10 things you didn’t know about Fiesta

A complete set of seven mizing bowls sold for $475 in a March 2006 sale. The largest bowl is 7 inches high. Photo courtesy Live Auctioneers.

List compiled by Eric Bradley from the books Warman’s Fiesta by Glen Victorey (2007) and Fiesta, Warman’s Companion by Mark Moran and Glen Victorey. Fiesta, Warman’s Companion from Krause Publications is available for just $4, plus shipping, at shop.collect.com or by calling 800-258-0929.

1  From 1936 to 1972, Fiesta was produced in 14 “original colors” of cobalt, blue, light green, ivory, red, turquoise, yellow; the “1950s colors” of chartreuse, forest green, gray, and rose (1951), medium green (1959) and antique gold.

2  No Fiesta was produced from 1973 to 1985.

3  Although Fiesta pieces were made to specifications, the skill of the potters who applied some details by hand result in variations throughout the line.

4  Early Fiesta is glazed on the underside, so each piece was placed on a stilt to keep it off the kiln floor. The stilt was made up of three sagger pins, which caused the familiar blemishes found on most every piece. Later pieces were glazed and then wiped, creating a dry foot.

5  A blue compartment plate measuring 12 inches in diameter was only made for a single 18-month period from 1936-37.

6  Homer Laughlin China Co. Art Director Frederick Rhead designed many pieces that were never put into production, the rarest being a two-cup teapot, which once brought $20,075 at a 2004 auction, the highest price ever paid for a piece of Fiesta.

7  Covered onion soup bowls are common in dinnerware, but Fiesta bowls with covers did not sell well during the two years they were made, 1936-37.

8  The spoon slots in the lids of marmalade jars were hand-cut, so slot sizes vary from lid to lid.

9  You may find mold lines along the sides of the 10-inch vases produced from 1936-42 because they were made with a four-part mold.

10  For its 50th anniversary, Homer Laughlin China Co. reintroduced the line on Feb. 28, 1986. This line is called “Post-’86” Fiesta by collectors.


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More Images:

This rare, 6-inch cobalt syrup dispenser was only made for two years. Together with a green drip cup, the syrup brought $350 at a March 2006 auction.
A lot of orange-colored fiestaware sold for $170 in March 2010. The lot includes three handled coffee mugs, salt and pepper shakers, tumbler, condiment dish with lid, two bowls, one larger bowl, three saucers, one small plate, one bowl, and two larger plates, the largest with a diameter of 12 inches.

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