Identifying Antique Stoneware and Finding Comparable Prices
Simple, antique utilitarian stoneware like jugs, crocks, churns, bowls, and pitchers are valued now due to how they were uniquely manufactured. Potters used a salt-glazing process to create a glass-like finish on the crocks when they were fired. Prior to firing, the artisans would decorate the vessel with blue, painted designs.
Unique characteristics of this antique stoneware included:
- A shiny, glass-like surface with occasional bumps (salt particles)
- Simple hand-painted decorations (usually cobalt blue ink)
- Decorations were handcrafted beneath the surface of the glaze
- Hand-drawn or stenciled numbers and letters
An antique's value varies based on the piece's age, design elements, size, and maker. Take a look at this list of comparables, which can give you a ballpark idea on antique stoneware pricing.
Stoneware Handled Jug With Bird Decor
This 2-gallon jug is stamped "Roberts Binghamton NY." Handcrafted antiques that have an artist's signature or manufacturer's mark often bring in more value than unmarked items. This jug features blue, painted bird decor and is 14 inches tall. This piece has a quarter-sized chip and a few spider cracks. It sold for $360 at Morphy Auctions in 2012.
This is the mark of William Roberts, son-in-law of Noah White of Whites Utica Pottery. He founded a branch of the family business in Binghamton, New York, in 1848 and ran it until 1888.
In 2019, William Roberts-stamped jugs, crocks, jars, and vases continue to sell in the $250 to $500 range depending on the rarity of the item and the quality of its condition.
Large Stoneware Crock With Freehand Decor
Popular from the 1700s through the 1900s, crocks were useful kitchen staples throughout the United States.
This large stoneware crock with two handles and blue freehand design is 16 1/2 inches tall and has two 10-inch cracks and a few rim chips. Despite its flaws, this piece sold through Morphy Auctions for $240 in 2012. In 2019, similar antique crocks can be found priced for $200 to $350 on eBay.
Stoneware Crock With Blue Chicken Decor
A 5-gallon stoneware crock with blue chicken decor, this piece was in excellent condition at the time it sold in 2012 for $780. It had no cracks, repairs, or chips. At 13 1/2 inches tall, its two handles added to its value.
In 2019, 5-gallon, salt-glazed, hand-painted crocks with handles were selling from $200 to $1250. This vast range in price depends greatly on its condition and if it had its original manufacturer's marks.
Bird on Stump Stoneware Crock
A 4-gallon stoneware crock, this piece is from Pittston, Pennsylvania, and marked with the name Evan Jones. The artwork depicts a bird on a stump in blue. There was a crack on one of the sides near the handle that runs from top to bottom. However, it was still structurally sound. It also had several small chips on the inside of the rim. The 11 1/4-inch tall crock sold in 2011 for $720 through Morphy Auctions.
The Jones Pottery of Pittston, Pennsylvania, operated in the 19th century by Evan R. Jones and Evan B. Jones. It is unclear if this was a father and son duo or brothers. The approximate date of most of this pottery is 1880. The two most common marks on Jones's stoneware are "Evan R. Jones/Pittson PA. and Evan B. Jones/Pittson/PENNA."
In 2019, a similar 4-gallon Jones Pottery crock was for sale on eBay for $215 with a couple of chips, hairline cracks, and lime deposits.
Stoneware Kodak 5-Gallon Jug
This rare Kodak find appeals to photography aficionados as well as stoneware collectors. This 5-gallon stoneware jug once held photographic chemicals. It is marked "Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester, N.Y." This 18 1/2-inch jug was in excellent condition when it sold for $180 through Morphy Auctions in 2011.
In 2019, a similar Kodak jug of the same dimensions had cracks that were professionally repaired. Its selling price was set for $100 on eBay.
Large Stoneware Jug With Spigot
A 20-gallon jug with two handles and a spigot at the bottom, this piece is 25 inches tall. It is decorated with a raised emblem of Santa Claus, which may be an unidentified maker's mark. It was in excellent condition in 2009 when it sold for $936 through Morphy Auctions. An item of this size is very rare. In 2019, there were no items like it for sale on eBay.
