Rookwood Pottery was founded in 1880, in Cincinnati, Ohio, by Maria Longworth Nichols Storer. The Rookwood name comes from her family estate, Rookwood, named for the crows (rooks) inhabiting the estate and also to remind customers of Wedgwood. They are best known for their high quality vases. They also produced some tile, bookends, paperweights, etc.
William Watts Taylor joined the company as production manager in 1883 and the company finally started to make a profit. The company won two gold medals for their work: one at the Exhibition of American Art History and one later that year at the Exhibition Universelle, in Paris. William Taylor purchased the company in 1890, when Nichols moved overseas. In 1900, they won another award, the Grand Prix, at the Paris Exposition. Many famous artists were employed by the company over the years, listed below.
The stock market collapse and the Great Depression took its toll on the Rookwood Pottery, causing them to file for bankruptcy in 1941. It was then reorganized under new management and then sold again in 1956, and then a few years later in 1959, to the Herschede Clock Company. Production was then moved to Starkville, Mississippi, and they finally closed down in 1967.
In 2005, Christopher Rose and his brother, Patrick Rose, bought the company along with the molds and trademark from Dr. Arthur Townley, who had purchased it in 1982. The company is still in operation today making art pottery, fireplaces, architectural tile, bookends, limited edition steins and vases, and much more.
Rookwood Pottery Marks
There are different aspects that can be found on Rookwood marks, they can include – clay or body mark, size mark, decorator mark, date mark, shape number, factory mark, color of the body, type of glaze
Rookwood (1880 – 1882) – incised or painted on the base in gold
Rookwood Pottery/Date (prior to 1882)
R.P.C.O.M.L.N. – initials that stand for Rookwood Pottery, Cincinnati, Ohio, Maria Longworth Nichols
Rookwood plus the address and year made in an oval (1881 – 1886)
RP (the r is reversed) plus a flame mark added each year starting in (1886 – 1900)
Roman numerals indicating last two digits of the year made underneath the RP flame mark (after 1900)
RP (most pieces from 1886 – 1960)
Rookwood Pottery/Starkville Miss (1962 – 1967)
Rookwood Pottery Patterns, Lines
Black Iris – one of the most sought after by collectors
Sea Green (1894)
Standard Glaze (1884)
Popular Rookwood Pottery
Tiles – faience tile
Vases – matte glaze vase, ovoid vase
Rookwood Artists, Designers
Amelia Browne Sprague
Anna Marie Valentien
Maria Longworth Nichols
Mary Helen McDonald
Sara Elizabeth Coyne
Rookwood Pottery Value, Price Guide
Mid $$ – Mid $,$$$