What is it and What’s it Worth?

 

Do you recognize this beautiful c1920s crock? It’s a Red Wing Brushed Ware original crock and it sold for $370 in September 2016. Do you know the history behind the Red Wing pottery company? Our Worthopedia currently has over 75,000 listings for Red Wing pottery pieces!  If you have any of these pieces, do a search now and see how much they are worth. 

Company

Red Wing Union Stoneware Company, 1906-1936

The Red Wing Union Stoneware Company was the result of a merger between the Minnesota Stoneware company, Red Wing Stoneware Company, and the Union Stoneware Company.  Production was consolidated into one plant.

Red Wing Union Stoneware continued to make utilitarian stoneware.  The company introduced its red wing trademark around 1912.

Red Wing Union Stoneware’s “Brushed Ware” had a stoneware body covered with a green glaze that was then brushed away in sections.  By 1931, the “Brushed Ware” line had over 70 pieces.

Red Wing Union Stoneware also made kitchen ware such as bowls, casseroles, coffee servers, cookie jars, mug, pitchers, serving plates, and teapots.

In 1929, Red Wing Union Stoneware introduced a line of art pottery.  Although vases were the principal form, other forms included ashtrays, bowls, candleholders, compotes, figurines, planters, and what-nots.  At first, the art pottery represented a small portion of the company’s income.  By 1930, over two thousand different shapes and patterns were made.

Red Wing Potteries, Inc.

In 1936, Red Wing Union Stoneware Company became Red Wing Potteries, Inc.  Stoneware production ended in 1947.

From the end of the 1930s through 1967, Red Wing made over 80 different dinnerware patterns.  Many were hand painted.  The company also produced solid color dinnerware.

From the end of the 1930s through 1967, Red Wing made over 80 different dinnerware patterns. This set of 3 Bob White plates sold for $24.59 in October 2017.

Foreign competition, aging facilities, and workers’ strikes forced the closure of Red Wing’s plant in 1967.

A. Gillmer, the last president of Red Wing Pottery, purchased Red Wing Potteries during its liquidation. From 1967 to 1996, the company operated as a retail business. Production on a small scale started in 1996.  Bruce and Irene Johnson bought the Red Wing Pottery in 2013 and named it Red Wing Stoneware and Pottery.

The Minnesota Historical Society is the depository for the records of the Red Wing Union Stoneware Company and Red Wing Potteries.

What to Look For

Red Wing collectors divide into three groups: (1) stoneware collectors, (2) art pottery collectors, and (3) dinnerware collectors.

Stoneware collectors favor examples from earlier Red Wing companies.  Most stoneware pieces from Red Wing Union Stoneware Company and Red Wing Potteries, Inc. are bought for decorative and/or utilitarian purposes.  Stoneware forms include bean pots, bed warmers, butter jars, chamber pots, churns, crocks, jugs, milk pans, spittoons, and water coolers.  Specialty advertising pieces are the exception.

During the 1950s, Red Wing introduced a large number of ashtrays, a specialty for some collectors. This Red Wing ashtray sold for $28.60 in January 2018.

The Red Wing Stoneware Company opened its “Artware Division” in 1894.  Brushed Ware was one of the early lines.  The Red Wing Line, introduced in 1929, included 78 pieces of Glazed Ware, made with a high gloss glaze, and 42 pieces of Brushed Ware in a variety of style ranging from Art Nouveau to Arts and Crafts to Egyptian motifs. Textura and Tropicana, both designed by Belle Kogan, were popular artware lines.  Modernist collectors seek pieces made in the post-1945 period.  In 1955, Charlies Murphy designed the Fleck glazes. Sgraffito arrived in 1956, Decorator in 1959, Bronze in 1965, and Monarch in 1966.  During the 1950s, Red Wing introduced a large number of ashtrays, a specialty for some collectors.  Belle Kogan designed Primatique in 1962 followed by Belle in 1963.

Pansy and Wreath were Red Wing’s earliest dinnerware patterns.  Full scale production started with Gypsy Trail (1935) and ended with Cermastone(1967).  Red Wing made 31 shape lines.  Over 100 patterns were used.  Popular Red Wing dinnerware patterns are Bob White (1956) Lotus, Magnolia, and Village Green.  Elusive patterns include Buds, Delta Blue, Harvest, and Wreath.

Marks

Red Wing Union Stoneware Company

Many Red Wing lines and patterns had their own specialized mark.

 Red wing.

“RED WING / UNION STONEWARE CO. / RED WING, MINN / U.S.A.”.

Circle inside of which is arched “RED WING” over “UNION / STONEWARE CO. / RED WING / MINN.”.

Oval inside of which is arched “RED WING” over “UNION / STONEWARE CO. / [line]” over reverse arched “RED WING, MINN.”.

Text circle with ‘RED WING” in arch at top, “MINNESOTA” in reverse arch at bottom, and “UNION / STONEWARE / Co.” in center.

Red Wing Potteries, Inc.

Many Red Wing lines and patterns had their own specialized mark.

There are multiple variations of the Red Wing Potteries mark.

“© / RED WING / POTTERIES / INC.”.  Multiple variations.

Script wing: “RED WING” at top, line off top of “G” extends down to make bottom portion of wing.  One variation with ‘U.S.A.” at bottom. Second variation with “HAND PAINTED” in center of script wing.

“R” with “W” formed off bottom of “R” with the last stroke of “W” extending upward, inside text circle with ‘RED WING POTTERY” in top arch, and “HAND PAINTED” in reverse bottom arch.

Paper/foil label: Wing inside of which is ‘RED WING / ART POTTERY”.

Text circle: “RED WING” in arch above, “POTTERY” in reverse arch below, “ART” in center.

Text circle: “RED WING” in arch above “POTTERIES” with a star in center.

Triangle inside of which is “RED / WING / POTTERIES / RED WING, MINN.”

Vertical abstract wing across bottom is “Red Wing / POTTERY,” beneath which is “HAND PAINTED”.  Special 75th anniversary mark includes dates.


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