Haeger Potteries

Dundee Illinois

The Haeger Potteries company was begun by David H. Haeger in 1871.  The firm that began as a brickyard in Dundee, Illinois continues to this day as one of the few remaining large-scale manufacturers of industrial artware.

Presentation from October 1996 by Nicol Knappen

The firm began producing artware in 1914, and the contributions of former Fulper employee Martin Stangl to its success is probably incalculable.

While Haeger produced a less expensive product than Fulper (by using a lighter clay body and high gloss, low-fire glazes), there is an undeniable similarity between the early products of the two firms.

Haeger pottery has not kept pace value-wise with the products of its former competitors (like Red Wing and Hull).  This is somewhat undeserved.  Haeger vases and figurals often have modeling and glaze quality of great invention and skill.

While the Art Deco designs of Royal Hickman have always attracted some attention, the pre-Hickman era Haeger pottery is particularly undervalued, especially the ware designed for the the Arts & Crafts market.

Books on Haeger Potteries

Collecting Royal Haeger by Lee Garmon and Doris Frizzell.  The book is useful primarily for its reproduction of catalog pages.

Haeger Potteries Through the Years: A Price Guide by David Dilley. Published by L-W Books


Haeger Potteries Timeline

Company founded by David H. Haeger

Edmund H. Haeger assumes leadership of company

Martin Stangl joins the Fulper Pottery as Superintendent of its Technical Division.

Stangl Employeed by Haeger to develop artware

Haeger produces first artware (Classic Greek Vase, Design #1)

Stangl returns to Fulper Pottery as General Manager

Martin Stangle buys out Fulper and produces Stangle Pottery.  A Bronze Green  glaze, similar if not identical to an early Haeger glaze, is among those featured.

Royal Arden Hickman (1893-1969) begins RaArt Pottery in California.

Hickman employed and sent to Europe by the J.H. Vennon Company (of NY) to design crystal produced in Sweden, Demark, Czechoslovkia and Italy

Hickman employed by Haeger, becomes chief designer for Royal Haeger line.

The Buckeye Pottery Building in Macomb, Illnois is purchased by the Haeger Company for the manufacture of floral artware.

Royal Haeger Lamp Company established

Hickman designs black panther figurine (in three sizes: 18″, 24″ & 26″) for Carson Pirie Scott in Chicago.  Extremely popular, the panther design was copied by nearly 30 other potteries.

Royal Hickman leaves Haeger Potteries.

Hickman establishes Royal Hickman Industires, a lamp manufacturer in Chatanooga, TN.  The company is sold to the Phil-Mar Lamp Company of Cleveland and renamed Ceramic Arts, Inc.

Eric Olson becomes Haeger’s chief designer.

Haeger employs Royal Hickman as a free-lance designer and consultant.

Joseph F. Estes becomes president of Haeger.

Elsa Ken Haeger designs Haeger’s Royal Garden Flower-ware lline (produced through 1963).

Sascha Brastoff designs the Esplanade and Roman Bronze lines for Haeger.

Eric Olson retires from Haeger

Nicholas Haeger Estes becomes president of The Royal Haeger Lamp Company.

Alexandra Haeger Estes becomes president of The Haeger Potteries of Dundee.

C. Glenn Richardson becomes Haeger’s Director of Design.


Related Pages

1998 Show: Haeger-The Early And The Extraordinary
This was a special one-day exhibit sponsored by the Wisconsin Pottery Association at the annual show and sale, August 22, 1998

Includes an exhibit gallery.

Related Links

(these are external sites & will open another window)

The Haeger factory’s website, featuring their current catalog for their floral & art ware, and history.

A discussion group about Haeger Pottery:

Anna Pottery & Stoneware

Anna Pig

Union County, Illinois

The following is an article reprinted from the “Stoneware & Pottery Enthusiasts Guild of America” website by their kind permission.