West Troy Pottery Stoneware Jug
A West Troy Pottery piece of stoneware, this two-gallon jug has a single handle and blue floral decoration. There was a chip on the mouth but no cracks or repairs. It was considered to be in very good condition and sold for $292 in 2009 through Morphy Auctions. In 2019, a similar West Troy 2-gallon jug with a few chips on the mouth sold for $189 through eBay.
The West Troy Pottery was located in the Hudson River Valley region of New York and famed for its blue paint-decorated jugs and crocks. It was easily shipped to all points west and north via the Erie and Champlain canals.
West Troy Pottery Stoneware Jug
This 18-inch, 4-gallon West Troy jug with a handle features a whimsical hand-painted blue design. It had no chips, cracks, or repairs and was in excellent condition. It sold for $293 in 2009. In 2018, a similar 4-gallon jug with a blue cobalt bird design in excellent condition sold for $400 on eBay.
Three Stoneware Crocks With Blue Decor
This set of three crocks with handles and blue decor was in excellent condition with no cracks, chips, or repairs. The largest piece was 11 inches tall. Morphy Auctions sold this set in 2009 for $263. It is rare to find matching or similar crocks in a set, which may net you a higher price than selling each piece separately.
Stoneware Spatterware Pitchers
Spatterware is a decorating technique that appears as if the paint was spattered or sponged onto the surface. It was sometimes used to decorate antique stoneware pieces. This particular lot included two pitchers, the largest of which was 11 1/2 inches tall. The pair sold together for $59 through Morphy Auctions in 2009. The blue pitcher had large chips on the top rim, and the brown and green pitcher had one small inner rim chip. In 2019, a single spatterware pitcher can go from $30 to $120, depending on its condition.
Port Edward New York Stoneware Jug
A classic piece, this two-gallon jug with a handle and blue floral design is marked "Port Edward New York." There was an old repair made to the mouth, but no cracks. It is considered to be in good condition. The 15-inch tall jug was valued at $117 in 2009 by Morphy Auctions.
In 2019, a similar, 2-gallon Port Edward New York jug with a bird design that had no chips or cracks sold for $450.
Hires Root Beer Stoneware Mug
This is a rare example of a Hires Rootbeer mug with deep blue glazing. In excellent condition with no chips or damage, it stands 5 1/2 inches tall. In 2009, Morphy Auctions sold the piece for $205. This type of stoneware design is also sometimes called Flemish ware, which is identified as silver-gray stoneware using dark blue embossed decoration. Flemish ware was often used for beer mugs, tankards, and wine jugs.
In 2019, a similar-looking mug was on sale for $200 on eBay. The product description said that the blue and gray advertising mug was produced by Whites Pottery in Utica, New York, and it dates to circa 1890. The mug has a twig handle resembling the bark of a tree. There is an embossed chain link below the rim and near the base. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, or crazing (cracks in the glaze).
N. Hastings New York Stoneware Jug
A stout 12-inch tall jug with a handle and blue flower decoration, this piece is marked "N. Hastings, New York." It was listed in excellent condition since no chips, cracks, repairs, or damage were apparent. It fetched a selling price of $205 at Morphy Auctions in 2009.
This type of pottery is very rare. In 2019, no similarly marked crocks were selling on eBay or other online auctions. Not much is known about the N. Hastings pottery, other that it comes from New York and dates to the turn of the 20th century.
Stoneware Root Beer Bottles
In near-mint condition, this set of stoneware root beer bottles is a fun lot. It included three Cleary's Old Fashioned Root Beer bottles and one each of Dr. Swett's Original Root Beer and Moo Cow Ginger Beer. The largest bottle is 7 1/2 inches tall and the lot sold in 2009 for $176 through Morphy Auctions.
In 2019, this same root beer set would have sold for nearly double the price. In 2019, each bottle sold separately for at least $50 to $100. The selling price was dependent on its condition and soda brand. For example, a Dr. Swett's bottle sold for $85 and a Cleary bottle sold for $55.
