The Roseville Pottery Company produced antique earthenware between 1892 and 1953, and it is known as Roseville pottery. The company was named after Roseville, Ohio, where the company’s first factory was located. The company was founded George Young to produce functional items, so the plant’s first products were flower pots, spittoons, umbrella stands, and stoneware for cooking and storing food. Sales were strong, so the company expanded and relocated to Zanesville, Ohio, in 1898. Zanesville’s large clay deposits made it a popular destination for pottery makers.
Roseville Pottery expanded its line in the 1890s to include both artistic and utilitarian pottery, as decorative pottery became popular toward the end of the nineteenth century. Roseville Pottery’s first decorative pottery line was called Rozane, a combination of the town names Roseville and Zanesville. Rozane pottery was available in both light and dark colors, with a high-gloss finish and hand-painted scenes of landscapes, animals, and people. In addition to mugs, candle holders, fruit bowls, vases, and compotes, the Rozane line included some strictly ornamental pieces.
Roseville Pottery hired several art directors in the early 1900s and introduced new decorative pottery lines. The demand for the company’s products increased as a result of this strategy. With most pieces finished in a matte green glaze, the Rozane Egypto line was a completely new look for the company. Arts and Crafts, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and traditional Egyptian styles were all used to create Egypto ware. For the Egypto line, vases, pitchers, dishes, oil lamps, and baskets were made.
Egypto ware was quickly followed new lines, some of which incorporated designs from various cultures. For example, the Woodland line, which debuted in 1906, had a strong oriental flavor, and some sources claim that Japanese women were hired to hand-paint the Fuji line’s scenes. In 1906, Della Robbia was introduced, and it quickly became a popular line. The pieces were made entirely hand, without the use of any molds, and were only made in small quantities. Della Robbia pieces are the most coveted collectors today, and they are the rarest of Roseville pottery.
When the company was sold in 1953, production of Roseville pottery came to an end. Roseville pottery has become a sought-after antique collectible, with some of the most valuable pieces fetching thousands of dollars. Reproductions are common, and distinguishing the genuine from the fake can be difficult at times. Rosewood pottery collectors must exercise caution and purchase only from reputable dealers to ensure authenticity.