The company now recognised as Fulper Pottery was purchased in the 1860s by pottery worker Abram Fulper after Samuel Hill, the owner and founder of Hill Pottery died in 1858. The company produced various items of earthenware and stoneware and continued to do so after Abram’s death when it became known as Fulper Bros. In these early years the company produced household crockery and tile items that were made for domestic use.
It wasn’t until William Hill Fulper II took over the running of the company that it made the move into art pottery. The company first began producing vases and jugs with simple solid glazes and were sold in the street outside the factory. The popularity of artistic pottery collecting assured the company of its success as private collectors and museums were buying large quantities of pots.
The company contracted Dr Cullen Parmelee to produce glazes that were inspired by rare Chinese glazes in a bid to produce art quality pottery. Many of the creations that came from this project included Fulper glazes that were known by names such as Famille Rosee, Seladon, Chinese Blue and Claire de Lune. They are part of the well known Fulper Vasekraft pottery line.
Many of these glazes were difficult to mass produce with any consistency and they were very costly leading to the discontinuation of many of them. By 1910 William Fulper hired ceramic engineer Martin Stangl to create new glazes and shapes which moved the company from producing pottery whose shapes were inspired by Oriental influences to shapes that were Arts & Crafts styled.
One of the design projects that came about from Stangl’s work was the Vasekraft pottery lamps that became extremely popular. These lamps were expensive even back when they were first produced from 1911 through 1918. The wider Fulper art pottery grew in recognition thanks to the careful advertising campaigns that were undertaken and the products were to be found in department stores across the country.
The highest quality glazes that were used in these years were particularly beautiful and unusual giving even the most common forms widespread appeal.
In 1929 Stangl acquired the company and continued to produce art pottery until around 1935 although the output was much smaller and the quality was not up to the work that was produced in the earlier years. After 1935 Stangl moved the focus of the company from art pottery to the production of dinnerware.
The Fulper markings varied over the years with the changes in their appearance the only real way one can get an idea of the date each piece was made. Here is a rough guide of what to look for:
1909 - 1916 – A vertical ink-stamped rectangular label stating Fulper was typically found along with the form name and glaze.
1913 – 1929 – Any Fulper pottery that was sold by the Prang Art Supply Company were marked with a vertical Prang stamp.
1916 - 1922 - Raised vertical Fulper inside a rectangle
1922-1928 – An ink-stamped vertical Fulper in inside an oval border that is sometimes referred to as a racetrack mark.
1928-1935 - Impressed horizontal Fulper without a rectangle or oval around it, occasionally with a three- or four-digit model number; found on all Art Deco designs
There are still many opportunities to purse the collection of Fulper pottery with many fine pieces available to create a valuable collection. The Fulper vase and Fulper bowl forms in various glazes are extremely desirable.
We have a selection of classic items of Fulper pottery jugs for sale which should give you an opportunity to start or build a collection that can become significant and will provide decorative opportunities throughout the home.