10 Gallon Salt Glaze Butterfly Cooler Expected to be the Top Lot at Red Wing Collectors Society Convention July 11 Auction

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Fronted-stamped “Red Wing Stoneware Company”, this 10 gallon salt glaze water cooler hand-decorated with a cobalt butterfly is expected be the top prize at the official RWCS members-only auction at the RWCS Convention. The event will be held at the River Bluff Education Center at 395 Guernsey Lane in Red Wing. A preview will be held from 2 to 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, July 11, with the auction beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Red Wing, MN – A signed Red Wing 10 gallon butterfly-decorated salt glaze water cooler is just one of the impressive pieces highlighting the official members-only auction at the Red Wing Collectors Society Convention, July 11-13 in Red Wing.

The RWCS will celebrate its 43rd Anniversary at this year’s Convention, which will unofficially begin on Wednesday, July 10 when the RWCS Foundation holds its “Wine-ing for Red Wing” fundraiser from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Pottery Museum of Red Wing at 240 Harrison Street, Red Wing. Admission for the fundraising event is $25; it will feature food and beverages, and silent and live auctions.

For the first time, this year’s RWCS Convention will be held at the River Bluff Education Center located adjacent to Red Wing High School. Located at 395 Guernsey Lane in Red Wing, River Bluff opened its doors in the fall of 2015 and is part of the Goodhue County Education District. The facility has a compact layout and enough rooms for all Convention events. Plus, the school’s gymnasium is air-conditioned, which will provide a comfortable place to hold the Convention Auction on Thursday, July 11 and Show & Sale on Saturday, July 13.

The RWCS Convention officially kicks off at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 11 with a keynote presentation on grading pottery and stoneware for the Society’s auction by RWCS Member Larry Birks. A long-time collector and past RWCS president, Birks will present on the need for auction grading and the definitions of the various damage the graders look for that cause the description to vary from what is shown on the RWCS Auction sheet. The seminar will also explain repairs, restorations and fakes that find their way across the grading table.

The official RWCS members-only auction*, which features more than 200 pieces consigned by members, will take place at 4:30 that evening in River Bluff’s gymnasium. Onsite registration will be available to become a member. The auction preview will be open from 2 to 4:15 p.m. Catalogs are for sale for $5 in advance at the Pottery Museum of Red Wing or can be purchased at the auction itself.

RWCS members will also have their lineup of usual favorites to attend during Convention, including street sales held at Red Wing’s historic Pottery Place, other stoneware and pottery auctions held on Tuesday and Wednesday, educational seminars and the official RWCS Show & Sale at the River Bluff gymnasium that begins for members at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 13. It opens FREE to the public from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. In addition to these activities, an early evening social will feature food, trivia and fun from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, July 12 in the River Bluff cafeteria.

A reunion of the iconic Red Wing stoneware “Boy with Crock” statues is being held in the Display Room at the Red Wing Collectors Society’s Annual Convention this summer (Thursday, July 11 through Saturday, July 13). There are at least 14 of these impressive figurines in existence, but more are likely more out there. Collectors hoping all of the figurines can attend for what will surely be an epic display of incredible handcrafted folk art stoneware.

Other Convention activities include a “Crock Hunt” scavenger hunt around Red Wing and a special display room at River Bluff where members create their own unique displays of Red Wing items for the education and enjoyment of attendees. This year the Convention Display Room will feature a reunion of the coveted Red Wing stoneware “Boy with Crock” statues.

If you have one of these statues, please contact RWCS Executive Director Stacy Wegner at director@redwingcollectors.org for more details about the display. Even if you can’t make it to Convention, the RWCS would like to work with you to bring your Boy with Crock back to Red Wing for this brief appearance. The identities of all Boy with Crock owners will be kept confidential.

An annual commemorative will be unveiled and distributed to members beginning Thursday, July 11. The commemorative piece is a closely guarded secret and there is much speculation as to what the piece will be each year. It is a miniature replica of a Red Wing pottery item with a limited number made. Last year’s commemorative was a flower pot.

Breakout education sessions scheduled for Friday, July 12 at the River Bluff Education Center will offer a great selection of diverse topics. The presentations are listed below; check out the “Education Seminars” page on the Convention section of the RWCS website for more detailed descriptions

  • Patents and Stoneware by Marv Juel.
  • The Journey of Collecting Red Wing by RWCS Hall of Famer Larry Peterson and Gary Tyc.
  • Collecting on a Budget by Todd Avery.
  • The Dump Finds from the Past by RWCS Hall of Famer Steve Showers and his wife, Phyllis.
  • Digging Up the Past by Red Wing Dump Diggers Paul Boudin & Connie Mathison.
  • Anniversary Line Dinnerware by RWCS Hall of Famers Terry Moe & Larry Roschen.
  • Early Red Wing Clay Industries and Marketing – from Salt and Albany to the Dawn of Zinc by Dr. Danaè R. Quirk Dorr.
  • “Hat’s Off To History” 150 years of Goodhue County History by Robin Wipperling, Goodhue County Historical Society Executive Director.
  • The Potter, the Myth and the Reality by Potter Richard Spiller.
  • Red Wing Bowls by Brent Mischke.

Another unique aspect of the RWCS Convention is 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. Children ages 3-12 will have several hands-on pottery creation projects and a Kids’ Auction to participate in from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, July 12 at Red Wing Art Reach and the Goodhue County Historical Society (GCHS), which is located at 1166 Oak Street in Red Wing.

To further complement KidsView, the RWCS has a Young Collectors program for Red Wing collectors ages 13 to 20 grow their interest in Red Wing. This is a great opportunity to learn more about Red Wing, develop new friendships through peer-to-peer discussion groups and participate in hands-on activities. Young Collectors activities will be held at the GCHS from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 11.

The 2019 RWCS Convention is sponsored by Red Wing Shoes, Larry’s Jugs Antiques, Red Wing Brewery, Red Wing Stoneware Co., Stockholm Pie Plate Cafe’ & General Store, Red Wing Framing & Fine Art Printing, Musty Barnhart Agency, Xcel Energy and First State Bank of Red Wing. To learn more about all the events and activities of the RWCS Convention, visit the RWCS website event page for the Convention.

The RWCS can also be followed on Twitter and on Facebook. Like most antique collecting clubs, attracting young new collectors has been a challenge for the RWCS. A bright spot in the organizations recruiting efforts has come through the RWCS Facebook Chapter, which is a highly active page where recent finds are shared, questions are answered and pieces are bought and sold by new and advanced collectors alike. To join the conversation, visit www.facebook.com/groups/RWCSChapter/.

* Registering onsite to attend the RWCS Convention costs $50 per person; kids 15 and under are free. Annual membership in the Red Wing Collectors Society also costs $35 and includes five full-color newsletters mailed to your home throughout the year. The RWCS was founded in 1977 in Red Wing and there are more than 3,000 members worldwide. For more information or to become a member, call the RWCS business office at 651-388-4004, e-mail membership@redwingcollectors.org or log on to www.redwingcollectors.org. You can also join the RWCS on Facebook and follow it on Twitter at @RWCollectors.