My first piece of Hull Pottery was a thrift store find that had some structural issues. I loved the style of it-- the matte finish, the soft pastels, the art deco/art nouveau styling-- but chips kept it from being drooled over by serious collectors.
It was a little number in the Wildflower pattern, from about 1946...
And in spite of its chips, its cheerful palette and overall look encouraged me to bring it home.
This last weekend I uncovered two more Hull Pottery pieces, and now the trio stands proudly on top of my china cabinet...
The haul of Hull inspired me to do a little digging in my Collectors Encyclopedia of Hull Pottery, by Brenda Roberts...
...And I thought I'd share with you what I learned.
While Hull Pottery began in 1905 as the A.E. Hull Pottery Company of China Street, Crooksville, Ohio, it had a convoluted history involving acquisitions-- like the Acme Pottery Company-- tiling manufacturing throughout the 20s, and even the management of the Shawnee Pottery Company in the 1937, before it evolved into the company we think of today.
It was the late 1930s and into the 1940s, where Hull began vases in the Iris, Potty, Tulip and Wildflower shapes, in the soft colors and gentle detailing so recognizable as Hull. (They're also known for those Red Ridinghood Cookie Jars and other novelty pieces you may see at antique malls and yard sales!).
The pottery continued through a flood in the 50s which caused a kiln to explode and the factory to catch fire. Then with rebuilding and restructuring, the company continued in various iterations during the 1950s, with serving ware and florist ware well into the 1970s. According to Wikipedia, it was in March, 1986 the Hull Pottery company ceased operations and closed the plant.
This is the small Iris patterned vase I picked up this weekend.
This was my particular favorite, a 1940s Tulip patterned Hull vase
The mark below, on the small vase says it's "Hull Fine Pottery" but I didn't find that mark in my book. Could it be knock-off Hull?...
I don't know the answer. I know there are supposed to be many Hull imitators out there-- particularly in the Red Riding Hood theme. But, honestly, even if it isn't original Hull, I still like the shape of the vase.
And if you like the look of Hull pieces, I suggest you be sure to shop around. Many pieces I see in my travels are in the $40 and up range (mostly UP), but it is possible to find nice pieces under $20-- though it takes time and patience. Unlike McCoy, Hull typically can't be found for thrifty prices!
All hail Hull! (And I'll see you Wednesday, for this coming week's Treasure Box post.)