 History of the Anna Pottery

by Greg Mathis from the Stoneware & Pottery Enthusiast Guild of America

Cornwall Kirkpatrick with brother Wallace, and father Andrew Sr., relocated to Anna from Mound City in the winter of 1858 and fired their first ware the following spring. Continue reading “Anna Pottery & Stoneware”


American Terra Cotta & Ceramic Company
Gates Potteries
Terra Cotta, Illinois

William D. Gates founded the company to make architectural terra cotta and also created an art pottery called “Teco” ware which was first made public in 1901.

Continue reading “Teco”

Sleepy Eye Pottery

Made for the Sleepy Eye Milling Company
Sleepy Eye, Minnesota

By the Weir (later Western Stoneware)
Monmouth Illinois

The following article appeared in WPA Press, Vol. 6, October 2000

Sleepy Eye Stoneware Presentation by William Engle

by Kari Kenefick

On September 12, 2000 WPA members met for our September meeting.  Here is a brief synopsis of what Mr. William Engel presented on this much collected stoneware.

Old Sleepy Eye was a Native American Indian chief — Sleepy Eye is also the name of a town in southwestern Minnesota (located on US Highway 14). Old Chief Sleepy Eye was affectionately chosen as the mascot for a flour milling company in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. The Sleepy Eye stoneware was designed and decorated with Old Chief Sleepy Eye’s likeness and used as a promotion for selling flour; the pieces of pottery were given away with 50lb. barrels of flour. However, the government intervened in the give-aways, perhaps because the rather heavy pottery pieces had a negative affect on the amount of flour that was contained in those 50lb. barrels. The stoneware pieces were later sold, printed with advertising, to grocery stores and such.

Western Stoneware of Monmouth, Il originally produced the Sleepy Eye stoneware. Monmouth Pottery later bought the Western Stoneware plant, which at one time had the largest contract for pottery ever signed in the United States. Redwing pottery eventually surpassed this Sleepy Eye contract.

The Sleepy Eye Stoneware pieces included butter-crocks and steins, which were made around 1890. William Engel described some of the pieces as “Flemishware” — some of these pieces were marked as such on the bottoms. The Flemish-styled pieces were white with blue heads of Chief Sleepy Eye. Some pieces also had blue borders or trim around rims. Certain pieces also had an Indian chief’s head done in relief on the handle. In addition to the blue and white pieces, designs included white with brown decoration.

Some Sleepy Eye pieces were made by the Weir Pottery — these pieces are probably the most valuable today. The Weir pieces are marked “Weir” inside of a circle on the bottom.

Mr. Engel discussed how to spot reproductions of Sleepy Eye pieces — many have a hole or indentation on the inside where the handle is attached, say for a stein. Sometimes the holes have been filled in, but a black light will reveal these “repaired” pieces.

It was interesting to learn that Sleepy Eye collectors fancy stoneware and pottery from a variety of manufacturers, referring to it all as Sleepy Eye and Sleepy Eye shows and swapmeets contain a variety of pottery makes. Mr. Engel mentioned that there are two Brush-McCoy pieces that have Indian heads on the handles (and that these pots are included as Sleepy Eye pieces). Some believe that this was due to a Monmouth designer that also did work for Brush-McCoy.

We were shown several pieces of stoneware or pottery with the “ugly Indian” design. These pieces featured a less attractive Indian and were made sometime in the 1930s. We also saw an Indian head pitcher, white in color with a blue glazed design and a maple leaf on the bottom. These pieces had the “sucked in” handle marks on the inside. Monmouth has been known to make pieces with maple leaves on them. In addition, Whitehall pottery is known for unglazed bottoms, which these pieces had. Mr. Engel also showed sugar bowls — some white with blue and also burgundy pieces.

Redwing did two mugs for Sleepy Eye. For these pieces, the Indian head was accompanied by a saying.

Some of the examples of Sleepy Eye stoneware that Mr. Engel showed the club included a couple of mugs that featured Chief Redwing (who came before Sleepy Eye) — these mugs were signed by the artist. In addition, we saw a series of 9” vases with a dragonfly and cattails done in relief. This vase was done in approximately seven different glazes, including a black design on white, and an all black vase. These pieces were created by Monmouth, but once again, are included as Sleepy Eye stoneware.

