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Red Wing Collectors Converge for Successful Mid-Winter Get-Together

by WorthPoint Staff (03/14/12).

DES MOINES – More than 300 Red Wing stoneware and pottery collectors got their winter fix by attending the Red Wing Collectors Society Mid-Winter Get-Together from Feb. 10-12 at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites here in Des Moines.

Many attendees sold Red Wing wares from their hotel rooms, arriving as early as Wednesday, Feb. 8 to buy and sell stoneware and pottery, but the event officially kicked off with a reception on the evening of Friday, Feb. 10. The theme of this year’s event was a “1920s Red Wing Speakeasy,” and many members participated by dressing in their best gangster and flapper garb.

This year’s keynote speaker was Dave Hallstrom, president of the RWCS Foundation, who discussed the exciting steps the Foundation is taking to purchase a new space for the Red Wing Pottery Museum. The Foundation is purchasing half of the Pottery Place Annex building located in Red Wing’s historic pottery district, with the Red Wing Area Seniors organization purchasing and occupying the other half. The groups are hoping to close on the property this spring; the Foundation hopes to move the museum into the new space later this year.

This Red Wing grayline cookie jar with lid sold for $400 at the auction at the Red Wing Collectors Society’s Mid-Winter Get-Together in Des Moines on Feb. 11.

Auction attendees had the opportunity to buy an instant collection of different-colored ashtrays made to commemorate President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s visit to Red Wing in 1960 to dedicate the Hiawatha Bridge that crosses the Mississippi River into Wisconsin. Sold individually, the green, blue, yellow, purple and red ashtrays sold for a bargain—only $140 combined.

Also sharing in the keynote presentation was the RWCS 35th anniversary Committee, which announced a new slate of activities for this year’s convention. The 35th anniversary Convention, scheduled for July 12-14 in Red Wing, Minn., will attract thousands of collectors to Red Wing for a week of educational meetings, auctions, buying, selling and fun for the whole family. A new event, to be called “Crockfest,” will headline this year’s activities. Slated for 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 13 in Red Wing’s Central Park, the large gathering of RWCS members and local residents will include food, local artists, live music, kids’ activities and live pottery demonstrations. For more information about the RWCS 35th anniversary Convention, visit the RWCS website or call 800.977.7927.

Several educational sessions followed the keynote address, including Red Wing Dinnerware mysteries and reproductions presented by Larry Roschen and Terry Moe, digging in the Red Wing Pottery Dump by Steve Showers, and digging for stoneware and bottles in old outhouse sites by Mark Wiseman.

More than a dozen kids attended the event with their parents, and they enjoyed participating in the KidsView “Pottery of the Roaring 20s” themed educational activities.

Although not a Red Wing piece, this cobalt decorated churn in the hard-to-find 10 gallon size was a great deal at $275—it only had one small chip.

This 5-gallon leaf crock front-stamped “Red Wing Stoneware Company” was a good buy at $400.

Although damaged, this 3-gallon Elephant Ear churn still sold for $250 thanks to its upside down “Union Stoneware Co.” oval. Popular among collectors because the oval was incorrectly applied, these oddities are more often found on pieces decorated with the red wing.

The always popular Saturday Show & Sale was followed by an independently sponsored auction, which was once again conducted by Richard and Todd Houghton of Houghton’s Auction Services of Red Wing, Minn. This year’s auction featured a wide variety of pieces for every collector’s taste, including stoneware, dinnerware and art pottery.

Two of the top stoneware pieces included a grayline cookie jar and a 5-gallon salt glaze leaf crock front-stamped “Red Wing Stoneware Co.,” as each sold for $400. A Bob White water cooler and a “King of Tarts” cookie jar each sold for $425, and a dinnerware test glaze plate brought $260.

The Red Wing Collectors Society was founded in 1977 in Red Wing, Minn. and is devoted to educating people about all American pottery. There are more than 4,000 members worldwide. The Red Wing Potteries had diverse pottery lines that included stoneware, dinnerware and art pottery. Annual membership costs $25 and includes six full-color newsletters mailed to your home throughout the year.

to find complete with lid, this Red Wing carousel cookie jar sold for $375.

One of the most desirable cookie jars made by Red Wing, this mint “King of Tarts” cookie jar sold for $425.

Make your plans to attend the 35th Anniversary Convention in Red Wing this summer from July 12-14. For more information or to become a member, call the RWCS business office at 800.977.7927, e-mail to membership@redwingcollectors.org or log on to the RWCS website. You can also find the RWCS on Facebook or follow the club on Twitter @RWPottery.

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