Owens Pottery

From 1896 to 1907, Owens Pottery introduced more new lines of art pottery than any other company. Founded by John B. Owens in 1885, the company soon rose to national acclaim with help of artisans such as Frank Ferrell, John J. Herold, Herb Hugo, Karl Langenbeck, John Lessell, W. A. Long, and Albert Radford. Owens Pottery rivaled the contemporary Rookwood, Roseville, and Weller, and may have even surpassed them in their 48 Art Nouveau lines. Unfortunately, Owens stopped art pottery production in 1907, focusing on floor and wall tiles instead.

Owens most popular art pottery lines include the Utopian (high-gloss) and the Lotus (matte) lines, which were decorated animal and floral. In 1900, Owens released the Art Nouveau Henri Deux where designs were incised in the wet clay. Other styles of note are the bronze-like Corona, the Matte Green, and the ebony black Soudanese, highlighted in lavender and pearl. Pieces without markings are difficult to identify, but popular lines were impressed with their name. The Owensart mark is found on work after 1906 with the “J” and “B” initials in a large “O,” accompanied by “Art Pottery.”

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