Crocks are one of the hardest produced antiques to identify. Earlier crocks were made by hand, and rarely if ever marked with an official stamp, name, symbol, or signature. Instead, potters would hand paint their works with decorations featuring designs in cobalt blue. There are some manufacturers that stuck with specific patterns during their early years of production; others would only start marking their wares as technology and techniques improved. Today this can make identifying a piece rather difficult for those of us who are not experts. Even then trying to read and understand these marks can be a challenge all of its own.
Red Wing Pottery
Red Wing Pottery Numbers and signatures
Stoneware, thicker than porcelain, is heavy, non-porous and fired at high temperatures. Generally, stoneware is gray but can vary in color according to the type of clay used. Stoneware has been made since the days of ancient China. It became an American household staple in the 19th century holding food, butter, water, pickles and beer. Antique stoneware crocks were decorated with painted, stamped or incised motifs. One of the more-familiar forms of decoration is the cobalt oxide applied in the form of flowers, letters, numbers, scenes and more. Carefully examine your antique stoneware crock before cleaning it.
Antique Crock Values
Antique stoneware crocks once played an integral role in kitchens by allowing foods like butter to be stored and pickled vegetables to be made in watertight containers before the invention of refrigeration. Today, antique crocks are a decorative collector's item loved by many. With a few tips, you can identify your antique crock to learn more about its history and value. Most antique stoneware will have some clues on it to help you identify where and when it was made or who made it. You'll need this information to understand how much your crock is worth.
We have spent the last 6 years trying to revive and restore these iconic brands. We have enjoyed the opportunity to learn pottery and experience working with incredibly talented artists. While the pricing pressures on hand made products of this quality are hard to compete with low-cost options, we have done a good job of keeping the trademark of these brands high quality.