Van Briggle Pottery
Early Marks - Ephemera - Novelty items
The Van Briggle Pottery Company was founded in 1901 by Artus Van Briggle in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Artus was an accomplished artist and potter from Cincinnati, Ohio who had previously worked at the Rookwood Pottery Company. He studied abroad in Paris during the years of 1892-1896. By 1901 he had headed to Colorado Springs to open his own pottery studio. The Van Briggle Pottery Company officially opened for business in August 1901 with an initial kiln load of 300 pieces ready for sale to the public.The company has produced pottery for over 100 years.
This site will unlock the mystery of dating a piece of Van Briggle by using the markings found on the bottom of the pottery piece.
We will also take a glimpse into the past history of this company and it's pottery operation by viewing early photogrpahs, company catalogs, old advertisements and various brochures and letters printed over the years. This will give you a unique glimpse into the past history and marketing efforts of this 100+ year old pottery operation.
The glazes produced by Van Briggle over the years have been very diverse and dramatic. The early glazes tend to me more dynamic and are therefore more sought after by collectors today.This website will explore some early examples of Van Briggle Pottery and show the wide variety of forms and glazes produced in the early years.
Perhaps the most confusing area about Van Briggle Pottery is the actual date of piece.. How old is my vase? When was it made? Is this an old vase or a new one?
We will show you a variety of sample marks from the 100 year history of the Van Briggle Pottery Company.
As you review the marks you will note changes in script, clay color and bottom finishing techniques which help reveal the actual era of your Van Briggle piece.
Van Briggle Pottery Company made a wide variety of novelty items over the years. Many items were made by custom order in small numbers.
The novelty items ranged from custom fraternity mugs, custom made cups, incense burners, candle holders, scarabs, electric lights, figural bookends, special Worlds Fair pieces and many others.
We will explore a good variety of the novelty items made by the company over the years on this site.
Van Briggle Pottery Company has advertised their pottery wares in various catalogs, brochures and publications over the years in efforts to market their pottery across the country. Locally they offered free tours of the pottery factory to visiting tourists.
The early Van Briggle ephemera helps us explore the history of this pottery company from it's earliest days.
We will take a closer look at some early Van Briggle advertisements, factory views and photo's from Van Briggle's early days.
Some of the finest examples of Van Briggle Pottery were produced in the early years of production prior to 1920.
Pieces from the early production years of 1901-1904 are of particular interest to Van Briggle collectors since Artus Van Briggle was alive during this time period.
The glazes used in the early years tend to be more dramatic with more interesting glaze effects after firing in the kiln. Often times more than one glaze color was used creating spectacular results.
We will explore some early examples of Van Briggle pottery on this site.