Figural bird teapot

Question:

Dear Red Wing experts:

Maybe ten years ago, a street person from my neighborhood here in Washington, DC offered me two boxes of assorted glass/ceramic items for $6. An inveterate scavenger, of course I took the deal.

As it turned out, he had scooped these boxes up from an alley trash pile. The story goes that a widower cleaned out his deceased wife’s possessions, and apparently she had traveled around the area buying things, including a lot of teapots. Some were by Sadler, some by Hall, some by other companies I don’t recognize. I found a lot of price stickers in the $20-25 range, and a few receipts from PA and MD shops dated in the 1980s.

Amongst this little collection (my heart breaks when I wonder what had already been hauled away to the landfill), I found this teapot, which says Red Wing on the bottom. Knowing nothing about Red Wing, I have no idea whether it’s legit or not.

I can’t say the design – or its rather primitive execution – really appeals to me aesthetically, but there is something about its humble clumsiness (the poor beakless bird with its sloppily painted feathers, the raised design whose edges are neither crisp nor well defined) that makes me like it anyway. I imagine some worker, forced to take his/her grade school kid along to work that day, pulling out a brush and some paint and saying, “Have at it.”

If you can tell me something about this piece – anything – I would be grateful.

Katrina

Answer:

Red Wing Potteries produced dinnerware from the early 1930s until 1967.  Early dinnerware was glazed in a wide range of solid colors.  In 1941 Red Wing introduced its first dinnerware with hand painted artwork.  Over time this feature became a well-known hallmark of Red Wing dinnerware.  Artwork was applied in assembly line fashion by local girls and young women hired for that purpose.  Painters were each given one or two colors to add to each piece as it passed on down the line.  The three colors on your teapot were likely applied by three different painters.

In the mid 1940s Red Wing produced three tea sets, each consisting of a matching teapot, sugar and creamer. These sets do not belong to any dinnerware pattern, they are simply stand-alone tea sets. Most likely these three tea sets were sold as giftware. To my knowledge these tea sets have not been identified in a Red Wing catalog or price list so we don’t know their official names. Collectors sometimes refer to this teapot as a “figural bird”. I would put the value for this teapot in the $30 to $40 range, assuming excellent undamaged condition. While this teapot can be fairly difficult to find, it also does not seem to be in high demand so the value is rather low relative to teapots in the more popular dinnerware patterns.

By the way, the bird does have a beak.  The feet and beak are present in the bird’s raised figure but aren’t painted, they were left white because that’s how the teapot was designed.  This was not an oversight on the part of the painters.

Larry

Gypsy Trail Hostess Ware butter boat

Question:

I have a piece of Red Wing that I cannot find any info online about. IT is not bit so my first thought would be a measuring cup or a scoop or a creamer. It just looks to little to be a gravy boat. It is orange. Can you help me identify it and value it? It is perfect condition and i would probably ebay it. I didn’t clean it for the photo sorry. Thanks Jeanine.

Answer:

Red Wing catalogs listed your item as a Butter Boat.  It was made in the early 1940s as part of Red Wing’s Gypsy Trail Hostess Ware line.  Value for a butter boat in excellent condition is $20-30. -Larry

Ardennes casserole, early version

Question:

I can not find pattern please help and value. In good condition -Red Wing pottery logo on bottom. Thanks for help

Answer:

The name of the pattern for your casserole is Ardennes.  The name was used twice by Red Wing, and your casserole is from the early version of Ardennes.

 

In 1941 Red Wing introduced their first four hand painted dinnerware patterns.  The shape was called Provincial and the patterns were named for the four provinces of France: Orleans, Brittany, Normandy and Ardennes.  Orleans (red rose) and Brittany (yellow rose) were produced unchanged until 1950.  The early version of Normandy was made for only one year and is very difficult to find today.  The early version of Ardennes was made for several years.  We aren’t sure of the discontinuation date but we know it was no longer available by November 1946.

The Ardennes and Normandy patterns were redesigned and reintroduced in 1949. In this version the casserole base was solid colored (Forest Green or Dubonnet), not decorated with the leaf design found on your casserole.

Your early Ardennes casserole with cover would be worth $50-60 if it is in excellent condition.  Any damage, including stains, will reduce the value significantly.

