Art pottery rarities highlight Humler & Nolan event June 9-10


Circa 1905 Van Briggle ‘Despondency’ vase, 12 5/8 inches. Estimate $12,000-$17,000. Humler & Nolan image

CINCINNATI – Art pottery auctioneers Humler & Nolan will offer nearly 500 lots in their Keramics, Art Glass and Fine Art 2018 event on Saturday, June 9, and follow it up with their even bigger Rookwood XXVIII auction on Sunday, June 10. Featured in Saturday’s Keramics auction is a 1905 Van Briggle “Despondency” vase done in a slightly crystalline deep green mat glaze. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available for both sales through LiveAuctioneers.

The vase has never been offered for sale, having been in the consignor’s family since it was made. The consignor’s grandmother, Anne Stratton Gregory, was orphaned in 1912 and subsequently raised by Anne Gregory Van Briggle Ritter. As a youth, the consignor witnessed this vase being pulled out of a straw-filled barrel sent from Anne Gregory’s estate to her grandmother. Family history indicates that Artus Van Briggle created the Despondency vase as a sort of self-portrait, dealing with his unresolved feelings and concerns about the disease, tuberculosis, that took his life. While the vase is not unique, it is considered rare. It bears incised marks that include AA, Van Briggle 1905 and Roman numeral I. There is a glaze nick at the base, otherwise it is in excellent condition with crisp mold and excellent glaze (estimate: $12,000-$17,000).

Additional potteries represented in the Keramics auction are Roseville, Weller, Fulper, Grueby, Teco, Newcomb, Marblehead and Overbeck.

Sunday’s Rookwood XXVIII session will include works by Kataro Shirayamadani, Sara Sax, Carl Schmidt, William Hentschel, Arthur Conant, Grace Young, Matt Morgan, Sallie Toohey, Jens Jensen, Lorinda Epply, Sallie Coyne, M. Louise McLaughlin, Bruce Horsfall, E.T. Hurley, Lenore Asbury, Ed Diers, Sturgis Laurence, Albert and Anna Valentien, Maria Longworth Nichols, Helen McDonald and C.S. Todd.


Rare Rookwood Losanti vase by Mary Louise McLaughlin with carved and painted tulips, circa 1904, 5½ in. high. Estimate: $6,000-$8,000. Humler & Nolan image

Topping the lineup is a fine Rookwood Vellum glaze plaque that depicts a view of Mount Rainier, painted circa 1927 by Fred Rothenbusch. Rookwood Vellum plaques of this size, 14¼ by 16¼ inches, are rare and seem to only have been done by Rothenbusch and Ed Diers in the late 1920s and early 1930s. They are a combination of obvious artistic talent and production technology that allowed such a large rectangle of clay to be fired without warping and crazing. In its original Arts & Crafts frame, the plaque has a $15,000-$18,000 estimate.


Rookwood Vellum plaque by Fred Rothenbusch, Mount Rainier, circa 1927, 14¼ x 16¼ in., original frame. Estimate: $15,000-$18,000. Humler & Nolan image

Glaze lines in the Rookwood XXVIII auction include Iris, Standard, rare bookends and paperweights, Hurley bronzes, architectural tiles, Oxblood, Ombroso, silver overlays, Black Iris, Sea Green, Black Opal and painted porcelain.

The auctions will begin both days at 10 a.m. Eastern.