1911 Rookwood Iris Glaze Vase
The vase belonged to my husband's grandparents. We don't know exactly how they acquired it. We think it may have been a wedding present or it may have been a piece bought for, like, a housewarming. It's been in the family probably since it was made, I would imagine, because they would have gotten married in the very early 1900s, I would say 1912 or so.
Okay. There's a number of reasons why this piece is particularly good. I mean, bigger is always better certainly as far as vases are concerned, and this is a pretty good size piece of Rookwood and that's a good start. The subject matter is also pretty special. For the most part, Rookwood pieces have flowers on them, and maybe even at the turn of the century when this piece was made, which is 1911, maybe one out of 25 or 30 will have a scenic on it. But almost every time you see a landscape-- and this is a really beautiful 360-degree mountain scene-- when you see landscapes on a Rookwood, they're usually river scenes with trees. You'll see a tree over here, a tree over here and a river running down the middle of it.
To have a beautiful 360-degree mountain landscape with fir trees is most excellent. But what's even cooler than that is that this is a high-glaze piece. Almost all the Rookwood landscapes you see are vellum, which is this kind of gauzy, misty effect which is meant to replicate impressionist painting. This is not. The iris glaze is a clear high glaze. It gives a stark, photorealist effect to Rookwood pieces. So to have a landscape this big, this early, with this subject matter under an iris glaze is extremely hard to find.
And let's talk about the marks for a second just so you know what all these things mean. First of all, the "RP" mark is the Rookwood mark. You asked me about those two dots. I don't know what those mean, but this is such a special piece that my guess is those marks have something to do with how special this piece is. Maybe it was an off-the-line piece for an exhibition they were doing-- not sure. The date-- the Roman numeral XI is your date. It's under the mark. That's your shape number. That's your artist's signature, for Edward Diers, and there's a "W" incised in the clay. That's for... that means iris glaze. I think it means white glaze or clear glaze and the white clay shows through. So when you see a "W" on the bottom, that's an instruction from the decorator to the glazer as to what sort of coating to put on the piece, and that means iris glaze. If it had a "V," it would have been a vellum; this would have been your standard Rookwood vellum.
Okay, well, I wondered about that.
Let's talk value: $20,000 to $30,000. It's really quite valuable-- great piece.
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