $25 to $50 Kensington tile for $283 along with this week’s Antique Week promise of “tony prices” herald a truly significant post bubble spike for American Art Pottery?
Sellers, buyers and collectors will certainly be watching hammer and retail prices with keen and realistic interest knowing that trade publications with their vested interests are often guilty of doping the horse as well as reporting on the race.

Photo: sean
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