RWCS Newsletter August Issue delayed

RWCS Newsletter

August 2011 Issue Update

The RWCS bi-monthly newsletter August issue was scheduled to be mailed on Wednesday, August 31; however, it was delayed at the printer. The Newsletter will be mailed on Friday, September 2.

We apologize for the delay.

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Updated Stoneware Fakes List Released

Red Wing Collectors Society Releases

UPDATED List of Stoneware Fakes

by Larry Birks

Red Wing, MN – Red Wing Collectors Society member Larry Birks was the keynote presenter at the 2011 MidWinter GetTogether. Birks has spent over a year researching and documenting stoneware fakes found by himself, other RWCS members, antique shops, and auction houses.

Today the RWCS and Birks felt it was important to publish the updated list of fakes along with photo examples. (Previous PDF list).

If anyone finds additional stoneware fakes, please email the photos and information to the RWCS executive director, Stacy Wegner,

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Commemorative Shipping Update


Mailed Commemoratives began shipping on Friday, August 5th in small batches. The Commemoraitve Manager expects that all pieces will be out for delivery by the week of August 22nd. They are all shipping via US MAIL.
If you do not receive your commemorative by September 1st, contact the RWCS Business office at 800-977-7927 or email:

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30 Gallon Double Leaf Crock Brings $5,000 at Red Wing Collectors Society Auction

Red Wing, MN― A 30 gallon salt glaze crock with two leaves brought the highest bid at this year’s Red Wing Collectors Society (RWCS) Auction on July 7. Although unsigned, its perfect condition drove the bidding to $5,000.

The 35th Annual RWCS Convention brought more than 1,500 visitors to the city of Red Wing from July 6-9 to buy, sell and learn more about the lines of Red Wing stoneware, art pottery and dinnerware.
Other items of interest in this year’s auction, which was operated by Houghton’s Auction Service, included a 2 gallon Ice Water cooler (mint), $2,600; 12 gallon salt glaze leaf crock (mint), $1,900; 1977 RWCS Commemorative (mint), $1900; 5 gallon double-handled advertising jug with birchleaves and “Music Hall Bathhouse, Excelsior Springs” advertising (chip and manufacturing flaw), $1,075.

For notable art pottery items, two #1147 Engobe busts (both mint) brought $600 and $575 each, respectively. Other top lots included a #571 Rumrill nude Athenian footed bowl, $400; #672 orange and green Chromoline covered candy (mint), $375; and a brushware hanging pot with embossed acorns and leaves, $210.

One of the top dinnerware lots consisted of more than 100 pieces of Tampico dinnerware, $550. A Jack Frost cookie jar (mint) brought $450; two hand-painted harlequin bowls brought $375 (mint) and $130 (chip and hairline), respectively. One of the neatest dinnerware lots in the auction was a 16-piece set of Charstone Bleu dinnerware and original brochure. The pieces had never been removed from their original box – not even for the auction. It brought $95.

The auction, which had about 280 items, brought nearly $80,000 in total sales.
RWCS members had a wide variety of activities to attend during Convention including a number of educational sessions, a “Crock Hunt” scavenger hunt around town and a special display room where members showed rare items and created their own unique displays for the education and enjoyment of attendees. Other events throughout the week included the annual business meeting, the Potter’s Picnic, and the always anticipated Saturday Show & Sale. Members also bought and sold items throughout the week in the parking lot at Pottery Place Mall. Nearly 200 volunteers helped make this year’s Convention a success.

Topping the news from this year’s annual business meeting were the inductions of longtime RWCS members Steve Showers and Dennis Nygaard into the RWCS Hall of Fame. Both men, who have each dug pottery shards in the Red Wing Pottery Dump for more than 30 years, were recognized for their many contributions to enhancing the knowledge of Red Wing stoneware collectors as a whole through the countless discoveries they’ve made.

Ronald C. Schirmer, Ph.D. from Minnesota State University at Mankato kicked off Convention with his keynote presentation on ancient pottery from the Red Wing area. Other topics of educational sessions included an orientation for first timers, demonstrations by a working potter from Ephraim Pottery “throwing” pieces on a wheel, Red Wing 101, recent finds from the old pottery dump, Red Wing dinnerware, Pennsylvania’s Sherwood Brothers pottery, Red Wing Saffronware and using Facebook to enhance your collecting experience. The RWCS Foundation also held an info session about its plans to acquire a new, permanent home for the Red Wing Pottery Museum.

