A good example of Czechoslovakian pottery

Pottery from the Czechoslovakian area in Europe is a great area to dive into and collect.  You can find great examples starting in the $10 to $15 area, and you can also find examples that are priced much higher.

You can find a wide variety of pieces on the market—cups, saucers, figurines, pitchers, creamers, sugars and even plates are a very small slice of what you can find.

One type of Czechoslovakian pottery (also called Czech pottery, a shortened name of the region it’s from) is this terrific hat pin holder from a company called ROYAL DUX.

royal dux

It was made from 1918 to 1930’s, and it has a cream background and a red trim, and it also has an embossed flower motif with pastel colors.

Royal dux marks

The marks that are on it are the DPM mark with an acorn at the center (this stands for DUXER PORZELLAN-MANUFAKTUR), and it also has an embossed mark that reads 11259 II (these marks help date the hat pin holder from 1918 to the 1930’s).

The hatpin holder is also the perfect size to be used as a small vase (or even a bud vase).  It would also look terrific on any table or even a desk.  It would definitely be the center of attention in any room that it’s in!

The vase can be seen in my Etsy shop here.  Head on over and check it out!


An advertising porcelain cup?!?

Advertising pieces come in a wide variety of shapes, styles and even what they are made of.  There are also pieces on the market that may take you a while to sink in that they are advertising pieces because they may be something like a porcelain cup.

One such piece like this is this great mug by PSAG Bavaria.  It may take you a second to realize that it is an advertising giveaway for the placement of CUDAHY’S REXSOMA (the manufacturer put CUDAHY’S REXSOMA on the inside of the mug near the top).


CUDAHY’S REXSOMA pharmacies had PSAG Bavaria produce this terrific mug in late 1800’s.  The mug is a white porcelain and has a rose decoration on the outside—which helps you not realize right off the bat that this is an advertising piece.

You can see the mug in my Etsy shop here, head on over and check it out.  What kinds of advertising pieces like this have you run across?

Head vases for everyone!

Since I was a kid, I have run across head vases just about everywhere—estate sales, auctions and even garage sales.

There were a ton of this type of vase that was imported from Japan starting in about the 1950’s, and they were used by florists for flower arrangements.

Head vases quickly became popular with collectors for their variety of design motifs and color combinations.  Not only that, they are the perfect height for just about any type of flower.

Head vases still get made today, and there are some great examples on the market.  You can also easily find a head vase to fit just about any budget.

One example is this great one from the 1950’s.


This head vase isn’t marked, but it has a cool green hat and applied flowers.  I like how detailed the manufacturer got with this head vase.  You can see it in my Etsy shop here.

Another head vase that you can find in my Etsy shop is this great one from ARTMARK.


This head vase dates to the 1950’s, and what is great is that this head vase still has the necklace on it–a lot of the time the necklace gets broken and is missing.  You can see this terrific head vase in my Etsy shop here.

As a matter of fact, you can see the rest of the head vases in my Etsy shop here.  Head on over and check them out!


A fun find that proves you never know what you will run into

Every one in a while, you will run across a fun find that proves you never know what you will find while shopping for vintage and collectible items.

This is definitely one of those items.  I ran across this folk art item at a local garage sale and immediately fell in love with it.


As you can tell, this folk art sculpture is in the shape of a head.  It dates to the 1980’s and it looks like someone took quite a bit of time sculpting it with all of the facial features (plus all of the time it took to make sure this sculpture didn’t fall apart).


What is also great about it is the glaze that was applied to it–it looks like someone had a lot of fun decorating it.

You can see this great sculpture in my Etsy shop here.  Head on over and check it out!


Terms to help new collectors of pottery

When I started to buy and sell pottery, there were some terms that I picked up pretty fast that I use quite often.  These terms are pretty common and help describe the manufacturing process of the piece.  Here’s some of the terms:

Pinholes—these are faults in the surface of a ceramic body (or even the glaze) that resemble pin pricks.  These are not very big at all, and there is usually no other damage around them.  Air bubbles are the most common culprit that causes these.

Bloating—this is the permanent swelling of a ceramic piece during the firing in a kiln.  It’s caused by the expansion of gases like air not being able to escape out of the piece.

Iron oxide—this is a common oxide in glazes and some clays that generally gives the item a reddish color.

Biscuit pottery—this is also called Bisque pottery.  This is pottery that has been fired, but no glaze has been applied to the piece.

