Dates of Operation: 1943 - 1990s
Seller Values: Check average price on Ebay
Despite the fact that Covina Pottery was one of the longest continuously running potteries in Southern California, there is very little information to be found on them. Chipman’s book contains a few pictures and basic information, and there is an Ebay Guide that gives a little more info.
Here is what I’ve digested so far, and what I’ve found in my own research. The company was founded in 1943, but the founder is unknown. The early production for the company included vases and other artware items, but the focus of the company eventually became “florist-ware”, especially planters. These planters comprise the majority of what you’ll find today from Covina Pottery.
The ownership changed in the 60s, when the Rhodus family took over the operations. I haven’t been able to find information on this family, even in the historical book Covina: Sunflowers, Citrus, Subdivisions that I found. The company continued to produce items until the 1990s. According to the Ebay guide mentioned above, the closure was directly due to a utility use tax that was imposed by the city.
I’m wondering if this is one of the reasons why there isn’t a huge amount of information on the company. The Ebay guide also notes that the Rhodus family absolutely refused to have their work included in California pottery trade publications of the time - which contributed to the scarcity of information on them.
Chipman’s Scrapbook includes a photocopy of one of the dealer sheets for Covina Pottery, and the address is actually listed on there as: 528 N. Second Street, Covina CA 91723. In addition, he shows a photo of the building. This original building still stands - I’ve driven by it a few times. See the photo of the large metal warehouse below.
One note is that the actual street is “Second AVE” not “Second Street“. Another interesting thing is that there was a sign on the building that said “Parking for Covina Tile only”… I had thought maybe it was an auto mechanic shop now, but that sign for Covina Tile actually looked new. But looking that company up on the web shows nothing.
As I said before, the planters are what you come across mostly - everything I’ve seen so far is a planter. Many pieces are marked inmold like: “Covina Pottery ID# USA” or “Covina Pottery Calif. U.S.A. ID#” in all caps where ID# is in the 900s. Earlier vases and planters are sometimes marked like: “Covina Calif ID#” where the two words share the “C” and are written in script. Those ID#s are not in the 900s; I’ve seen 59, 65, 115. Everything seems to be in-mold marked, although I can’t be certain there weren’t also foil stickers or paper stamps on some items.
Many people, especially those not familiar with the Southern Calif city of Covina, get the markings on bottom wrong. I have seen all sorts of misspellings in auctions, including “Covona”, “Corona” (that one is another SoCal city), “Corrina”, “Corrna”, “Cobina”, and “Corbina”.
I’ve actually seen a few pieces online that were marked as West Covina pottery, but I have no idea if this is the same venture, a related one, or completely unrelated. West Covina is actually sort of southwest of Covina itself - I often visit that area, moreso than Covina itself. So it would be interesting if there was a separate pottery from that city.
I’m actually a big fan of this pottery and especially like the older shapes and colors that they made. In the future, I’m going to try and list out all the different model numbers and shapes that I know of from them here.
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