Old Sleepy Eye Stoneware Bowl
Made by Weir Pottery Co. of Monmouth, Illinois, this stoneware bowl features a Native American "Old Sleepy Eye" figure and decor in blue paint. In 1903, 1 million of these bowls were shipped to the Sleepy Eye Milling Company in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, which were given away in flour sacks.
In near-mint condition, this bowl measured 4 by 6 1/2 inches. It sold for $410 in 2009 through Morphy Auctions.
Sleepy Eye lived from 1780 to 1860 and was a Sioux chief from 1825 to his death. He was nicknamed “sleepy eye” because of his heavily lidded eyes. The Weir Pottery Company operated from 1899 to 1905. It merged into the Western Stoneware Company in 1905. In 2006, Western Stoneware closed.
Stoneware No. 3 Handled Jug
A fantastic stoneware No. 3 jug or 15-inch, 3-gallon container, this piece features a blue floral design. It was in excellent condition with no cracks or chips when it sold in 2009 for $263 on Morphy Auctions. In 2019, 3-gallon, unnamed or unmarked antique jugs in excellent condition were also found selling for a similar price.
Stoneware 8-Gallon New Brighton, PA Crock
Simple, but a good starter piece for new stoneware collectors, this is a classic eight-gallon crock that stands 15 1/2 inches tall. It dates to circa 1880. It bears the mark of Elverson, Sherwood, and Barker of New Brighton, Pennsylvania, one of the country's foremost pottery makers from the Civil War up through the early 1900s. The condition was good with a 1/8-inch crack and minor chips. It sold for $59 in 2009 through Morphy Auctions.
In 2019, a rare 8-gallon cylindrical butter churn marked "E.S. & B, New Brighton, PA" sold for $503. It was considered in excellent condition with only slight chipping on the inner lip of the mouth.
T. Harrington Lyons Stoneware Jug
An 18-inch, 4-gallon jug with a handle and blue floral decoration, this piece is marked "T. Harrington Lyons." The jug has three half-inch dings, so the condition is rated as good. Morphy Auctions valued it at $234 in 2009. The mark on the jug is for potter Thompson Harrington who ran the Lyons, New York, pottery from 1852 to 1872.
In 2019, a 4-gallon wide-mouth T. Harrington Lyons crock, circa 1860, sold for $500 through the Crocker Farms Stoneware Auction.
Pottery Co. Lyons New York Stoneware Jug
In excellent condition, this 5-gallon, 18-inch jug has a single handle and blue floral decoration. It is marked "Pottery Co. Lyons, New York." There are no chips, cracks, or repairs, which helped it sell for $234 through Morphy Auctions in 2009. Lyons pottery had maintained its value in 2019.
The Lyons pottery company began in 1825. It had been under the ownership of Nathan Clark, Jr., who was succeeded in 1852 by Thompson Harrington. In 1872, Jacob Fisher took over the pottery and operated it until 1902 as the last individual proprietor of the pottery.
Blue Stoneware Steins and Pitcher
Two beer steins and one small pitcher were included in this lot of near-mint stoneware pieces. Each piece has intricate embossed images, including a Native American chief, a golfer, and a country scene. The largest piece is 7 3/4 inches tall. As a lot, Morphy Auctions had this valued at $234 in 2009.
Similar Flemish ware or blue and white stoneware seems to maintain its value. A single cobalt blue-decorated stein with a Native American chief image sold for $95 on eBay in 2019.
P. Mugler & Co. Buffalo N.Y. Stoneware Jug
P. Mugler & Co. of Buffalo, New York, produced this beautiful example of a two-gallon jug. It stands 15 inches tall, includes a handle, and is decorated in a stunning blue floral design. The condition is rated at very good due to one small chip on the bottom. It sold in 2009 for $644 through Morphy Auctions.
The Buffalo, New York, pottery was owned through 1848 to 1957 by French potter Philip Mugler and American potters John Heiser and Charles Braun. Mugler and Heiser owned it in its early years and were known for their elaborate cobalt blue floral designs on their pottery.
