May 20, 2024

Clay, Cobalt, and Batch marks


#543, 1906 “Chocolate Clay”
Bottom markings of the #543, 1906

Sometime after purchasing this #543, 1906 piece; I came to admire the color of the clay – which to me, resembles a Hershey bar; as well as the wonderful appearance of the glaze, with the “chocolate clay” high points of the design showing through the glaze. I “coined the name” of Chocolate Clay, and have noticed others now using it. Most of the pieces with “chocolate clay” are from 1906, with some also dated 1905 and 1907. Chocolate is my Favorite Food Group! and also my favorite Van Briggle Clay! (Note: The name is not endorsed by VBPCo!)

I had seen this #543 (which was uncatalogued until Robert Wyman Newton added our example to his 2015 Revised Catalogue of Van Briggle Designs.) My husband was still working pharmacy; and I was home with a pottery salesman. I traded 4 of Bob’s favorite, most expensive Roseville designs, to buy the VB #543 – and lived to tell the story!!

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