OK, so I’ve got sort of a double mystery here. I picked up this beautiful dark cobalt blue vase the other day that I thought was perhaps Pacific, Bauer, Garden City Pottery or Gladding McBean. So far, I haven’t been able to conclusively identify it. That’s the first part of the mystery…
The vase is an extremely dark cobalt - much darker than the usual blue glaze we’ve seen on most California pottery. I initially though it was Pacific due to the shape and color, but again, I don’t have the book on hand. It’s also similar to some of the Bauer items, but I can’t seem to find the exact shape. It also has a glazed bottom, without the ring carved out that you’d expect with Fred Johnson items. It seems to be cast as well, though I’m not 100% certain.
Here’s the other part of the mystery: This vase had some light crazing. After I washed it up (using only mild soap and water) I was surprised to hear a sort of “pinging” noise occasionally while it was drying. I figured this was due to the water drying and affecting the existing crazing on the vase. However, it has continued to “ping” occasionally - and it’s been 2 days! It’s like it’s talking to us, trying to tell us something.
I know a decent amount about California pottery, but I’m not very knowledgeable about the properties of glazing and how crazing affects a piece of pottery. I was hoping there might be some pottery or ceramics experts out there who could tell me why a vintage vase would continue to make these high pitched noises long after being washed. I’m fairly certain this is an older vase and from California (based on the glaze quality, shape and color), but so far, it’s identity has eluded me.
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