How to Identify Authentic Antique Crocks
Crocks have been used for hundreds of years to hold, store and carry items, food and liquid. Crocks were made by artisans in the United States starting in the 1770s and in Europe, Japan and other countries well before then. Antique crocks can be found in stoneware, ceramic, porcelain and pottery and are of interest to collectors because of their history, unique styles and distinctive patterns and colors. They can be found at antiques stores, collectors shows, online stores, auctions, or for sale by owner. As with other antiques of value, reproductions abound. Here are ways to identify authentic antique crocks.
Turn the crock over and look for a maker’s mark or stamp. The mark may be a symbol, logo, letter or the name of the manufacturer. If the crock was made by a master artist, the piece may bear a signature. One example of a notable master artist is Thomas Commeraw, a free African-American who worked for various stoneware merchants and sold his own stoneware. Commeraw stoneware can sell for between $3,000 and $27,000. Replicas of old crocks will not have distinguishing marks or signatures.
The mark on an antique item can help to establish the date and authenticity of the piece. For instance, if a patterned crock has the name of the pattern and a mark on the bottom, the item was made after 1810. If the mark includes the word “Limited” or an abbreviation (ex: “Ltd”), the crock was made after 1861. If the mark states “Made in England” or another country, the piece is likely a 20th Century piece. Note that most replicas will not have identifying characteristics, so the presence of such marks likely indicates the crock is authentic.
Look for the country of origin mark, which has been a federal requirement since 1891. If there is no country of origin mark or the country of origin is European, the crock is likely an authentic antique. If the mark is “Nippon,” the crock was made in Japan prior to 1921 and is an excellent way to identify an authentic antique from Japan, as replicas will be marked “Japan” instead of Nippon.
Look at the design of the crock. Early designs were simple and included etchings that were filled, often in a cobalt blue color. (View an example of an early stoneware crock at websites such as GoAntiques.com. See Resources.) Early antique crocks often featured images of birds, trees and flowers. The images should appear slightly crude or simple. If the decoration on the crock seems to be too elaborate for work done by hand, it probably is, and the piece is likely a fake.
View images of authentic antique crocks and examples of decorations and etchings on websites such as Z and K Antiques.com and My Granny’s Attic Antiques.com. (See Resources.)
Look at reference books that include detailed information and images of antique crocks. Examples of reference books include “Antique Trader Stoneware and Blue & White Pottery Price Guide” by Kyle Husfloen, and "Collector's Encyclopedia of Salt Glaze Stoneware: Identification & Value Guide" by Terry Taylor, Terry Lowrance, and Kay Lowrance.
Meredith Jameson writes early childhood parenting and family health articles for various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from San Francisco State University.
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Value of Antique Crocks (Full Stoneware Price Guide)
Antique stoneware crocks are an intriguing slice of Americana. Estate sale shoppers love to discover these sturdy containers that were a mainstay of kitchens from the 1700s through the early 20th century. Learn how to determine an antique crock’s value, how to tell an original stoneware crock from a reproduction, and where to find antique crocks for your home.
History of Antique Crocks
Earthenware pots, crocks, and jars have a long and colorful history. Stoneware crocks appear to have originally come from France.Through the American Revolutionary War, England and Germany were the main importers of stoneware crocks. Eventually, cost and market competition spurred American potters to fire up their kilns.
During the early 19th century, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania produced most stoneware pottery in the United States. Several New England states, along with Ohio, jumped on the stoneware bandwagon circa the late 19th century.By the early 20th century, many American households owned stoneware crocks.
Stoneware Crock Construction and Appearance
Stoneware describes a clay that has a waterproof rating of under two percent. Because the definition is so vague, stoneware can be sourced from numerous clays and can appear in diverse colors and textures. Antique stoneware crocks generally feature a gray or brown salt glaze with cobalt blue decorations.
Antique crocks have a distinctive appearance. Each stoneware crock displays a shiny-looking surface that results from the salt glazing process.
Under the glassy finish, the crock features hand-drawn or stenciled letters and numbers. Hand-painted embellishments include flowers, animals, and specific motifs or patterns.
