Antiques & Collectibles: Springtime planters come in array vibrant colors

Pastel Nursery flower pots.jpg
Pastel nursery flower pots found at the Coffee Street Peddler Collectibles & Antiques, Lanesboro

I am always looking for pottery vases and planters at country auctions, yard and flea-market sales, consignment, thrift and antique shops.

I love that item that most of you pick up, look briefly at the bottom and set it back with no interest. The collectible is the good looking ceramic piece marked Teleflora and is priced less than $5. Those that can also be found in the basement or kitchen cupboard that look like a baby shoe, tulip tea cup or a tea pot in pastel and vibrant colors making them unique garden collectibles.

Mixes of colors

"Vintage ceramic vases from the 1930s,'40s and '50s are great to collect and use as decorative accessories in almost any room of your home," C. Dianne Zweig, author of "Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s 50s" and "Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes," says. "Some people like glazed pieces while others prefer matte finishes. Shop owners group the same color vases and planters together since some collectors of pottery have collections in the same color palette and may buy more that one piece if they see their favorite colors grouped together. I have found than there are common colors that you will always find such as aqua, yellow, pink, soft green, jade, chartreuse, white, cream, sky blue. Less frequently you will find ceramic pottery in crimson, gray and peach. But, you can blend several shades of a similar color together, such as aqua with darker jade colors. Sometimes using two contrasting colors together is very effective. Today pastel colors are very popular so you can find many collections of pink, white, yellow, aqua, etc., but try to keep the same era together when collecting and decorating."

Various shapes and sizes


Zweig also suggests, "You can always find a mix of sizes and shapes. Some collectors not only look for a name like McCoy, Shawnee, Brush, Red Wing, Hull and more, they look for a variety of interesting shapes that are rounded, scalloped, angular, tubular, curvy or something unique with detail and not just those that are plain."

Finding these vintage pieces

"I have a vast array of multi-colored vases ideal for for the home gardener who likes flowers and plants in the house, hanging in the porch, on window sills, ledges or shadow boxes on the wall," says Angie Pehler of Angie's Vintage Rust at Treasures Under Sugar Loaf in Winona. "The pastel colored pieces include many Red Wing, Shawnee and McCoy vases, with a few Hull, Fenton and even an occasional Van Briggle. Priced from $6 to $58. I also have smaller planters shaped like kittens, dogs and horses from the 1940s and `50's priced between $2.50 and $6 that are perfect for small plants like hens and chicks or small cactus plants. If not a collect, just use them as a family project with small children to teach them about gardening. Put a plant in them and they make a great gift for the grandmother who likes plants in an ornate colorful and unique planter. What a better place to grow a plant than a colorful planter from Grandma's era!"

Sarah Kieffer, Sarah's Uniques and Jim's "Man"tique, St. Charles, agrees. "I too, have several different styles and types of planters in s great variety of spring colors. Ranging in price from about $5-$20. McCoy, Shawnee, Brush, Red Wing are a few good examples of pottery and they do look great with flowers and succulents planted in them and add a cute touch to any decor."

Marlin Miner, The Coffee Street Peddler Antiques and Collectibles, Lanesboro echoes the same as Angie and his prices are in the same range as Sarah's.

Joan Thilges, New Generations of Harmony, says, "Great timing for flower pots and planters and many vendors have flower pots and planters in their booths. My husband Harlan and I are big collectors of McCoy and Shawnee so we especially love the bright pastel glazes and interesting shapes.

Just in the group we collected for our display, we found pots from Haeger, McCoy, Roseville, Brush, Hull, Shawnee, Royal Copley, Weller, USA and Morton. Prices range at the mall anywhere from $5 to $140 for a rare Roseville planter. Company, condition and rarity all can influence the prices asked. And spring is definitely the time to add more flower pots and planters to your collections! Our vendors anticipate spring decorating time for decks, porches and patios by displaying them in their mall spaces."

I agree with Zweig that the fun part of collecting older pottery is that you can find some exciting pottery and colors. As we see from the above shops, prices can vary according to the manufacturer, but I think you can find nice pieces as low as $2.50 on up. I personally have handled many older pieces as you should too to become familiar with the ordinary, less common and the reproduction pieces. For pricing and additional information: Antique Trader and Warman's Antiques & Collectibles Price Guides, specialty guides on McCoy, Roseville, Royal Copley and more found at most Barnes & Nobel stores and online. Check out your public library, too.


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