Red Wing, MN – A lot of spectacular pieces have crossed the block at the Red Wing Collectors Society (RWCS) Convention Auction since the club was founded in 1977, but none had ever reached the $20,000 mark until this year.

Decorated with a cobalt butterfly and stamped “Red Wing Stoneware Company” on the front, a 10 gallon Red Wing salt glaze water cooler sold for $21,500 – the highest price ever paid for a piece at the club’s Convention Auction. At $4,000, a striking 1 gallon blue-sponged ‘Lunch Hour’ beehive jug with the name “L.L. Stromberg” stenciled on the front was a distant runner-up in the July 11 auction, which totaled $87,500 in total sales.

Other big news coming out of the 43rd Annual RWCS Convention, which attracted nearly 1,000 visitors to Red Wing, MN during the week of July 8, was the induction of two couples into the RWCS Hall of Fame during the club’s annual business meeting on Friday, July 12. Longtime RWCS members Steve & Barb Brown, and Bonnie Hutchson and her late husband, David, were recognized for all the time, knowledge and passion they’ve shared with the RWCS, fellow collectors and the Pottery Museum of Red Wing in their pursuits to preserve the history of Red Wing’s clay industry.

The Convention also featured a tastefully decorated display room, a miniature commemorative spittoon and a solid educational lineup with a dozen different speakers presenting on a wide range of topics including Red Wing bowls, stoneware patents, Red Wing’s ‘Anniversary Line’ of dinnerware, collecting on a budget, Red Wing’s early marketing efforts, finds from the Red Wing pottery dump and identifying repaired items and fakes. The Pottery Museum of Red Wing also held its annual “Wine-ing” for Red Wing fundraiser and the grand opening of its new “Red Wing Saloon” exhibit, which will be on display until the end of the year when a Prohibition exhibit will take its place.

Another fun aspect of the RWCS Convention is the participation of the younger generation through the KidsView and Young Collectors programs. The focus on these RWCS members is an important part of the vision of the Society to ensure its continued existence and growth. More than 20 kids and young adults participated in the interactive and educational activities this year, which included a trip to visit the Goodhue County Historical Society Museum’s 150th Anniversary exhibit, bidding at the annual KidsView auction and several hands-on pottery creation projects at Red Wing Art Reach. The final day of Convention Week featured the RWCS Show & Sale on Saturday, July 13, followed by the RWCS Banquet later in the evening.

The RWCS wishes to thank this year’s Convention sponsors: 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.

The next RWCS event is its Annual MidWinter GetTogether, which will be held at the Isle Hotel & Casino in Bettendorf, IA from Feb. 28 to Mar. 1. Visit the club’s website for more information.

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 or log on to You can also join the RWCS on Facebook and follow it on Twitter at @RWCollectors.