Dates of Operation: Unknown
Seller Values: Check average price on Ebay
This gallery will serve as a photo and information repository for unidentified California Pottery as well as unmarked pottery that is suspected of being California pottery because of the glaze, color or shape.
You might wonder why there are still pottery pieces that are unidentifiable. There are many reasons, but here are three that often lead to “enjoyable” little mysteries to solve:
1. Pottery was only marked as “Calif USA” (or some variant) without other ID.
2. Pottery had a paper or foil label which was the only means of identification, which has since been removed or has worn off.
3. Pottery was never marked at all.
Number 3 is more common than you might think, especially with older pieces or items produced by hand. In that case, it’s often only shape that is the identifying factor. Number 1 is VERY common and sometimes goes along with Number 2.
We will give each unidentified piece a unique ID number so it can be referred to (A = personal piece of mine, B = reader’s piece). Hopefully, this page will not grow to unmanageable size; we hope some pieces and marks will be conclusively identified eventually. If you would like to submit some photos of mystery unknown pieces to go up on this page, please use the Flickr group first - it’s easier than emailing the photos. (PLEASE try and take a good photo in decent resolution - if it’s blurry we’re not going to put it up.)
Click on the photos below for larger image and more information.
#A026: Dark Cobalt Blue Vase - A wonderful dark cobalt blue vase that we haven’t yet been able to identify, but that we believe is from a California Pottery. The glaze is extremely dark cobalt in color. Some candidates for manufacturers are Pacific, Bauer, Gladding or Metlox. Bottom is glazed and unmarked, though it could be that the thick glaze has obscurred any marks.
#A025: “Adele” Colorful Pottery Tumbler - I had originally thought this tumbler might be from Adelle of California - however, note that it’s missing an L in the name. Next, I thought it might be Adele Chase - however, I haven’t been able to confirm that either, and the backstamp does not look the same. In either case, it’s a rather nice and colorful tumbler and definitely something from a California pottery, probably pre-1960s.
#A024: Aqua / Purple Candlestick Holders - I had thought these unmarked candlestick holders might be made by West Coast Pottery at first. However, I’ve yet to find any information on who they might be. They definitely have a glaze and look that appears to be from the 1930s-1940s. It may be that this isn’t even a California company, though it sure does look like it.
#A023: Green Pottery Water Bottle - Originally, I had thought this green pottery vessel might be from Bauer, but now I’m not sure. I haven’t been able to confirm it with anyone. The glaze is a shiny green that is very similar to some of the plainware I’ve seen, and in fact identical to an older spice jar I have. However, this water bottle is definitely handthrown and the base is not marked or glazed. This led me to think perhaps it was something Matt Carlton made - but I know how unlikely that is, plus this doesn’t look like a typical shape of his. The bottle is about 7.5 inches tall. If it’s not Bauer, I still think it’s likely it’s a California maker, probably from before 1940 or so.
#A022: Small White Deer Figurine - My immediate thought was that this was a Rio Hondo figurine. However, I’m unsure about that now - the glaze, construction and painting seems rather cheap compared to what I know about other Calif potteries of the time. Certainly, this isn’t DeLee, although the facial expression reminded me of it at first. I think there’s a possibility that it’s from overseas, perhaps from Japan.
#A021: Large Yellow Brown Drip Glaze Mug - An oversized mug that originally I thought was made by Brock. It’s a chartreuse yellow with a brown drip glaze at the top. Brock has a line called Desert Mist that looked very much like it - but I haven’t been able to confirm this item was theirs yet. In addition, several other companies made ware that had the same characteristics as this one. This mug is completely unmarked on the bottom and is 4 inches tall and 3.5 inches wide.
#A020: “Mina” of California Planter - This is one of the few times where I’ve found an unknown California company that had both a backstamp AND a sticker on the piece - it’s a light green and black Mina of California square shaped planter or decorative dish. If more pieces from this person/company come to light, I’ll be making a separate individual gallery for them, but we’ll keep this entry here regardless.
#A019: Small Yellow Brown Rect Vase - This wonderful little vase or planter reminds me a little of Covina Pottery and it also resembles William Manker, although the glaze seems more sloppy. Dimensions are 3 inches tall, 3 inches long and 2 1/4 inches wide - quite small for this shape. I thought there might be a chance that it was a newer vase, based on the white clay of the bottom. But now I think it’s probably not brand new, though maybe as late as the 1970s.
#A018: IDENTIFIED: Camark White Art Deco Vase - This has been identified as a Camark piece (thank you to Max for the ID). I’ve seen this identical handled vase listed in auctions, both in the white color that I have and in a bright orange. It’s a tiny vase about three inches high. Originally, I had thought this might be a Metlox or Gladding piece.
#A017: Small White Dog Figurine - Originally, I had thought this might be a Bauer scotty dog figurine - although after purchasing it I knew right away it probably wasn’t. Confirmed in the Bauer book that it definitely is not. I suspect it may be a non-California pottery like Haeger or Camark. It reminds me of the #A0011 duck figureine below. Has a smooth white glaze, some crazing. It’s about 2 inches tall at the ear.
