Locations: Manhattan Beach, Torrance
Dates of Operation: 1944 - ?
Seller Values: Check average price on Ebay
We’ve decided to list the actual company that began its history as Heirlooms of Tomorrow under the name California Originals. This is because the latter was originally a trade name that was used, but eventually overtook the original company name as the desired moniker. For one thing, it had the word “California” in it and this was of course a selling point for many of the potteries located in Southern California.
Also, your are MUCH more likely to come across items marked as “California Originals” than the original name. The two periods of production from this company are extremely different. The company started out as Heirlooms of Tomorrow in Manhattan Beach in the 40s and produced rather “frilly” looking, victorian head busts and figurines. Many of these items had amazing lace detail that was applied onto the figures.
At some point in time, the company moved to Torrance and took on it’s popular trade name as it’s actual name. As California Originals, they produced a staggering assortment of flashy, drip-glaze pottery, houseware and giftware in vibrant colors. While you’ll still find more demure colors and shapes of pottery, their favored colors were loud oranges, reds, yellows, greens and browns. We seem to see a lot of dishes, flowerpots, chip and dips and especially ashtrays.
It’s the ashtrays, especially the bright, flashy orange drip glaze ones from the 60s-70s, that really scream out California Pottery. This is the type of item many people think of nowadays as California Pottery. There are a great number of similar items that are attributed to California Originals even though they aren’t marked.
There are many stamps from the company, but a few to keep in mind are “Cal Orig”, “Cal Style” and a double “C”, one inside the other along with the word “Originals”. The latter mark we’ve seen consistently on pure white, stucco textured vases and other items, but it probably appears on other items too. They also seems to have used “Cal Style” as their “real” name in brochures. It’s unknown when the company finally stopped making pottery, but they were still producing items as late as the mid 80s.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.