The year’s commemorative, which could be purchased only by Society members, was a miniature 4 gallon salt glaze churn. Two limited-edition commemoratives were also produced. These were mixed in with the regular commemoratives and all commemoratives were packaged in sealed boxes, so a small number of members were fortunate enough to get one. Of the 3,300 pieces made, 2965 had a cobalt target decoration, 300 had a butterfly and 35 had a hand-drawn bird.

Another unique aspect of the RWCS Convention was the participation of the younger generation through the KidsView program. The Society is on the leading edge of creating engaging and educational ways to get the younger generations involved in collecting. The focus on these RWCS members is an important part of the vision of the Society to ensure its continued existence and growth. Many interactive and challenging activities and seminars were offered for children of all ages, such as learning how to bid at an auction, what to look for in an antique, and several hands-on pottery creation projects.

To further complement KidsView, a new program was introduced at this year’s Convention geared towards helping young Red Wing collectors ages 15 to 20 to grow their interest in Red Wing. Participants learned more about Red Wing, developed new friendships, participated in hands-on activities and visited with dealers who were set up in the Pottery Place parking lot.

The Red Wing Collectors Society was founded in 1977 in Red Wing, Minn. and is devoted to educating people about all American pottery. There are more than 4,000 members worldwide. The Red Wing Potteries had diverse pottery lines that included stoneware, dinnerware and art pottery. For more information or to become a member, call the RWCS business office at 800-977-7927, e-mail or log on to

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Commemorative 2011

The 2011 Commemorative is a salt glazed butter churn. The churns were produced from 1877 through the late 1890s. They varied in size between 2 gallons and 10 gallons and came with many different hand-drawn cobalt decorations, such as ribcages, leaves, drop-8s, butterflies and targets. Although rare, salt glazed churns decorated with a cobalt bird also exist.

In 2011, the Red Wing Collectors Society produced three different versions of its Commemorative. Version "A" is 90% of the total made, version "B" is 9% and version "C" consists of 35 pieces to match the Convention’s 35th anniversary. No one knew which version they were going to receive until they selected a sealed box at the Convention or received their piece in the mail.

Version "A" has a lazy 8 target design, version "B" has a butterfly and version "C" has a bird. The Commemoratives are all stamped just like vintage churns. The stamp can appear on the front, back or either side. The stamp resembles a vintage slit oval stamp and reads "RWCS Convention 2011". The Commemoratives were produced by Maple City Pottery in Monmouth, Illinois. The churns were hand-turned, hand-decorated and glazed with hand-thrown salt. The churn lid was pressed in a two-piece mold.

The 2011 Special Commemorative is a transition butter churn. It is decorated with a hand-drawn cobalt leaf and resembles the zinc glaze appearance that the Red Wing Stoneware and Minnesota Stoneware companies introduced when they moved away from the salt glaze process from 1895 to 1900. The Specials are all stamped on the front. There were 18 Special Commemoratives made. They were given out as awards for displays, prizes and various drawings including a new drawing at the Thursday Night Auction. In addition, one was auctioned in the Commemorative Room.

It not too late to order your commemorative or come to Convention! Register at Red Wing High School each day of the Convention. Not able to attend call 800-977-7927 and order one to be mailed today.

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Convention Attendee Reminders!

Greetings 2011 Convention Attendees!

We are just over a week away from “Stirring up the Memories” at Convention! I am sure many of you are already packing your bags and cars right now.

Just a few reminders before you head out the door:

    The Meatheads Brat feed will be hosted by Red Wing Pottery and Shops lot across from the North Star Monument and the new home to Larry’s Jugs.
    Pre-reg pick up and the membership tent will also be there!
    Silent Auctions, Live Auctions, Drawing
    Don’t forget to sign the 35 gallon crock!
    Get your tickets before you leave or at registration!
  4. Bring your Red Badge Holders!
  5. Volunteers bring your pins.
  6. Website Links
    Education Schedule and Session info and Biographies
    Kids View Program
    NEW Young Collectors Program
    Show and Sale Floor plan
    Schedule of events
    RWCS Foundation Wine and Cheese Event
    Check your newsletter and
  8. RWCS Radio Remote on KWNG Red Wing, FM 106 on Wednesday, July 6
    Hear RWCS member Clyde Doepner, curator for the Twins, talk Twins pottery!

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