North Dakota School of Mines Pot, ca. 1935
You have some idea about the maker of this, as being by North Dakota School of Mines.
Yes, I do.
We've talked in the past about Newcomb College Pottery from New Orleans, and it was a school that was teaching women how to be involved in decorative arts, get them out of the Victorian parlors and become part of the workforce. Little is known about North Dakota School of Mines by comparison. They're from Grand Forks, North Dakota. They were in operation for a long time, from about 1910 to about 1970. As Newcomb, there were several decorators who were instructors there who did the majority of the work, such as with your piece. There were a number of students whose names we really don't know. This piece was done by Flora Huckfield. Her signature's on the bottom. And she even named it, it's the "Red River Ox Cart." Just as Newcomb used scenes that were typical of the bayou and Louisiana, North Dakota School of Mines used scenes that were typical of the Great Plains. And there could be Indians on horseback and there could be cowboys with lassos. And this is an ox cart scene talking about the Oregon Trail days. These pieces have a lot of interest, not just because they're quality pottery, but they have their place in time. They define an era in the ceramic art and American decorative art history. So, as I said, this one was done by Miss Huckfield probably, my guess is, around 1930 to 1935. And while it is a molded pot, she herself did this one. She sharpened the mold with hand-tooling after the fire, she painted it herself in contrasting colors. Sometimes, you might see this in only one color. The interesting thing, also, about pieces of the North Dakota School of Mines is that they haven't been that valuable until recently. We were selling pieces like this only a couple of years ago for $500, $600, $700. (laughs) A sale recently-- we had a piece that was estimated for $700 to $1,000 with bison on it, and it brought $4,000.
So, this piece, while it's not worth $4,000, I would evaluate this one for about $2,500 to $3,000 in today's market.
Oh, my goodness. I had no idea it was that much.
So it's a very good piece. And thank you very much for bringing it here.
Oh, you're welcome.
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