New Orleans Art Pottery Jardinière
This pot, in 1918, was given to my mother as a wedding gift from my paternal grandmother. Well, I wasn't too sure if it was new in 1918, so I checked with Newcomb College, and they told me the Pottery Club of New Orleans probably made this between 1890 and 1895.
New Orleans really started to approach the art nouveau about the time of the Cotton Centennial Exposition in 1884, and the Woodward Brothers-- William and Ellsworth-- came here to start teaching painting. And about that time, the New Orleans art pottery formed and the people who worked in New Orleans art pottery was Joseph Myers and George Ohr. And they were doing potting on Baronne Street, which is where this pot was made. So I think this pot predates '95. I think it was late 1880s. Now, I've seen other pots by the New Orleans Art Pottery and they have this sort of embossed work and this sort of claret-colored glaze, but this is pretty special for a lot of reasons. Number one, the artwork is excellent. These are... this is a hand-thrown pot. If we look inside of it, we can see the throwing rings. That's from when it was raised up on a wheel. Those are the potter's fingers. Probably... probably Joseph Myers threw this pot and those are probably his finger ridges on the inside of it. That means that all this decoration is not molded. Somebody got each oak leaf and each branch and each acorn and carved it out and then...
They're very exact.
They're very exact. And then they painted them. If you go to the Louisiana State Museum, you'll see other pieces of New Orleans Art Pottery, but they're monochrome. This is a five-color piece of pottery. All this beading around these edges, that's all hand tooled. It also has a pretty clear mark on it. If we lift it up here, we can see that it says "New Orleans," where it says "Art Pottery Club" and "Baronne Street," so we know it's a New Orleans Art Pottery. This is a precursor to Newcomb College and Joseph Myers actually did the potting for Newcomb for the next 35 years. This is the second piece I've had my hands on in 31 years and the last one I had was a little doodad about that big. I'm going to guess about $15,000, maybe $20,000 for this pot. It's really extraordinary.
Everybody said, don't you dare say, "Wow." (both laugh) But maybe I'll say, "Wow!"
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