If you’re a pottery collector you’ve probably heard of Monmouth Pottery and Western Stoneware but have you heard of their Art Division? It’s more than just crocks!
Monmouth Pottery Company of Monmouth, Illinois began production in 1894 and produced a wide range of utilitarian wares such as crock jars, jugs, stoneware bowls and butter churns. The area around Monmouth contained high quality clay so many pottery companies set up production there.
In 1906 Monmouth was merged with seven other stoneware and pottery plants operating in Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa to form the Western Stoneware Company.
Under WSC the Monmouth plant continued to produce utilitarian ware until 1919 when WSC turned the Monmouth plant into their new ‘Art-ware Division’ and entered the lucrative art pottery world. This pottery was sold under the Monmouth name as you can see from this 1927 catalog, while their utility wares were sold under WSC, both had different makers marks as well. They produced a wide variety of art wares, everything from jardinières to birdbaths!
Sadly this division only lasted 11 years and dissolved in 1930 when America entered into the Great Depression and the luxury market disappeared.
Recently we acquired this example, an 8″ brush finish Lotus vase, one of a series of products in this line and found in their 1927 catalog. A beautiful combination of Art Nouveau and Arts & Craft influence.
An Art Division mark from the late 20’s.