Hull pottery is a type of vintage, collectable pottery that was made in Crooksville, Ohio, beginning in 1905. The company was in operation for 80 years, closing in 1985. Some Hull pottery is marked, but you may not know these are Hull products. These back stamps include names like Regal, Imperial, and Pagoda. Some pieces are marked with the Hull name in script, and some have the name in lower-case block letters. Others are not marked, but you can learn to identify Hull pottery by shape, colour, and clay.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Learn the hand-painted patterns. Hull Pottery made many hand-painted flower patterns, and most of them have a raised design in the mould that the artists followed. This is characteristic of the Hull Art lines, including Magnolia, Water Lily, Woodland, and Bow Knot. Earlier patterns were matt finish, but later artware like Ebb Tide, Parchment and Pine, and Blossom Flite were gloss glaze. Woodland was a pattern made in both a matt and glossy finish.
Recognise the airbrushed patterns. Hull used airbrush techniques in pastel colours for many of their production pieces, but they also made figural planters in pink, burgundy, and green combinations with touches of yellow. These colours should identify your pottery as possible Hull Pottery.
Watch for dinnerware by Hull. Hull produced Heartland and Blue Belle stencilled dinnerware lines in the 1980s, as well as Mirror Brown, House 'N Garden, Avocado, Tangerine, Crestone, Ridge, Country Squire, and Rainbow in the 1960s. Hull produced much of the brown dinnerware in the Marcrest line.
Study Tropicana, one of the most collectable Hull products. This mid-century modern pattern was made in 1959, and many pieces are marked with the Hull name and a T series mould number. The artwork is colourful Caribbean figures on a flat surface.
Compare planters and novelty pieces with photos from books, and learn the back stamps that are not the Hull name. Hull Pottery produced novelty ware with names like Athena, Coronet, Mayfair, and Tokay.
Watch for unexpected pieces of Hull pottery. Hull started with the production of stoneware and yellow ware and some semiporcelain items marked with H in a circle or H in a diamond logo. Hull also produced tiles. Don't assume that all Hull production was pottery vases and novelties; you'll miss some quality collectibles.
Study the clay colour and base characteristics to recognise unmarked Hull pottery. The pottery was Ohio clay, and after the yellow ware production ceased, the clay was pale yellow with a pink tint. Look on the bottom where the piece is unglazed and check the colour of the clay. Notice that the base is not usually flat, but the pieces sit on a dry foot or rim that is unglazed. These Hull pottery characteristics will help you identify unmarked pieces.
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