HAEGER’S MOD MYSTERY
Haeger’s awesome Orange Mod vase along side a yellow Vohann of CA canister by Charles Chaney and Italian bowl.
Haeger is another American ceramic company that became one of the leading manufacturers of ceramics in the 20th century and are still in production today. Unlike McCoy, Haeger has a bit more of a reputation for more artistic pottery and more attention to design.
Now the colorful photo above contains a orange Haeger planter, its marked Haeger USA 8138 on the bottom. Sadly, one day a man visited my home who happened to be friends with a man who had written a book on Haeger pottery and he was able to tell me the designer’s name and mentioned it was an extremely rare piece. The line was short lived and not many were produced. Of course, it’s killing me to try to remember the name and I intend to email him to try and get it and add it here. I have NEVER encountered another piece like this and its a shame because it is awesome. I would love to have more pieces in this series, or even more like the above planter. I have searched endlessly online and never found anything close.
(Just to note the other pieces in the photo, the yellow canister is by Charles Chaney for Vohann of California, who also did some really cool, mod, ceramic hanging clocks among other pieces. The B&W bowl is a vintage pottery piece from Itay.)
Now on to more well known Haeger pieces. During their golden era from the 1940’s to the 1960’s Haeger’s biggest designer was “Royal Hickman” – yes that’s his real name – and so many of his designs
were produced under the line called “Royal Haeger.” He leaned more to the art deco and Hollywood Regency looks but he did produced some pieces that have modern appeal, some are very iconic of the atomic 1950’s look. (One of his most famous designs, which was knocked off by every ceramic company of the era, was a black panther in a crouching stride.)
To the right is a photo of two of my Royal Haeger vases, both have a bumpy volcanic glaze. The tallest onion shaped vase has a glaze referred to as a “cotton glaze” due to the almost puffy bubbly texture. The more dynamic asymetrical vase has a more subtle textured glaze. Both these vases work well in MCM ceramic displays and can offer nice contrast lines and colors. As with most Haeger designs, both of these vases, were also done in a multitude of colors and glazes. The “V” crested vase in particular was a popular design for Haeger in the 1950’s and I’ve seen in countless colors and textures, but I don’t think many outside of simple, solid colors work to well. The design lines are so dynamic that adding a drip orange glaze or other busy colors or textures is overkill and ruins the overall look of the design in my opinion.
Besides the two white Haeger vases in this photo are some studio pottery pieces. The blue vase on the left is by Joanna Price, a potter working from 1950’s through to at least 1972, in Ohio. The other pieces are of unknown origins.
I will mention the brown vase in the middle has a glaze known as “water drop ware.” The only examples of this glaze that I have been able to find anywhere was from a archeology paper on pottery shards found in excavation sites in America dating from the 1850s to 1900. The glaze was used on imports from Japan in the era was was quite popular according to some catalogs of the era. However, I can find NOTHING else about this really cool glaze and cannot imagine my vase is that old. This subject is one of my pet research project which I will post about in greater detail later. Below is an up close photo of the glaze.
While I see a lot of mid century Haeger vases and pieces online and in the flea markets and antique stores only a handful I find really appealing or of notable design. But the good ones are really nice.
So two posts to summarize McCoy and Haeger – the easiest and simplest subjects in the world of MCM pottery/ceramics. I plan on posting about Italian pottery including the imports by Raymor and Rosenthal Netter, which are mostly pieces by Bitossi and their designers: Aldo Londi, Alvino Bagni. I’ll also be covering some of the German makers and the Fat Lava pottery. Some of the interesting pottery from California. Last, but not least, I will try to explore some of the studio potters of the era which is a very difficult subject to research, MCM architectural pottery and then the mystery pottery which abounds. But that is all for later. Just trying to write Part 1 on the easy stuff has worn me out.