May 23, 2018

By Date

Information on dating Van Briggle was written by Robert Wyman Newton for his Catalogue of Van Briggle Designs; and as a co-author of A Collector’s Guide to Van Briggle Pottery.  Robert graciously permitted me to utilize his information in my book.  This is information which you can categorize by using your own pottery pieces.

Remember; every single piece that was made by VBPCo was marked.  Except for the exceptions!  I have found exceptions to nearly every guideline established; so keep that in mind!  

#310 with no markings.  One of my favorites!  Purchased from the collector who bought it in the clean-out of the Memorial Pottery when the building was sold to Colorado College in 1968.  

DSCN7318

DSCN7332

 

NOW LET’S GET STARTED:

CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO ENLARGE

1900:  Artus produced a few pieces dated 1900, most of which were while we was living at Chico Basin Ranch.  A few were given by Artus to his closest friends.   Robert Wyman Newton has drawn a picture from photo of one of these earliest pieces.  The handwriting was definitely that of Artus Van Briggle.

1901:  Only 300 pieces were offered for the first open house & sale of pottery on December 7, 1901, at VBPCo located then at 617 N. Nevada Ave., Colorado Springs.

 

Vase was sprayed with Brown Glaze; with an over spray of Green added; inside is Clear Glaze, and Green over Spray visible around the inside rim.

Typical bottom markings of the inscribed Double-A, Van Briggle, date of 1901, and Roman Numeral II for clay type;  all in handwriting attributed to Artus Van Briggle.

No Design numbers were yet inscribed.  The inscribed “70” was later learned to be a kiln or production number, as it was on many different 1901 designs! 

 

1902:  Pottery will be shown in 3 different categories:

 (1) Hand-Thrown without Design # 

(2) Molded with Experimental Markings 

(3) Molded with Design #

 

(1) Hand-Thrown Dead Matte Gray, no Design #

Bottom markings include the Double-A, Van Briggle, 1902, III for clay type; all in the handwriting attributed to Artus Van Briggle.

(2) Molded with Experimental Markings

DSCN7184

DSCN7186

Design #21 markings are Double-A, Van Briggle, III clay type, and iridescent Roman Numerals on the side of the bottom at about the 8-9:00 position; all in the handwriting attributed to Artus Van Briggle.  No Design # included until what was believed to be the latter half of 1902.   Heavy, almost volcanic glaze of Black & Brown.

Molded with Design #28B

DSCN7206

DSCN7205

Markings include the inscribed Double-A, Van Briggle, 1902, Design #28, Size B, Roman Numeral III for clay type; all in the handwriting attributed to Artus Van Briggle.

Design #28B.  Matte Blue-Gray Glaze with light over spray of Green. 

  

1903:  Markings were generally the inscribed Double-A, Van Briggle, date 1903, Roman Numeral III for clay type; and the impressed Design #.  

#201 with incised Double-A, Van Briggle, date of 1903 and Roman Numeral III for clay type, in the handwriting attributed to Artus Van Briggle; and incised Design #201.

 

Design #192 (1) bottom

#192 with all the typical 1903 markings, plus the addition of black mark Roman Numeral indicative of experimental markings.  Most often seen in a black ink, experimental markings differed in that way from the Roman Numeral inscribed markings.  On the 1902, #21 above; the experimental markings were in an iridescent silver on the black pot.

 

1904:  Two different types of handwriting; the first attributed to Artus Van Briggle, prior to his death on 7-4-1904; the second, attributed to Anne Van Briggle, with the distinctive V & A in Van Briggle.  Both as shown in drawings by Robert Wyman Newton.  

1904 pieces have markings of inscribed Double-A, Van Briggle, date of 1904 and Roman Numeral V for clay type; with an impressed Design #.

#146 “Early” 1904

DSCN7311

DSCN7310

#146 “Later” 1904

DSCN7303

Robert Wyman Newton notes change in script style; particularly the V & A in Van Briggle.

DSCN7230

 

1905:  Robert Wyman Newton shows 5 versions of markings for these pieces.  All have inscribed Double-A, Van Briggle, 1905; as well as impressed Design #.  Early production has Roman Numeral V for clay type; Mid-year production has Roman Numeral X; Later production has VX; some have no Roman Numeral & still others are partially or totally obscured.

Shown below are some of these examples; although one is incised XV & not VX.  The last is totally obscured; but a design created in 1905.  It cannot be x-rayed, as the opening is too small to allow the x-ray to view the bottom markings.

#349E:  E is the smallest size made of this design; I have no explanation for the blue “C” mark.

 

#376 Stars & Stripes, designed in 1905; bottom markings almost totally obscured, possibly because of small size.

DSCN7320

 

#335D  “XV” on bottom, as opposed to “VX” as stated by Robert Wyman Newton.

DSCN7328

DSCN7329

 

#355 Obscured date.  In Catalogue of Van Briggle Designs, #355A referred to the matching pitcher; #355B to the mugs.  The design was first created in 1905.

DSCN7326

DSCN7327

 

Exceptions!! (always) A 1905 with no Design #, but 433, we believe.  It also resembles #434, which was the first design created in 1906.  It appears to have 1905 inscribed.  Human error might be responsible for someone dating it 1905 early in 1906, like many of us forget when writing our first check of the New Year!  VBPCo workers were human too!

 

 

1906:  Newton writes that by 1906, (1) Roman Numerals indicating clay type no longer appear, (2) Design # is now either inscribed or impressed, (3) “Colorado Springs” or “Colo. Spgs.” is sometimes added underneath “Van Briggle.”

Also, at some point in 1906 and throughout part of 1907; the clay used, was what I call “chocolate clay” very much the color of a Hershey chocolate bar.  Many of these “chocolate clay” pieces have the clay color showing through the glaze on the high points of the design.  A gorgeous effect!

#534  Unglazed bottom with a “designer’s mark” on the right side of the Double-A, Van Briggle, Colo. Spgs., 1906 (it is a 0, not a 1 in real life) and Design #534 all incised.

DSCN7360

DSCN7364

#512 Bowl:  Glazed bottom with Double-A, Van Briggle, Colorado Springs, 1906 all incised; and #512 impressed.

DSCN7301

DSCN7302

#514 Bowl:  Double-A, Van Briggle, Colorado Springs, 1906 all inscribed;  #512 impressed.  Partially obscured from grinding excess glaze on edges to level the bowl.

DSCN7299

DSCN7300

#543 Bowl:  Double-A, Van Briggle, Colorado Springs, 1906 & Design #543 all inscribed.  Chocolate clay, glaze partially obscures the bottom edges.  Two marks to the left of the Double-A logo.  

543-2

543-3

Note:  #512, 514, 543 & 534 all uncatalogued by Robert Wyman Newton in 1975.  Recorded in 2015 in his Revised Catalogue of Van Briggle Designs, after we had added them to our private collections.