Recently I purchased a grouping of Roseville art pottery for resale in my antique mall booths. Art pottery in good condition is a pretty reliable seller, so I like to offer customers a few pieces at all times in my showcases.
I had lots of pieces to choose from, and these are the pieces I bought. Let me tell you why I bought them.....
I chose unusual forms, like the "Clematis" ewer (below left) and the "Snowberry" pillow vase (below right):
The "Peony" vase (below) has really intense glaze color and a good mold impression. Roseville pottery was made in molds, and after a mold was used a lot, it's details would wear down. Some pieces may have better impressions than others, so I look for pieces that have good details:
The item below is properly called a "Magnolia" double bud vase, but it's often referred to as a "bridge vase":
I chose the "Zephyr Lilly" bookends and the "Clematis" vase because they had good glaze color and detailed mold impressions:
A few other things about Roseville: console bowls, which are large, expansive bowls with low sides, are slow to sell. Why? because they don't display well. You don't see much of the design unless they are displayed at eye level, which is a problem because they are so wide they don't always fit on many shelves. In general, the green and blue glazed Roseville pieces are more popular than the brown and pink. White/cream is somewhere in the middle. Perhaps that's because they display better on dark wood shelves and in wood display cabinets, which many people have. Brown pieces don't display as well. These are my observations, anyway.
Recently, blog reader Maureen sent me a picture of this bowl she inherited from her mother. Because it didn't have any marks on the bottom, she was puzzled about its origin and asked me if I knew what it was:
I knew right away it was a Roseville "Luffa" bowl because of the distinctive horizontal bands, coloration, and type of flower. "Luffa" pieces were manufactured in 1936 and originally had a gold "Roseville" sticker on the bottom, which often falls off over the years. Maureen's bowl is probably worth $100 to $150, depending on where and when she sells it.
Roseville pottery is being reproduced in China and the repros pop up online and at flea markets. Although poorly made, if you haven't had a lot of experience buying and selling Roseville it's possible to be fooled. There are several online sites dedicated to helping school potential buyers about the repros out there. Check out this helpful site for some repro knowledge. It's considered the best!
The vase below is a reproduction of a Roseville "Magnolia" vase. Compare the coloration to the "Magnolia" bud vase I showed previously in this post. I'm sure you can notice how flat the color on the vase below looks in comparison:
Here is another repro piece, supposedly a "White Rose" vase. I think you can tell how poorly glazed the piece is:
The candle stick below really shows the poor quality of the repro Roseville out there. There's no detail in the flower or leaves:
Two things to keep in mind about reproduction Roseville: flip the piece over and look at the bottom. If the unglazed foot of the piece shows clay that is white-ish or gray, it's reproduction. Roseville pottery always has a yellow body, because the clay used was acquired from the same location in Zanesville, Ohio. Also, all repro pieces will have the Roseville name in relief on the bottom, even though the original pieces (like Maureen's "Luffa" bowl) originally might have had a foil sticker on them instead. If you refer to a good collector guide about Roseville it will tell you which lines had marks on the bottom and which did not.