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Muncie Pottery Company

Written by Jack Wilson. Posted in Muncie Pottery Company

Muncie Pottery Company was located in Muncie, Indiana. In 1919 they started production of art pottery as the Muncie Clay Products Company. They produced matte as well as high (they called their high glaze "bright") glaze pottery. This was a very small pottery company. At the peak of production they only employed 20 people as compare to better known potteries such as Rookwood, Fulper and Weller that employed hundreds..

Reuben Haley Designs for Muncie

In 1929 they introduced a line of art pottery designed by Reuben Haley. Motifs mirror some of his work at Consolidated Glass Company. One of the especially desirable lines mimics the Ruba Rombic line produced at Consolidated Glass Company. Since this is an Art Deco design there are pottery collectors, Art Deco collectors and Consolidated Glass Collectors all looking for the same items.

Muncie 307 Ruba Rombic fan vase

Muncie shape 300 Ruba Rombic fan vase---a Great Art Deco piece!!! This is one of the harder Muncie Ruba Rombic shapes to find but it is definitely worth the hunt (don't you agree?),

Spanish Line

Muncie also produced a "Spanish" line of pottery (also designed by Reuben Haley) that mimics the Consolidated Glass Company's Catalonian line of glassware. There are only five (5) shapes in the Spanish line. One, commonly called the "Low Aorta" vase resembles the Catalonian Nasturtium vase.

Muncie 278 Low Aorta vase

Muncie shape 278 Spanish "Low Aorta" vase, white over rose (the "Aorta" nickname was coined by Willard Heiss, Muncie pottery collector and researcher).

Reuben Haley also designed some figural pieces for Muncie, including:

  • Katydid vase
  • Tropical fish vase
  • Love Birds pillow vase (note that the bulbous Love Birds vase commonly found in yellow and green and identified as Muncie in my book was not made by Muncie. It was made by Stangl pottery.
  • Love Birds footed console bowl. It has six pairs of Love Birds in the bowl. This console bowl is one of the rarer Muncie figural pieces and is currently missing from my collection so if you have one for sale you know where your buyer is!!!

Muncie 194 Katydid vase in gloss green glaze

Muncie shape 194 Katydid vase in gloss green high glaze.

 

Lovebirds Console Bowl 1 Lovebirds Console Bowl 2
Rare Lovebirds console bowl, top view. Side view of the Lovebirds console bowl.

In 1931 (during the Great Depression) Muncie was recapitalized and renamed Muncie Potteries. It continued production until 1939. A ten page brochure with the title "How Muncie Pottery is Made" was produced around 1931 (it is undated but carries the Muncie Potteries name).

In the 1980's the prices for Muncie Pottery items were usually less than one hundred ($100) dollars. This has changed because of the demand for these items and it is not unusual to see Muncie Pottery (in the more desirable lines) priced in the $200 to $300 range (and higher for very rare examples in either hard to find patterns or rare glazes). Compared to other small art pottery makers Muncie is still inexpensive and underrated.

Muncie Glaze Sampler

Given the small size of Muncie Pottery they produced an amazing range of different glazes (40+). The following slide show illustrates a sampling of those glazes showing sixteen different glazes. These range from the more common glazes to some not seen often. The glazes are all shown on the same Muncie piece, the number 143 two-handled vase commonly referred to as the "Genie" vase by collectors. This allows you to see the contrasts between glazes clearly.

  • Muncie Glazes 1
  • Muncie Glazes 2
  • Muncie Glazes 3
  • Muncie Glazes 4
  • Left to right: Matte blue, gloss white, gloss rose and gloss blue.
  • Left to right: Matte rose, orange peel,sprayed blue over rose and green drip over pumpkin.
  • Left to right: Matte blue over white, gloss blue over white, blue peachshin and light-green peachskin
  • Left to right: Matte pink over white (rare), light-brown peachskin, gloss green over white and gloss blue over green.

Copyright©; 2013 by Jack D. Wilson. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any form, in part or in whole is prohibited without written permission.