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Antique American Etruscan Majolica Oak Leaf & Acorn Bread Tray Signed Nr Yqz For Sale
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Acquired 34 Miles Southwest of Phoenixville Shabby Chic
- DESCRIPTION -
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Up in this sale is a shabby chic antique American Etruscan Majolica Oak Leaf & Acorn Bread Tray Four Color with a yellow and green sponged back. Impressed with their mark on the back. It is majolica, so a soft paste pottery,we see chips along the rim all the way around and rubs to the glaze. It measures approx. 11 3/8" x 9 1/4". We acquired this piece just 34 miles southwest of Phoenixville, PA from an old estate sale.
Etruscan Majolica was a brand name given to the earthenware pottery created first by Griffen, Smith and Hill, then later manufactured by Griffen, Smith and Company; Griffen, Love and Company; and Griffen China Company, of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania in the years between 1879 and 1892. Here is their story as written by J.F. PIRRO and published in 2012 on the Mainline.
It all began in 1867 with the Phoenix Pottery, Kaolin and Fire Brick Company. Taking advantage of kaolin deposits in Chester Springs, the clay pits near Phoenixville’s Main Street and a quarry in Schuylkill Township, Phoenixville’s W.A.H. Schreiber convinced the nearby Phoenix Iron Company to let him manufacture fire bricks for their iron furnaces. Three 25-foot-tall kilns were built to burn whiteware, Rockingham and yellowware.
By 1872, the new partnership was named the Phoenixville Pottery, which also began firing Parian ware. Four years later, David Smith was placed in charge after Schreiber left. A year later, Levi Beerbower and Henry Griffen began leasing the pottery. Henry, the son of John Griffen, then superintendent of the Phoenix Iron Company, was still in college at the time.
Two years later, Beerbower withdrew, and Henry’s brother, George, joined David Smith and William Hill, forming Griffen, Smith & Hill. Majolica wasn’t made there until 1882, after Hill had left. Though the company was renamed Griffen, Smith & Company, the earlier mark—interpreted as “good, sturdy and handsome”—remained.
The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company made Etruscan Majolica famous while flooding the market with it. A&P owner George Hartford, a friend of Ulysses S. Grant, began giving away pieces as product premiums, which tripled production in Phoenixville within the year. Grant himself bought an Etruscan Majolica tea set for his daughter.
The plant expanded. A gristmill and other buildings were purchased, and three more kilns were built. Of the new production pace, worker Mary Murphy recalled, “That’s when we brought home the bacon.”
In 1889, Smith retreated in ill health, and J. Stuart Love, Henry Griffen’s father-in-law, came in. The business became Griffen, Love and Company. After the fire, the place closed until the spring of 1891, when it was restructured as Griffen China Company for two years.
Final attempts to operate the “Phoenixville Potteries”—sans Etruscan Majolica—followed in 1894 as the Chester Pottery Company. Then came the Penn China Company Etruscan and, lastly, the Tuxedo Pottery Company.
In 1903, the kilns and plants were torn down.
Estimated shipping weight, (packaged) is 3 lbs 8 oz in a 16 x 14 x 10 box.
The Calculator is not always right - if the shipping looks too high email us and we will give you an accurate quote prior to the sale ending.
What a great find!
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Antique American Etruscan Majolica Oak Leaf & Acorn Bread Tray Signed Nr Yqz: $53