RED WING, Minn. — A 20 gallon salt glaze crock decorated with two large cobalt leaves and front-stamped “Minnesota Stoneware Company” drew the highest bid at this year’s Red Wing Collectors Society (RWCS) Auction. With the only damage being a handle chip, it brought $7,700.
Despite high gas prices, the RWCS Convention brought more than 1,600 visitors to the city of Red Wing from July 10-12 to buy, sell and learn more about the lines of Red Wing stoneware, art pottery and dinnerware.
Other items of interest in this year’s auction, which was operated by Houghton’s Auction Service, included a signed Monmouth Albany slip cow and calf figure, $7,500; a 2 gallon straight-sided birchleaf Ice Water cooler in blue ink with a hairline, $2,700; 15 gallon transition elephant ear crock with Union oval and handle chip, $2,600; a Nokomis glaze floor vase, $2,500; 10 gallon churn with 6-inch wing and lid, $2,400; a set of six green ash receivers consisting of an elephant, donkey, dog, cat, fish and pelican, $1,000; a Charles Murphy sample plate in the Chrysanthemum pattern from 1949, $725; and a lunch hour dinner plate with country scene featured in the December 2007 Red Wing Collectors Society Newsletter, $450. The auction, which had more than 300 items, brought $128,550 in total sales.
RWCS members had a wide variety of activities to attend during Convention including a narrated tour of the historical sites around the city of Red Wing, tours of the RWCS Foundation Museum and a special display room where members showed rare items and created their own unique displays for the education and enjoyment of attendees. Other events throughout the week included the annual business meeting, the Potter’s Picnic at Red Wing’s new Pottery Park and the always anticipated Saturday Show and Sale. Members also bought and sold items throughout the week in the parking lot at Pottery Place Mall, and 175 volunteers helped make this year’s Convention a success.
Educational seminar topics consisted of orientation for first timers, demonstrations from a working potter “throwing” pieces on a wheel, Red Wing 101, recent finds from the old pottery dump, advertising jugs, Ebb Tide dinnerware, Concord dinnerware, a “Then-and-Now” pictorial history of the Pottery District and safely displaying your collection.
The year’s commemorative, which could be purchased by Society members only, was a smaller version of the Century of Progress “transportation” mug sold by the Red Wing Potteries at the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago.
Topping the news from the meeting was the RWCS Golden State Chapter’s presentation of a check for $2,182.50 to RWCS Board of Directors president Sue Jones Tagliapietra for the KidsView educational program that takes place during the annual Convention. Chapter members held an auction at their last meeting in California to raise funds specifically for the program, which is geared toward encouraging a younger generation to collect Red Wing stoneware and pottery.
“The donation from the Golden State Red Wing Chapter members was astounding,” said Tagliapietra. “It will give us the opportunity to add to the educational experiences for the kids.”
The Society is on the leading edge of creating engaging and educational ways to get younger generations involved in collecting. The focus on these RWCS members is an important part of the Society’s vision to ensure its continued existence and growth. There are many interactive and challenging activities and seminars for children of all ages to get involved in, such as learning how to bid at an auction, what to look for in an antique, and several hands-on craft projects.
Another highlight of this year’s Convention was a “Wine & Cheese” fundraiser held by the RWCS Foundation. Fundraiser attendees were asked to donate an item to be auctioned off at the Foundation’s Fall Auction at 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, at Grandpa’s Garage in Cannon Falls, Minn., for the purpose of raising money to operate the Red Wing Pottery Museum and expand it in the future.
The Red Wing Collectors Society was founded in 1977 in Red Wing, Minn. There are more than 6,000 members worldwide. The Red Wing Potteries had diverse pottery lines that included stoneware, dinnerware and art pottery. For more information about the Convention, or to become a member, call the RWCS business office at 800-977-7927, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to www.redwingcollectors.org.