This is only a few of the terms out there.  What have you heard?


A portrait plate made by two different companies? How’s that possible?

At a recent sale, I ran across a great portrait plate from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s.  It has a great motif on the front—a gorgeous lady with a gold trim near the edge that has harps and a floral motif.

Royal Vienna ZEH SCHERZER ZS And Co Porcelain Portrait Plate Artist Signed Gracioga

But when I picked it up and looked at the back, it had two different company marks on it.  The first reads ROYAL VIENNA and the other is Z. S. & Co Bavaria.

Royal Vienna ZEH SCHERZER ZS And Co Porcelain Portrait Plate Artist Signed Gracioga plate

This is pretty interesting—the two marks actually have a purpose.  The ROYAL VIENNA mark is for the hand painted decorations on the front of the plate.  The second mark stands for ZEH SCHERZER & Co., and they produced the ceramic plate.

The ceramic plate was produced and then sold to ROYAL VIENNA undecorated.  When ROYAL VIENNA received the plate, they then painted it with this terrific motif.

Sometimes the artist even signs the piece.  It could be anywhere really—I have seen the signature on both the front and the back of the piece.  This plate was signed on the back, and it was signed Gracioga.

You can see this terrific portrait plate in my Etsy shop here.  Have you ever run across anything like this?


What are some parts of a Ceramic piece?

When it comes to a ceramic piece, you can hear some pretty interesting vocabulary words that describe what it’s made of.  Here are some of the words that I have heard over the years:

Bisque – this is clay that has been fired once, and it is an unglazed piece.

Terra Cotta – it is a brownish-orange earthenware clay body.  It’s commonly used for ceramic sculpture or even architectural ornament.  It’s an Italian word that means “baked earth”.

High Relief—it’s a strongly raised or even deeply carved pattern.  This style of carving can get pretty detailed.

There are a lot of words that you will hear that describe what a ceramic piece is made of, or even a specific part of an item.  What kinds of words have you heard?


That’s a Catalina pottery vase made by Gladding McBean!

When out shopping at a local flea market, I ran across this terrific pottery vase that is marked CATALINA POTTERY C-333 MADE IN USA.

The vase has the Calla Lilly pattern on it, and it was made from 1937 to 1942 by the Gladding McBean Company.

When you see the mark on the bottom of the vase, you think it is for CATALINA ISLAND POTTERY made from 1927 to 1933. A good rule of thumb to use is if it just says POTTERY and does not have the word ISLAND, it’s made by Gladding McBean.

One great thing about this vase is the fact that the top of the vase is not too small so that it doesn’t strangle your favorite flowers.  Not only that, but it would also look wonderful on any table.

You can see this terrific vase in my Etsy store here. Have you ever run across anything like this?


When a piece goes from functional to just plain cool

Pottery and glassware are fun areas to get into and collect, especially since they can be very cool and functional at the same time.  It could be something for the kitchen, the table or even the fireplace mantle!  It always surprises me what I run into, especially when it’s something like this clock.


This very functional electric Royal Oxford Gibraltar clock that dates to the 1920’s.  Not only does it sit pretty close to the wall, it doesn’t take up too much room on the mantle so that you can put a lot of picture frames around it on the mantle.

You can see this great clock in my Etsy store here, and another great item for the mantle is a football shaped clock featuring the Dallas Cowboys.  You can find a post about the lamp on this blog here.  Another still very functional item is this great ice bucket.


It features the TEA ROOM pattern and was made by the Indiana Glass Company from 1926 to 1931.  The great thing about it is that it can double as a flower vase as well.  You can see the terrific ice bucket in my Etsy store here.

What kinds of items have you run across like this?


The perfect gift for a Dallas Cowboys fan is a . . . lamp?

The great thing about going to an estate sale or auction is that you never really know what you will find.  I was out shopping not too long ago, and found something that any Dallas Cowboys fan would love.  Not only that, it would look great in either a man-cave or a bedroom.


The lamp is made of ceramic, and the light bulb looks like the wattage is not to terribly high (so this lamp would be great as a night light).


What is cool about it is that it’s in the shape of a football—and you can also use this to shine a light on who your favorite team is.

You can see this great gift idea in my Etsy store here.  You can also see six more out-of-the-box ideas for a Christmas gift here.

What kinds of fun gifts have you received over the years?