Rookwood Pottery was founded on November 27, 1880 by Maria Longworth Nichols. It was a fledgling company which simply produced what it could to stay alive without any systematic thought to classification. In its early production days was a decorative technique known as underglaze slip decoration. This fact is significant since only about 4 or 5 art potteries in the world were capable of underglaze slip decoration at the time. By 1884 Rookwood had divided the product into three recognizable glaze lines, Ivory/Cameo, Dull Finish and Standard. Standard was thought to be the finest of the three for artistic merit. From the antique Standard line, antique Mahogany, antique Tiger Eye and antique Goldstone soon developed. By 1894 Rookwood introduced three additional antique glaze lines, antique Aerial Blue, antique Sea Green and antique Iris--called the delicate palette. Mat glazes were fact bcoming the rage. Ever sensitive to the buying public, the following mat glazes were introduced: antique Incised Mat, antique Modeled Mat, antique Conventional Mat, antique Painted Mat and antique Painted Mat Inlay. The next success for Rookwood was the glaze line called antique Vellum. It was a transparent mat glaze that gave a foggy, or misty, quality to decoratiosn underneath. This was one of Rookwood's most successful lines. Rookwood was also most famous for its most notable decorators such as Sara Sax, Sallie Toohey, Fred Rothenbusch, Elizabeth Lincoln, Lenore Asbury and Ed Diers. Rookwood filed bankruptcy in September, 1941.
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