Larry

Fondoso pitcher leaching residue

Question:

I recently purchased a light green Fondoso pitcher.  (I’m not sure of the official color’s name, but it’s a jadeite hue.)  Its interior is glazed in white.  I brought it home and gave it a couple thorough washings with dish soap. It doesn’t have any obvious discoloration, and when filled with water, the water remains clear and tasteless.  However, any time water contacts the exterior of the pitcher for more than a brief hand-wash and dry, it leaches a rusty brown color.  The residue is not sticky and has no smell.  It’s easily removed.  I submerged the pitcher for about the last 24 hrs. and have had to change the water twice because the water has gotten so discolored.  It looks almost like tea after a few minutes!

I’ve never seen anything like this.  Is this common with Red Wing pottery or with this line or glaze?  The only thing I could think of is that red clay was used and the glaze is thin, but even that seems a stretch.  Is there anything I can do to clean it so that the film no longer forms?  Any expertise you can offer would be most helpful.

Thank you!

Jessica

Answer:

Red Wing did not use red clay to make dinnerware, so that’s not the source of the rust colored residue that is leaching from your pitcher. The problem is almost certainly due to crazing. Crazing occurs when the clay and the glaze shrink at different rates, leading to fine cracks in the glaze. This was a common problem with the glazes used to make early Red Wing dinnerware such as Fondoso. Once an item is crazed, liquid held by the item can seep through the glaze and into the clay. Most likely the rust colored material you see came from coffee, tea, cola or some other dark liquid that seeped into the body of pitcher over repeated uses long ago.

As you have seen, soaking the pitcher in water will draw the contaminants out of the clay. The easiest and safest way to clean your pitcher would be to simply submerge the pitcher in water for as long as it takes to remove the contaminants. Change the water when it is dirty. When the water remains clear  your pitcher should be clean. This process may take weeks or longer. Some people use bleach (I do not recommend this) or hydrogen peroxide (the 30% or 40% strength found at beauty supply stores, not the 3% strength used to clean wounds). Baking the item on low heat has been used to remove greasy contaminants.

Larry

Streamlined Covered Ice Box Jug

Question

I found this piece pictured below.  I looked on several sites online and did not see anything like it.  I was wondering if anyone in your organization would have any knowledge of what it is.  The lid fits loosely on the bottom with no openings.  On the bottom side it says Red Wing Pottery Patent pending.  Any information you have would be helpful.

Thanks for your time,
Doug

Answer

The item in the photo is an orange ”Streamlined” Covered Ice Box Jug. In 1940 Red Wing introduced several items under the ”Streamlined” banner as part of the company’s rapidly expanding Gypsy Trail Hostess Ware line. Each piece in the Streamlined group had a design on each side that consisted of three raised ovals of decreasing size on top of each other. The items were a 64 oz water jug, covered ice box jug, 8″ and 9″ covered casseroles, and 2 cup and 5 cup covered teapots. The water jug had an over-the-top handle and was the only Streamlined item that did not have a cover. By June 1942 the water jug was the only remaining Streamlined item in the catalog and by 1944 it too had been discontinued. In later years the pitcher was listed as “Modern” rather than Streamlined. Streamlined items were available several colors including yellow, blue, turquoise, orange, pink, green and cream ivory.

All of the Streamlined items I’ve seen are bottom marked with same “Design Pat. Pending” wording along with the copyright symbol.  Most likely a patent was eventually issued but I am not certain of that, nor do I know the assigned patent number. Value for a orange Streamlined Covered Ice Box Jug in excellent condition would be in the $75-100 range.  It’s a difficult piece to find, especially complete with the cover.

Larry

Bob White Teapot and stand cleaning question

Question

Hello:

I recently purchased a Bob White teapot at an auction. It is in perfect condition and it came with the copper warming stand. I am wondering if the copper warming stand is indeed made out of copper? I tried to clean the copper stand using vinegar and salt, as I use on other copper items I have, and it did nothing. The copper warming stand is blotchy looking – tarnished. Is there a way to clean this? I am also missing the copper cup which sits in the holder.  The tea pot says “Red Wing, USA on the bottom and I don’t see any markings on the warmer. I paid $55.00 for the set at the auction, which I thought was a fair price as I really wanted the tea pot and the warmer was a bonus.  Thank you very much,  Kathleen Fiske

Answer

Red Wing Potteries made the Bob White teapot but they did not make the copper-colored stands. The stands and other metallic accessories were made for Red Wing by a metal works company.  These stands were not made of solid copper.  A magnet will stick to the stand, proving the primary metal is steel or iron covered by a thin copper-colored coating.

