Grueby Pottery was started in Boston, Massachusetts in 1897. Grueby was producing pottery as the Grueby Faience Company in 1894. The initial products produced by the company included glazed bricks and architectural terra cotta. It is believed the first exhibition of Grueby pottery was at The Society of Arts & Crafts of Boston in 1897.
Grueby’s matte green glazes were so well received that other notable arts and craft pottery makers such as Wheatley Pottery, Merrimac, Hampshire Pottery, Teco, Pewabic, Van Briggle, Rookwood, Roseville, and Weller quickly imitated it. While many of the above mentioned companies were able to produce matte green glazes of considerable quality, it is recognized by most that Grueby was ultimately unmatched. In addition to the famous Grueby matte green, the company also produced arts and crafts pottery in other colors including yellow, tan, brown, blue, and gray.
The decorating style used by Grueby pottery was unique for its time in that it focused on hand tooled designs that were carved or placed above the surface of the pot. It is estimated that only about 25% of Grueby pottery was decorated with hand-tooled and applied buds or flowers. Grueby produced art pottery until around 1911 at which time the company focused on architectural faience.
Most Grueby pottery was marked with the Grueby Faience or Grueby Pottery circular stamp. The pottery is also seen marked with Grueby or Grueby Pottery in block letters. Paper labels with the companies lotus trademark were also used.
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