Dates of Operation: 1956 - ?
Seller Values: Check average price on Ebay
Ball-Jae of California made a variety of serving dishes, tidbit trays, lazy susans and ashtrays. Often, they’re in the shape of fish. Pieces are usually marked on the bottom in-mold with something along the lines of “Ball-Jae Made in Calif” along with an item number. I’ve seen all different colors, but they seem to have favored light blue, pink and chartreuse. The pieces look like they were made in the mid 1950s to 1960s.
This company is not listed in Chipman or Lehner’s book. So far, I’ve had several people ask me about the company but I haven’t been able to find much about it. I was wondering if there’s any relation to the Ball Brothers (Howard and Arthur Ball) who worked in Inglewood. It is curious if that’s true, since the Ball Brothers produced mainly high end figurines, and Ball-Jae seems to have made mostly tableware items and accessories.
Update 1/2010: I was contacted by Helen Ball, whose husband Howard produced the original items from Ball Art Pottery. According to her, many (all?) of the Ball-Jae items were indeed designed by Howard Ball, around 1954 to 1955. I’m not sure how long after that they were in production. Helen is working currently working with someone to put together an account of Howard Ball’s life and work.
I also forgot to mention that this summer, when I was looking through some Ceramic Industry periodicals in the library, I came across a blurb announcing the formation of the Ball-Jae company. The photo below shows the blurb, which was found in the Sept 1956 issue.
So from this, we at least know the starting date of 1956 and location (Glendale) of the venture. It’s also interesting because they say it’s a “new company in the pottery field”, but I’d thought Howard and Arthur Ball were fairly well known at that time. Also, it names “Ted Ball” as the president - I don’t know if that’s a relation or not. The other name given is Norman Jae, and it mentions that he had a company called Jae of California previously. I’m not sure if pieces marked “Jae of California” have been found or not.Note: We've tried to provide as much info as possible on this pottery maker or artist. For further info, you may want to research the items they have on Ebay listed under this name. We've tried to hand tailor the searches below so they will bring up the most accurate results. If there are no results, it will list general California pottery.