Cobalt Blue Designs
An artisan was responsible for hand-making each antique crock. Following the crock’s formation, the artisan applied blue decorative effects to the stoneware vessel. Artisans often painted floral designs on early crocks. Birds, butterflies, dragonflies, animals, and trees were also popular motifs. A hand-painted cobalt blue design is a common decorative element. Very old crocks feature etched designs filled in with a blue-toned substance.
Although simple lines and patterns are common in early-era pieces, early 1900s crocks have just a touch of art deco styling. These effects might give the crock more decorative value.
Salt-Glazing and Firing
Next, the artisan formed the salt glaze. During the high-temperature firing sequence, he tossed salt into the kiln to create the glazing effect on the crock.
The salt’s sodium reacted with the clay’s silica to create a glassy coating. Although the glaze is generally colorless, coloring the salt produced a glaze with a colorful effect. Blue, brown, and purple were common color options.
Uses of Antique Crocks
Antique stoneware crocks have enjoyed many varied uses. In fact, this utilitarian crockery has taken up residence in countless American kitchens over the generations.
Antique stoneware crocks often stored foods and beverages. Examples included salted meats, butter, jelly, grain, and pickled vegetables. Crocks also contained the household soda and beer inventory.
Even without a finish glaze, these durable and affordable vessels were watertight. A securely fitted lid would keep children, family pets, insects, and/or rodents from accessing the crock’s content.
Stoneware crocks were also pressed into service for the lacto-fermentation of foods. Crock owners would place vegetables like cabbage or cucumbers into the crock. After a defined period of time, the crock would yield a bounty of pickled vegetables, such as sauerkraut or pickles.
The Role of Redware
Clay-based redware enjoyed wide use in the American colonies. This utilitarian earthenware pottery contains clay with higher-than-usual iron content. When fired, the clay assumes a reddish-brown color.
American potters could easily access the clay, and redware products were known to be affordable. However, redware was quite brittle and easily damaged. For those reasons, it’s rare to find an intact piece of redware today.
Antique crocks have multiple uses in modern-era homes. They’re ideal for gathering kitchen utensils or keeping kids’ or pets’ toys together. Finally, antique stoneware crocks make stylish, functional planters.
Antique Crock Manufacturers
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, several well-known manufacturers produced many of the salt glaze stoneware crocks in the United States. Each company had its own characteristic style and markings.
Monmouth Pottery Company
The Monmouth Pottery Company, located in Monmouth, Illinois, manufactured stoneware from 1894 to 1906. Monmouth Pottery adopted three glaze finishes, including Albany slip glazes and salt glazes, followed by a Bristol glaze. Monmouth pottery has a famous maple leaf logo adorning most of its stoneware crocks.
Red Wing Stoneware
The venerable Red Wing Stoneware, or Red Wing Pottery, entered the crock manufacturing business in the late 1870s. The company didn’t add its classic red wing design until approximately 1906. The Red Wing Bee Sting crocks were especially popular.
Robinson Ransbottom Blue Crown
In 1901, this well-known crock maker opened its doors as Ransbottom Brothers Pottery. In 1920, the company merged with Robinson Clay Products. The merged business was known as Robinson Ransbottom Pottery.
Robinson Ransbottom Pottery’s cobalt blue crown mark drew much attention. Look for varied words or numbers inside the classic blue crown.
Western Stoneware Company
In 1906, seven stoneware and pottery companies merged to become the Western Stoneware Co. Plants One Through Seven. The Monmouth Pottery Company was among the seven firms, and the merged company kept the Monmouth-style maple leaf logo.
Numerous early Western Stoneware crocks and jugs carried the maple leaf logo along with the marking: Western Stoneware Co. Plant 1 (or the correct number of the manufacturing plant).
Determining a Crock’s Age
To pinpoint an antique crock’s age, take several factors into account. The first thing to know is the different eras that housed different crocks. Understanding how crocks looked across different centuries will give you some insight into a crock’s age. Next, you should look at the specifics of the antique crock. Its shape, glaze, and maker’s mark will help you paint a complete picture of the crock’s age and origin.
Era-Specific Construction and Design
First, know that in the early 1700s, American potters began making and firing their own stoneware crockery. American crocks were made from the 18th century to the 20th century. If you have an idea of the types of designs that were popular during each era, it can help you in your age identification.