#A016: IDENTIFIED: White and Yellow Petal Planter - I’ve had this piece for quite awhile but have never been able to identify it. I suspected it to be a California pottery, but now think it may be another company, probably Dryden since I’ve seen a shape that matches this exactly. I also thought perhaps Haeger or Camark. In addition, I’ve seen a nearly identical brown planter that was marked as “Crown Ceramics Vancouver B.C.” Perhaps it was either copied or the mold reused. There are no marks on the bottom of the one I have, though. The shape is an oblong planter in the shape of a voluptuous flower petal. Yellow glaze on the inside, white on the outside. Heavy crazing, I think this is probably from before the 50s but I could be wrong. Earlier, I thought it might either be a Haldeman or Gladding item.
#A015: Brown and White Deer Figurine - We actually believe this might be a Roselane item since they made deer that looked very similar, but I’ll include it here. It’s a brown and white deer figurine with hand painted face. The bottom is hollow and there are no marks that we can see on it.
#A014: Pink Elephant Salt Shaker - I suspect this unmarked small pink elephant to be a California pottery production, but not sure which one. I was thinking perhaps Haldeman’s Caliente line since those had paper labels at times.
#A013: Green Fluted Vase with White Drip Glaze - The ubiquitous verde or avocado green vase with drip or spatter glaze, likely from California. Many have drip glazes with blue, yellow or white. I’ve no idea where this one might be, or if it’s even from California.
#A012: Blue Leaf Dish With Metallic Trim - This is a beautiful blue leaf pottery dish that is accented with a copper colored spattering along the rim. The features are very sharp and well-defined, including the leaf veins on the bottom of the dish. Measures about 12 inches long and 5-6 inches at its widest.
#A011: IDENTIFIED: Matte White Pottery Duck Figurine - I now believe this little duck figure may be a Haeger figurine instead of a California Pottery. Not 100% sure but I’ve seen 2 of them so far and the sellers called them Haeger. The glaze is a very smooth matte white and this look was common with a number of different Calif. Pottery animals being produced in the 1930s-1950s. It measures about 5 inches tall and 4 inches long.
#A010: Crackle Glaze Trinket Box with Lid, No Markings - This is a small 4 inch by 3.5 inch rectangular trinket box that has wonderful blue gold and brown markings along with a crackle glaze on the white part of the box. The lid has a square handle top and the inside is plain white with the same crackle.
#A009: Rough Blue Glaze Small Bowl, “Brooks, Laguna” - Originally picked up this bowl thinking the Laguna referred to Brayton Laguna. I think I should have known better, I don’t believe this heavy type of rough pottery was made by them. The beautiful blue green glaze is really interesting though. It may just be someone’s project, but it’s really nice anyhow.
#A008: Green Sq. Wall Pocket, Calif Cope Craft - This one is clearly marked with the maker, and we have seen another item with the same mark. However, so little info is known about the company that I’m including it here as well. More photos available on the gallery we created for Calif. Cope Craft.
#A007: Orange “Deco” Salt/Pepper Shaker, No Mark - A small unusually shaped orange glaze pottery shaker, unmarked on bottom. Have done research on this one but haven’t able to find out who made it. I saw a similar set of shakers in pink on Ebay, the seller thought they were perhaps Bauer. Some other companies I thought it might be are Pacific, Catalina or Gladding. Perhaps it is new, I just would like to know.
#A006: Forman’s of California Yellow Low Planter - Picked up this interesting yellow speckle glaze low planter at the swap meet because of the backstamp which does say Forman’s of California. However, I’m listing it here in the unknowns because I’m not entirely certain this is not new - online searches have turned up an existing garden and pottery shop called Forman’s. This looks a bit like a tart pan actually. I’ve seen this same item in a blue color glaze as well.
#A005: IDENTIFIED: Shawnee Bud Vase Pitcher in Maroon, USA #1168 - Originally, I thought this was perhaps California pottery - we’ve since identified this as actually Shawnee, but we’ll leave it up here in case others have problems with identification. Again, this is NOT California Pottery.
#A004: Purple, Blue Pink “Pillowvase”, Ken’s California - A rectangular shaped vase (pillovase?) with a strange tint of purple blue and pink. Originally, I had thought perhaps this was someone’s project. However, I’ve seen at least one other auction that had this same shape and they seemed to think the stamp also said Ken’s of California. I’ve since found another one in green / yellow glaze, as well as a wall pocket with the name. Because I know now this piece is obviously from a company and not a one-off piece, I’ll be making an actual gallery for it in awhile.
#A003: IDENTIFIED: Blue Drip glaze Caleramics planter, #704 1977 - An interesting blue and white drip glaze cylindrical pot or planter from 1977. In addition to the glaze it has three lines running top to bottom on 4 sides. Now believe the mark on bottom to be “Caleramics”, although haven’t found much information on that company. Possible a re-distributor or secondary company in the 70s-80s.
#A002: Brown and white kidney shaped planter, CALIF U.S.A. T-23 - A kidney shaped brownish white piece of pottery with a raised bottom footer - perhaps a planter. Glaze sort of reminds me of Hull or Judy of California
#A001: Yellow and white round drip glaze vase, CALIF. U.S.A. C-5 - Yellow and White drip glaze planter piece with large ridges. Planter is footed and measures about 6 inches in diameter and 4.5 inches tall. I’ve since seen a planter with the same shape with a plain white glaze.
Unknowns (Other People’s)