Many thanks to William Engel for his excellent presentation on Sleepy Eye Stoneware!

Pauline Pottery

Chicago Illinois 1883-1888
Edgerton Wisconsin 1888-1911

Pauline Jacobus was an accomplished china painter who taught the subject in her Chicago home. After developing an interest in art pottery, she went to Cincinnati in 1881 where she studied at the Rookwood School for Pottery Decoration.

She founded the Pauline Pottery in 1883. It was the first art pottery company in Chicago.

Continue reading “Pauline Pottery”

Hull House Kilns

Banner with 3 examples of Hull House pottery

Chicago Illinois

A social settlement formed by Jane Adams & Ellen Gates.  The Hull House Kilns were an outgrowth of the Labor Museum organized in 1927.  The kilns made all sorts of tableware pieces, animal & children figures of dense heavy clays glazed with very bright colors.  Some had decorated or hand incised designs.

The Labor Museum gave immigrants a place to practice the old county crafts and then they were exhibited & sold there.  The Hull-House Shops conducted evening classes by social workers who belonged to the Chicago Arts & Crafts Society.  From Lehner’s Encyclopedia of U.S. Marks on Pottery, Porcelain & Clay, Lois Lehner

Hull House Kilns Pottery

From the June, 2000 presentation  by Steve Schoneck. Written by Kari Kenefick

Founded in Chicago, Hull House was the creation of Jane Adams and her friend Ellen Gates Stark, college friends.

After meeting at college some years passed before the two were reacquainted, but they did meet again and spent time traveling in Europe. The women were particularly impressed with various artistic movements they witnessed during their travels, especially in England where they visited Tawby Hall.

In 1889 Jane and Ellen moved to an apartment in Chicago and began shopping around the idea of starting a pottery. Eventually they purchased a house and over time filled it with the art they collected as they traveled. This was the beginning of Hull House; they used the house as a sort of museum and enjoyed explaining to visitors about the various pieces they had collected.

Over time the house increased in its educational value, as music, English and citizenship classes and lectures were presented there. On any given day one might find dance instructions or language classes being taught at Hull House after school. The rooms were frequently filled with boys and girls from various clubs around Chicago. A strong female presence was felt there and Hull House became known for its good female role models.

Hull House served and educated children, and Jane Adams and Ellen Stark became advocates for child labor laws that were passed in Illinois. In addition to the children that regularly visited, the house attracted persons of all ages and was considered a museum, not a school.

In the 1890’s Ellen Stark returned to Britain and learned the book binding business. She then took this knowledge back to Hull House where a bindery was started.

January 1927 saw the start of Hull House Kilns. Myrtle M. French, a ceramics instructor at the Arts Institute of Chicago, taught ceramics classes at Hull House. The clay used for this pottery was a blend of red Illinois clay and the more buff-colored clay of Minnesota. Pieces were fired in small kilns. Hull House Kilns became know for its bright-colored glazes.

The early pottery was strongly influenced by Mexican immigrants, however, many of them returned to Mexico during the Great Depression as there was no work. In 1931 the theatre at Hull House was remodeled and large ceramic wall-mounted masks of various sorts were made especially for this occasion.

(Steve Shoneck brought one of these one-of-a-kind pieces to show us the evening of his talk. See the gallery below.)

In addition to pottery, metal working classes were taught at Hull House; the pieces were sold in the Hull House shop.

The Hull House Kilns operated until the depression. Jane Adams died in 1935. Charlotte Carr became the head resident in 1938 and the Hull House shop operated until approximately 1940, although with somewhat of a shift in emphasis.

In 1961 “urban renewal” brought about the destruction of 13 of the Hull House buildings, situated on land that the University of Chicago found desirable for other uses. However, the university was persuaded to save two buildings; they constructed new structures around them.

Marks on Hull House Pottery:

An octagonal sign is often seen on Hull House pieces. It is also fairly common to see metal tags. “Hull House Chicago” is often indicated. You may also see the mark “HHK” for Hull House Kilns. The metal works are not marked. Steve noted that there was an abundance of bowls, cups and saucers made and that turquoise and orange were commonly used colors.