Sandy Erdman: Weller pottery offers wide variety for collectors

February 10, 2019
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Weller Pottery found at Treasures Under Sugar Loaf, Winona with Brenda Jannsen.

Please don’t confuse Roseville Pottery with Weller Pottery. Weller made creations of hand-painted ware long after Roseville abandoned the pottery business.

After World War I, Samuel Weller followed along in the trend production by introducing many interesting and unique lines, some that have never been created anywhere before or since. Portraits of Indians, animals of all types, lady golfers, nudes and scenes of Dickens stories were popular themes and some items were overlaid with silver filigree. These lines are rather hard to find and prices are generally high. If a new collector, the later production are still around and most pieces are relatively inexpensive.

Items produced by Weller from 1872 through 1948 varied widely in their uniqueness. The company produced lamps, flower pots, bowls, crocks, vases and other wares. The most valuable Weller pottery are the early hand-decorated pieces. After 1935, the company made only molded pottery. Those pieces are considerably less valuable than the pieces made in the decades before.

To estimate the value, try to date your pieces by identifying the unique pottery marks. Some early marks included the name of the line, but most just indicated that the piece was made by Weller. Some unmarked Weller pieces can be identified by looking at the base. The “Weller” mark in block letters was used from approximately 1900 through 1925, according to “Kovels’ New Dictionary of Marks” by the late Ralph Kovel and Terry Kovel. This mark can be found on a wide variety of pottery items and various lines produced by Weller during the years when the company was concentrating on fine hand-decorated art pottery. Those hand-made pieces are the most valued among the very passionate Weller pottery enthusiasts.

As you can see I am always amazed at what I find in the Weller Pottery. Just recently I found a Weller Coppertone Frog Bowl, 5½ inches by 10 inches, a full-figure frog bowl with two embossed fish on the sides. It is marked with Weller Pottery half kiln ink stamp, dated around the 1920s, and in excellent condition. This piece is selling on various online sites for around $660, but in checking into the piece in the 2019 Warman’s Antiques & Collectibles Guide by Noah Fleisher the price is down now to $425, and recently one did sell in that price range on Worthpoint.

So a tip of advice: Always know your items and negotiate the price you want to pay — these are the selling prices, not always the published value. Have guides and don’t always go to the computer for direction. As the market can fluctuate, check the quality of the item and, if possible, look at and feel your item. Good collectors do their homework!

Where to Find

Jeanne Raway, vendor/dealer at Country Side Antique Mall, Cannon Falls: “Vendor/dealer Larry Peterson has many Weller pieces ranging in price from $295 to $1,595 signed pieces to Weller Sicard pieces from $995 to $3,200. Though lower price pieces are available.”

Brenda Jannsen, Treasures Under Sugar Loaf, Winona: “We have various Weller vases such as a cream colored vase, priced at $150 with an incised Weller mark on the bottom that looks similar to typewriter font. Another vase is a beautiful mauve to purple vase priced at $65 with a newer Weller stamp. Another piece of Weller pottery available is the “Klyro” pattern. This square planter has a bottom incised mark but also the handwritten marks by the individual maker. This particular piece has some condition issues of crazing and a white crust around the inside, presumably from water, which is reflected in the price of $85.00. And the “Cactus” fish planter with a bottom stamp and priced at $135.00. We have a customer who is putting together a Weller collection in Oklahoma and we do send him photos from time to time.”

Joan Thilges, New Generaitons of Harmony: “We currently have several marked Weller vases. Solid white cornucopias at $28 each, while one with the pink blossoms is marked $48. Two peach tones vases with pale cameo roses is $45 and $55. A narrow green vase is marked $65 while another cream, double-handled vase is $70. My favorite, is the “Water Lily” candle holder priced at $29. We really don’t sell a lot of Weller, but during the spring, summer and fall tourist season, we are apt to see more collectors so sales of collectibles do increase.”

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