Hello and welcome to Old & Antique
This website was designed to help quell my obsession for antique pottery. I'm most interested in old American Art pottery so, that's what the site is mostly about. Here you will find information about marks, helpful pictures, a forum / community to share your knowledge or ask questions, pages to identify antique pottery and much more! I want you to enjoy your time here without being bombarded by flashing banners and endless Ebay listings so, THERE IS LITTLE ADVERTISING HERE. (If you would like to support this site, please visit my other site where you can Buy Art Pottery and learn about manufactures that are still in business.) If you have any suggestions or problems with these sites functionality please let me know by posting it on the community forum or by filling out the contact form.
Thanks for visiting! (updates frequently so check back often)
Updates - My new Blog about...you guessed it! Plus a section to shop coming soon.
- Have you discovered an amazing piece, and are unable to find out anything about it? On the menu to the left, there is a page named pottery values that may be able to help track down some information about it. (read below too!) There are many useful tips and tricks in helping to determine who manufactured a piece and, probably more importantly what it is worth.
- Do you have an incredible yard sale find to share? Have you located a long lost treasure in the attic of your new / old home? Got a horrible EBay experience you need to get off your chest? Just want to shoot the breeze? Check out the forum!
- The pictures to the left are random pieces by various artists. (Which, I wish were in my collection!)
Helping to identify unmarked pottery:
Certainly you have come across many, many pieces of old unmarked pottery. Sometimes it is simply impossible to tell who is responsible for creating a certain piece. However, there are a number of ways and locations that you can investigate in order to narrow down a maker. Some useful characteristics are the color of the clay, the style of the piece, the weight, colors / glazing and the method in which it was fired in the kiln. A useful document to read about these is Identifying American Pottery.
Another way that I frequently use is searching the Internet. You might be saying "no duh"! But, it's the methods that you use that will determine whether you find what you are looking for or having a piece of pottery remain a mystery. Here are some techniques that I use...
1. Use various, descriptive search terms in different search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. This may seem obvious but "green bowl" won't yield nearly the useful results as "green antique pottery bowl identification" or "antique pottery black drip glaze bowl". Search your piece using as many different phrases as you can think of.
2. Use the images link on the search engines after finding a good search phrase. You can then scroll through related pictures and perhaps see your exact piece.
3. After narrowing down who you think may have created it, (by reading the Identifying American Pottery above) browse websites about the manufacturers, keeping an eye out for similar pieces or characteristics. Some sites will even have copies of original catalogs that the companies where offering their pottery for sale in.
4. Keep a folder of links, or favorites list, of sites that contain allot of information, or that you find particularly useful. Assuredly, this will save time and effort in the future.
5. Browse through Ebay, Amazon, Google Shopping or other auction / sales sites to see if someone is selling something similar. Maybe they have already done the leg work and the answer is in their description?
6. Put pictures on antique pottery forums and communities asking for assistance in identifying your pottery. Chances are, if you put it out there at enough places, someone will be able to help. (try mine first!)
In addition to searching the Internet, the local library is a great resource. Often times a visit to the libraries' antique pottery reference section will provide you with an answer. Purchasing a reference section of your own is also very helpful. Price guides and manufacturer specific books will help familiarize yourself with pottery in general. If you keep reading and searching, being relatively sure who made something will become second nature.
Another place that you may find information is at a local auction house. Since they see a wide variety of items on a regular basis, I've found that they are usually pretty knowledgeable.
Why go through all this trouble? Well, if you are like me, you're just interested in the stuff and it's history! Otherwise, knowing when a piece of pottery was created and by whom, (provenance) adds significant value to it. Anything that you can discover, may be of monumental importance to a potential buyer.
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