Art Nouveau Weller “Baldwin” Series Umbrella Stand
Weller umbrella stands can still be found in the $200 to $300 range, but the "Baldwin" line piece, such as this one, routinely sells in the $750 to $1,000 range at auction.
Every dealer and collector has a soft spot for certain styles and periods of design that is almost a case of love at first sight. In my own case, it was Art Nouveau, a rebirth in design that reigned supreme from about 1895-1910. This Weller “Baldwin” series umbrella stand, with it’s vine like florals and hand-hewn look is a good example of the style produced in North America up until the First World War.
Sam Weller, the founder of Weller pottery, began with the production everyday items such as jars, jugs, tiles and utility pottery. With the move to Zanesville, Ohio, area about 1889, Weller followed the lead of other local potters and began making a line of art pottery.
Weller soon expanded into a line of Portraiture pottery with Indians, animals and themes based on the books by Charles Dickens, called “Dickensware.” A large number of other series wares such as Woodland, Oriental, Hunter, Auroral and Sicardo were also produced and well received at the time.
Like many manufacturers, Weller was forced to scale back production during the years of World War I, and the company concentrated on molded, mass-produced wares similar to those of the Roseville company. Sam Weller died in 1925, when the pottery was being run by his nephew Harry until his own death in 1932. The Weller pottery company survived the Depression and World War II, but it’s glory years were behind it when it closed for good in 1948.
The value for most original Art Nouveau designer pieces has climbed beyond the average collector, but some potteries like Weller automated enough of their production that many examples are still available at reasonable prices today. In the current market some Weller umbrella stands can still be found in the $200 to $300 range, but the “Baldwin” line (pictured above) routinely sells in the $750 to $1,000 range at auction.
Wilcox & Hall Appraisers
Mike Wilcox is a Worthologist who specializes in Art Nouveau and the Arts and Craft movement.