Tag Archive | New England pottery

Rare Bennington Pottery Mug

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This mug was recently sold by me from my online eBay store.  I acquired it from a thrift shop for less than a dollar in May and sold it within three months for $40.  It is called a trigger handle mug and was made by Bennington Pottery.  The color is what makes it especially rare and valuable.  It is an agate effect in a combination of green and white called “Spring Green” by the pottery.  This color is a seasonal feature that is rarely produced.ben2

ben4Trigger or double handle mugs by Bennington are popular and sell in the $10-$20 range for most colors.  I found this mug taped together with several pieces of unrelated white and green pottery.  When I got the pieces home and pulled them apart I was very surprised to find the maker’s mark.  Any Bennington piece is valuable so I was pleased.

The pottery is located in Bennington, Vermont.  In the early 1960s it was founded by David Gil in an unheated barn.  Over the years the business moved and expanded into a large workspace and retail area. Bennington Pottery is still operating today, turning out fine quality, highly collectible pieces.

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Salmon Falls Pottery Collection

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The first piece of Salmon Falls salt-glaze stoneware I ever saw was in the Berry Vine pattern, above.  I fell in love with the design.  Being a hopeless collector of pottery, it was inevitable my collection of Salmon Falls would grow.  Without really trying, my set has increased to eight pieces.  These show some of the variation that has occurred over the years of production.

Salmon Falls Stoneware is located on Oak St in Dover, NH.  The potter began his studios in the early 1980s, moving to the current location in 1986.  I have been to the pottery in the old railway engine house and it is amazing.  What started as one man’s dream has grown into a respected and well-loved producer of beautiful ware.  a6Salt-glaze is my favorite finish.  It is achieved by throwing salt in the hot kiln with the greenware.  The resulting glaze is shiny and hard with a characteristic bumpy texture.

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The decoration is handpainted so the design varies slightly with the artist. The minor variations in bisque color are due to differences in clay.  The more modern pieces have a better defined design that is less likely to bleed and the interior finish is a reddish-brown.  Older pieces have a yellow-green tint to the interior.a8  a4The maker’s mark has also changed, an older mark on my mug is shaped like the sun on the horizon.a10  The current mark is always stamped on the side of the piece.

 

 

 

The pottery lists several patterns.  I have settled on Berry Vine, though others such as Cranberry, Dragonfly and Wildflower catch my eye.  There is a range of forms for many uses including tableware, serving ware, baking and lighting.  I have a few from different categories including some discontinued forms.a2

My favorite is the dinner mug, if I owned more than one I’d use the mug.  Since there is only one, I keep it for display.  Always, I’m on the lookout for another mug.  a3I have two sizes of bowls, a small crock and a custard cup.  The cup was purchased at the pottery and sometimes I use it as a votive or to serve nuts.  The small casserole was a thrift-shop find and is missing the lid.a7  The creamer is an older piece marked with the artist’s inscribed initials and the pitcher is discontinued.  The pitcher is 8.5″ tall and the largest bowl, I believe it is 1.5 qt size, has a 6.5″ top diameter.a9

a11Recently I found, and just sold, a piece of the Dragonfly pattern.  Called a chowder cup, it measures 5 3/8″ across and holds 2 cups.  I was sorely temped to keep this piece, but common sense won.  There is just not enough room in my display cabinet for another Salmon Falls pattern.

Here is a link to the Salmon Falls website for a quick visit. http://salmonfalls.com/docs/catalog/index.html

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