18th Century American Stoneware
Early American stoneware typically feature simple, hand-painted designs. Inside these designs are often foreign alphabet characters. In addition, the interior of many 18th-century crocks display salt glazing effects.
During the latter 1700s, many skilled English potters came to America. This development spurred American potters to produce better quality work. In fact, American potters often copied the English artisans’ work, deliberately omitting the American stamped names or factory marks to imply the pottery was English-made.
19th Century American Stoneware
Throughout the 1800s, American stoneware continued to show design and quality improvements. The most prized ceramics were salt-glazed utilitarian stoneware pieces sourced from kaolin clay in Bennington, Vermont. This type of pottery was most prominent around the middle of the 19th century.
During the same time period, much of the United States population expanded westward. New stoneware potteries sprang up to meet local markets’ needs.
Early 20th Century American Stoneware
By the early 1900s, most major American cities boasted stoneware production facilities. This period’s stoneware often features hand-painted mythological creatures. Each piece typically contains the company name and country of origin.
Shapes, Techniques, and Markings
Determining an antique crock’s age involves attention to several different factors. Crock construction, salt glazes, and maker’s marks all play important roles.
Regardless of a crock’s type or size, each one has a round cylindrical shape. Around 1860, this configuration became the general standard for antique crock appearance. If you find a crock that’s not in this typical shape, it was likely produced before 1860.
Crock Size Number
Most crocks contain one single number that usually states the vessel’s size. For example, a number “2” could mean 2 quarts or 2 gallons. The number may be painted, impressed, or stamped on the crock. The style, font, and even placement of the number can be useful in identifying the crock maker.
In 1720, salt-glazed stoneware came onto the market in Yorktown, Virginia and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. However, American potters didn’t widely adopt salt glazing methods until after 1775. From 1780 to 1890, this iconic finish dominated the housewares market throughout the United States.
A legible maker’s mark, or stamp, will provide useful clues for determining a crock’s age and value. Generally found on the crock’s bottom, a maker’s mark can simply be the manufacturer’s name. Or, the mark may appear as a letter, symbol, or logo. Some manufacturers impressed their name on the crock’s side with a side wall stamp. If a master artist crafted the crock, he would usually sign the bottom of the vessel. All of these antique crock markings help identify the piece.
If the mark is worn or otherwise hard to read, make a rubbing of the mark. To do that, place a piece of paper over the mark. Rub chalk, charcoal, or a crayon over the paper’s surface.
If the pottery crock’s bottom contains a maker’s mark and pattern name, it was made after 1810. If the bottom displays the word “limited” or “Ltd.,” the crock was manufactured after 1861. If the mark states “Made in (country), it’s probably from the 1900s.
Factors That Determine an Antique Crock’s Value
To estimate the value of antique stoneware crocks, consider several factors, including the maker’s mark, condition, and design. Some criteria may be weighted more heavily than others.
Some crock makers may be regarded more highly than others. This is especially true if that crock maker produced a particularly desirable line of crocks. Research the manufacturer to determine if this factor affects your antique crock’s value.
A stoneware crock’s clay color can help determine the crock’s maker, and it is also instrumental in finding the crock’s value. For example, the Robinson Ransbottom Blue Crown Company typically made its crocks from yellow clay.
In contrast, the Weller Company primarily built its storage vessels from white clay. This would be a good foundation color for blue & white pottery or for a piece in the white stoneware style.
Collectors enjoy finding crocks of all sizes and shapes. With that said, certain crock sizes are more desirable than others. For example, larger crocks are much rarer than gallon capacity vessels and will bring higher prices than smaller vessels.
Antique crocks’ cobalt blue design schemes range from simple to intricate. The beautifully detailed pieces typically bring higher prices than their more basic counterparts.
However, pay special attention to the placement of the crocks’ cobalt blue designs. If any decorations were added after the pieces underwent firing, those decorations won’t raise the value of crocks. You can tell if the cobalt blue designs were added before or after the kiln based on their layer. If they appear below the glaze, they were added before the firing. If they appear above the glaze, they were added after the firing.
