Dates of Operation: 1934 - 1952
Seller Values: Check average price on Ebay
This can prove to be somewhat of an elusive company for collectors of Calif pottery. However, the vases, bowls and decorative ware from the Robertson Pottery of Hollywood are well worth looking for. Besides antique stores, I’ve only come across one vase “in the wild”, and unfortunately it was too damaged to bring home.
The pottery actually has a very distinguished pedigree. The Robertson family of potters originally produced ware in England as early as the 1850s. According to Lehners book of marks, founder James Robertson’s son, Alexander, worked at the Chelsea Keramic Art Works but later began a studio in the U.S. with his wife Linnea. The studio, in San Francisco, was the famous Roblin Art Pottery and included a pottery school. It only lasted a few years, however, as the 1906 quake destroyed the pottery and the school.
Alexander’s son, Fred, had also worked with his father producing pottery. He worked for a time at LA Pressed Brick Co. and later at Claycraft. In 1934, Fred and his brother George started the Robertson Pottery in North Hollywood. The pottery moved several times around Hollywood and Los Angeles. (Lehner says the showroom was actually located across from the Hollywood Bowl!) The pottery closed by 1952.
Robertson Pottery was known for their innovative glazes, and especially their crackle glazes. Interestingly, Cecil Jones’ La Mirada Pottery crackle glazes were developed with help from the Robertsons (and in fact the plant originally shared an address with the Robertsons). Chipman’s book has a great Robertson price sheet that shows some of the different shapes that were available. Most of what you’ll see are vases, bowls and planters in various different color glazes.
Some Robertson items originally came with separate stands, often glazed black. One of their iconic shapes, or at least a shape that is pretty recognizable as theirs, is a heavily skewed diagonal vase. This is actually the one picture that I saw. You can see how severe the angle is on this vase. Note the feet at the four corners that jut out.
Robertson Pottery often includes the word “Hollywood” in the stamp. I believe that they’re usually inmold or incised marks that read “Robertson Hollywood”. This is how the one I spotted was marked. Other smaller items may only have the letter “R” for a marking. Still others might say “R Los Angeles”. I think that there were some items that weren’t marked as well.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.