BLUE RIDGE POTTERY
Vol. 2 Issue 5
Blue Ridge dinnerware was made by a pottery company called Southern Potteries, Inc. Southern Potteries was based in Erwin, Tennessee until 1957, when it closed it doors due to rising labor costs and the influx of imports. Southern Potteries was established in 1917 as Clinchfield Pottery. It was then changed to Southern Potteries, Inc. on April 8, 1920. Decal decorated hotel pieces and semivitreous dinnerware was their early specialty. Advertising on plates, bowls and ashtrays are primarily sought after by collectors from that period.
Later, underglazed handpainting was their specialty for decoration. Blue Ridge was introduced in 1930 for the underglazed handpainted dinnerware. By the early 1950's more than 4,100 patterns had been produced. In 1942 a line of china was added.
The most desirable decorations are people, animals, holiday themes, indoor themes, and outdoor structures. One of the most collectible and costly of the patterns is the French Peasant. It is very similar to Quimper with depictions of a peasant with his staff. There are also patterns of floral, roosters, plaids, and textured designs. Most of the buying and selling is centered around the many floral patterns. Some collectors like to match patterns, while others like to mix them together.
There were some artist-signed pieces; some of which were character jugs. They ranged in size from 10-1/2" to 17-1/2". The jugs were made in china and the plates and platters in earthenware. The artist-signed pieces are highly sought after by collectors. The plates are from the 40's and the character jugs from the 50's. There are some unauthorized reproductions of the character jugs, plates, and platters being made and are sometimes marked with the Blue Ridge stamp. There are several ways to detect these reproductions; (1) the new jugs are earthenware, not china, (2) the jug handles are not applied, but are cast in the mold, (3) impressed names on the original jugs are not found (except Indian) and (4)scenes other than Tom Turkey, Flower Cabin, Gold Cabin, Green Mill, White Mill, Quail, Black Ducks, Wild Turkey, Daniel Boone, Paul Revere, Pioneer Woman, and Indian are used on the plates and platters.
Wild Turkey, Tom Turkey, Quail, and Black Ducks are based on Audubon drawings.
There were many shapes in the dinnerware line that ranged from pre-1935 to 1956 and were made in earthenware only. They were:
Other highly desirable earthenware pieces is the Children's Ware. The decorations for these pieces are of circus motifs and animals.
Backstamps for Southern Potteries Blue Ridge are "Underglaze, hand painted, Southern Potteries". The words "Blue Ridge" and a pine tree with mountains in the background were added in 1935. Although occasionally you will find a piece that is not marked, almost every piece is marked Blue Ridge. There is a similar type that can be mistaken for Blue Ridge, but is marked (but not always) Italy.
The shapes Palisades, Piecrust, Skyline, Trailway, and Woodcrest are at the low end price range. The designs on these shapes are sometimes considered less desirable due to being simpler and in less desirable colors. Monticello and Trellis are in short supply. Chances of putting a set together is almost impossible. They are at the high end of value. Holiday and people patterns are double the values of the high end patterns.
For more information on Southern Potteries
Clinchfield, Southern and Blue Ridge Pottery
Blue Ridge Pottery Patterns
Blue Ridge Patterns
Blue Ridge Pottery Identification
Official Price Guide to Pottery and Porcelain - 8th Ed. - Harvey Duke
Garage Sale and Flea Market Annual - 3rd Ed.
Schroeder's Antiques Price Guide - 18th Ed.
The next Nancy's Antiques & Collectibles Newsletter will feature Van Briggle Pottery.
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