Locations: Corona Del Mar
Dates of Operation: 1940s - 1950s
Seller Values: Check average price on Ebay
|VINTAGE GUPPY GUPPY'S CALIFORNIA POTTERY SALT & PEPPER SHAKERS DRIP GLAZES|
Current Price: $35.00
Current Bids: 0
Ends in: 13d 14h 3m
|Guppy's Of California Plate Maroon Blue 1940's Drip Pottery Western Way Rare HTF|
Current Price: $49.99
Current Bids: 0
Ends in: 25d 17h 40m
Popular Lines & Patterns:
Island Ware, Western Way
I know little about Guppy Califonia pottery, but I’ve always been intrigued by the “fishy” name. It turns out that this was just the last name of Harriet and Roy Guppy, who produced a series of island themed dinnerware items in the 1940s. Their factory was located in the beachside community of Corona Del Mar in Costa Mesa, just below Newport Beach.
I can’t say that there is a huge demand (yet) for Guppy ware - I rarely see it around in flea markets and even more rarely online. As far as I can tell, their main production was in the 1940s and relied almost exclusively on the “Island Ware” and “Western Way” lines, with various patterns of decoration. Dinnerware often had “island” touches such as bamboo shaped cup handles. Besides the square shapes of the plates, their other dinnerware shapes were interesting. I was intrigued by the Western Way shakers shown in Chipman’s Encyclopedia which resembled the Eva Zeisel “schmoos”.
The method of decoration was often a very heavy drip glaze that was allowed to run downward on the item, giving each piece a handmade look. Colors favored included burgundy, slate blue, and chartreuse. Besides the dinnerware, Harriet Guppy also made a line of elaborate animal figurines. Horses, dogs and cats all received the handmade finishing treatment, with real life fur being created much like Jane Callender’s pieces.
Not all Guppy items are marked - the Western Way plates that I bought weren’t marked at all, although ONE plate out of the bunch did have a “Guppy’s Calif” mark. Unfortuately, this plate was also the only one that was broken! Go figure… I later found a larger Western Way plate that did have a mark, and I was able to snap the photo shown below. I’m a little unsure about the company name - that is, if it was “Guppy” or “Guppy’s”. I tend to see the latter in marks, but I think the official name did not include the apostrophe-S. The marks are almost always hand painted, although I know they did use stickers at some point.
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