Haeger Potteries had humble beginnings in Dundee, Illinois as it first opened in 1871 to manufacture bricks. Edmund Haeger, the son of founder David H. Haeger, transitioned to creating art pottery in 1914 with the help of talented Martin Stangl. The company’s history proved itself adaptable; the classic Arts and Crafts designs of Early Haeger developed into Art Deco in the 1920s, before dabbling in “Old World” motifs and Pueblo Indian art methodologies. Perhaps the best and most recognizable period was the Royal Haeger, which started in 1938 and brought the company to international fame for decades to come.
Haeger Potteries include shapes like the nostalgic Greek vases in the early Adam and Eve collection, the ebony black, high-gloss panthers, and home décor “stick-up” lamps of Royal Hager. Ceramics were often made in batches, with the factory’s forty employees producing over 3,000 pieces daily. Beginning in the 1930s, glazes varied from the magnesium-based d’Este finish and the bubbly pastel Boko (or Boco) glaze, to the Red Sand designs and the Haeger Gold Tweed Glaze of 22K gold.
Markings of the pottery include sought-after paper labels, which can be in the colors gold and green, or black and silver. Labels before 1939 can include “Dundee, Ill.” while labels made afterward have the new plant location of “Macomb, Ill.” on them. Later pieces can also be stamped with Royal Haeger.
Artists of Haeger Potteries include Martin Stangl and Royal Hickman, who both left to start their own companies. Others, such as Sebastiano Maglio, Eric Olsen, and C. Glen Richardson, among many others collaboratively upheld the 145 years of design and class of Haeger Potteries.