I am not aware of a cleaning method that would remove the blotchy appearance because the blotches represent damage to the coating. I would be wary of trying an abrasive cleaner because it will remove more of the thin copper coating.  A fresh layer of the copper-colored coating would be required, and the expense would likely be cost-prohibitive.  The $55 you paid for the teapot and stand is a very fair price if the teapot is in undamaged condition.

Larry

Duck Ashtray and Frog Planter

Question:

Hi,

Was wondering if you had any information on these two red wing items in the attached picture.
I can’t seem to find any info on the internet. If you could tell me about them and what an estimated value would be would be great.

Thanks, Chad

Answer:

The yellow duck-shaped item is an individual ashtray from Red Wing’s Gypsy Trail dinnerware line. The catalogs listed these as Duck Ashtrays and showed them as available in the standard Gypsy Trail colors (blue, orange, yellow, turquoise and white).   They were made from about 1937 to 1942.

Value fora Duck Ashtray in excellent condition is $40 to $60.  Some are marked RED WING, others are not marked.  The value for a marked ashtray would on the higher end of the range. Larry

the frog is a planter, #992,worth around 60.00 or so.  thanks, steve n rose

Mediterranean pattern, True China Line, 15 inch

Question:

My name is Harriette and I have a Hand Painted Red Wing Platter.  Please see the attached.  I am wondering if it is worth anything.

Thanks for your help.

Harriette

Answer:

The photo shows a 15 inch platter in the Mediterranean pattern, one of ten patterns in the True China line.  This platter is worth $25-35 if it is in excellent, undamaged condition.

Larry

Red Wing beige fleck steak plates

Question:

My grandma has 9 steak plates made by red wing. I have attached two pictures one of the front and one of the back. I was curious to find out the value of these plates. Thank you!

Answer:

These steak plates were not part of a Red Wing dinnerware pattern.  They were among a number of items glazed with the familiar beige fleck color and sold as gift or novelty items.  They are quite common and don’t have much appeal to collectors.  Value for a beige fleck steak plate in excellent condition would be in the $10 to $15 range.

Larry

Red Wing’s Plain batter pitchers, Gypsy Trail Line

Question:

I’m hoping you can tell me if these carafes are Redwing or perhaps steer me in the right direction in finding out what they are.  All I have are these 2 pictures.  The carafes look very similar but the finials on the lids are different as well and the shapes of the wooden handles.  One lead I have has told me they are most likely Redwing, another is telling me they are most likely Bauer.  They are not signed or marked.

Any help you can provide me is greatly appreciated.

Gabriel

Answer:

The two items in the photos are batter pitchers and were presumably used to pour pancake or waffle batter.

The pitcher with the round knob on the cover was made by Red Wing.  Catalogs list it as an item in the Plain dinnerware pattern, which was part of Red Wing’s extensive Gypsy Trail line.  Red Wing’s Plain batter pitchers were never marked on the bottom.

The pitcher with the loop handle on the cover was not made by Red Wing, but history links it to the Red Wing pitcher.  George RumRill was a pottery designer who worked with Red Wing in the 1930s.  He was a significant figure in the development of Red Wing art pottery and dinnerware. He introduced new shapes and glazes, and was instrumental in the roll out of the Gypsy Trail dinnerware line.  In the late 1930s a dispute arose between RumRill and Red Wing and their partnership ended.  RumRill went on to work with other potteries to produce his wares, including Shawnee and Gonder.  The looped handle batter pitcher is a slightly modified version of the Red Wing batter pitcher made for RumRill by another pottery, most likely Shawnee.  Most of these pitchers are marked on the bottom with “rumrill” in lower case letters enclosed by two horizontal lines.

Larry

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