Many antique crocks feature specific markings etched into the vessel’s bottom. The company name, logo, and varied identifying numbers are common maker’s marks. For example, Red Wing Stoneware marked every crock with its own identification number. Finally, a crock crafted by a master artist would typically carry the artist’s signature.
When determining the antique crock’s condition, first evaluate the crock’s completeness. Note if the lid and/or original handles are present. If so, that enhances the vessel’s value.
Surface crazing or hairline cracks generally do not affect the crock’s value. In fact, it may give the vessel a more authentic feel. However, cracks, chips, and heavy wear will definitely lower the crock’s overall value.
If you find a locally made antique crock for sale, it will frequently be more valuable than the same pottery crock for sale in another region. That’s often because there are more collectors for home-town pottery.
Price Guide for Antique Crocks
Collectively, antique stoneware crock values range from $500 to $400,000. However, actual antique crock selling prices depend on whether the crock has the iconic cobalt blue design. Based on that variable alone, selling prices fall into two general groups. This information can help you to compile an antique crocks price guide.
Crocks without Cobalt Blue Designs
Consider a typical mid-19th century crock without a basic cobalt blue design. The crock’s auction selling price would likely fall in the $500 to $1000 range.
Crocks with Cobalt Blue Designs
In stark contrast, a crock with an extremely detailed cobalt blue design can command a far higher price. Depending on the manufacturer, the crock can have a value in the $10,000 to $25,000 range.
Recent Selling Prices
Online auction sites provide actual selling prices for antique crocks. These sites offer a realistic view of antique crocks prices.
As of this article date, eBay antique stoneware selling prices ranged from $5.00 to $2350.00. The higher selling price pertained to a larger, elaborately-painted stoneware piece, while the lower price related to a small stoneware jug without any embellishments.
“Antique” Crocks: Original vs Reproduction
Old crocks’ ongoing popularity has led to an entire industry of copycat pottery. With careful attention to detail, it’s possible to tell an original crock from a reproduction.
Characteristics of Original Crocks
Original salt-glazed antique crocks are very heavy. An antique crock typically has a thick structural wall, often with a telltale bow in the center.
Antique crocks feature very simple freehand-painted decorations, usually executed in cobalt blue ink. Stenciled or hand-drawn letters and numbers also appear on most old crocks. Decorations were always applied to the crock prior to the glazing process.
An original stoneware crock has a very shiny, glass-like surface. Random bumps are telltale signs of a salt-glazed antique crock.
Characteristics of Reproductions
Three major factors indicate that a crock is a reproduction rather than an antique. First, a copycat crock doesn’t often have any signatures or distinctive marks. Second,the vessel’s identifying letters and numbers look perfectly printed or stamped. Most importantly, if the crock’s decorations have been painted over the glazing, the item is definitely a copycat crock.
Where to Find Antique Crocks
With so many antique stoneware crocks on the market, finding a good-quality piece should be relatively simple. By consistently visiting local estate sales, auction houses, and monitoring online auction and specialty retail sites, you’ll have the best chance of scoring a pottery crock in excellent condition.
Online Auctions and Retailers
By monitoring an online auction site such as eBay, you can bid on stoneware pottery items from across the United States. You may notice listings for gallon crocks, pickle crocks, butter churns, and other types of antique crocks.
Antique-focused online retailers are good places to find old crocks in good condition. Etsy, RubyLane, Z&K Antiques, and The Internet Antique Shop each have a respectable inventory of antique stoneware crocks.
Diverse Local Venues
Begin your search by visiting an estate sale (or two) this weekend. Browse through every nook and cranny of the house. Estate sales are great places to find well-maintained antique crocks. If you’re lucky, you may find a gallon stoneware crock and a stoneware jug together.
Surprisingly, you can often find antique crocks at local flea markets. Dealers often clean out homes, or purchase an entire lot of items that they bring to the flea market. Visit the same flea market every week, and you could be the first person to see a just-arrived antique stoneware crock.
You’re also likely to see antique crocks at local auctions and antique shops. By getting on an auction house’s mailing list, you’ll learn about upcoming auctions with collectibles such as antique stoneware crocks.
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