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Red Wing Pottery

By Sharon Stajda

The pottery of Red Wing is one of the best known and most collected American made pottery today. Red Wing Pottery was established in 1878, and continued to produce pottery through 1967. It stayed in business for nearly a century, and closed its doors in 1967. Red Wing produced a wide variety of ceramic ware, as well as their well known, and much collected Art Pottery. Red Wing is becoming harder to find in the market today. It is becoming considered as rare, and the increasing interest and competition have worked together to drive up prices far beyond levels one would expect.

Red Wing was certainly one of the more versatile and original firms. Its mid-priced lines that was produced for the mass market was always pleasing to the eye, with great artistic creativity showed in design. The shapes and types of decoration which could be standard patterns in unusual color or those which bordered on "optical art." For the first 50 Red Wing produced mostly stoneware. This stoneware medium is one of the reasons the pieces can still be found in such great condition. The stoneware pieces were fine, thick-walled, and attractively finished, many with a smooth to the touch semi-Matt finish. The decorative painting is generally in soft blue, and soft jade colors. Decorations may have consist of flowers, vines, leaves, birds, fruits or insects. Many pieces solid in color, this make them a desirable as decorator pieces.

The novelty ware was produced in there later years, some of which could be found as Carnival prizes. These pieces were decorated using bright solid colors or in combinations of rich solid colors. Traditional items made for the home such as teapots were also very brightly decorated. The company was well known for their creativeness. This is one reason collectors of Red Wing are never surprised to find a piece that looks like no other piece they have seen, or knew to be produced by Red Wing.

Red Wing Stoneware Company was founded in 1878 in Red Wing, Minnesota. It was one of the earliest Midwestern potteries outside of Ohio. Most Pottery Companies that were outside of Ohio, failed. Red Wing was one of the Companies that thrived, and made it self well known across the Country.

As the population around its Company grew, Red Wings production increased, and the business thrived. In 1920 Red Wing expanded their line of pottery beyond the stoneware line, they had become popular for. In the early 1920s when the market for pottery in general growing, as never before. The first new item were a line of flowerpots, followed in later years by artware cookie jars, jugs, trays, candleholders and vases.

In the Depression years a line of dinnerware was added to the production schedule. Dinnerware was produced to add to the lost revenue from the decreased sales of the Companies artware line. Red Wing showed its best years to be between 1920-1930s.

Listed Below are items that were produced, and much collected:
Pitchers, Planters, Candy Dishes, Ewers, Figurines, Jugs, Ashtrays, Bowls, Sugar and Creamer, Sets, Trays, Candleholders, Candlesticks, and Cookie Jars

Red Wing manufactured under its own name and also as Rumrill, sometimes spelled RumRill. When the Rumrill mark is used, it will generally be with the second R capitalized. The Red Wing house-marks changed through the years. Rumrill the years. If one includes the early stoneware markings a long list would be necessary to record them all. In the era of its art pottery, there were at least three distinctive marks. One consisted of the wording RED WING ART POTTERY arranged in a circle with ART at the center and no other symbols or decoration. An impressed mark from the 1930s states simply RED WING followed by the mold or model number. The most elaborate mark is a badge with the company name in bold script lettering in Art Deco style. Between 1878-1892 the word REDWING, with the word STONEWARE under REDWING. In 1936-1967 the word RED WING (with the two words separated, under RED WING IS U.S.A.( with the use of periods).

Also used in this time period was the RED-WING with an elongated R that underlined the word RED-WING, under the word USA, without the uses of periods.

A few examples of Red Wing Pottery:

Red Wing Pottery 1

Red Wing Pottery 2

Red Wing Pottery 3

Books you may enjoy:
Red Wing Stoneware, An Identification and Value Guide.
Red Wing Collectibles By Dan & GailDePasquale and Larry Peterson.
Red Wing Art Pottery, Book One & Two By B.L. Dollen
Red Wing Art Pottery By Ray Reiss.

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