By Rex Butler
I have “discovered” Cameron Clay Products. I know exactly how Pamela Coates felt when she wrote, “I feel it is now McCoy’s turn to take its rightful place in the world of antiques,” when she “discovered” McCoy pottery. In her book, “The Real McCoy,” she even lists The Antique Trader as the first trade publication to list McCoy as American art pottery.
The feeling I have is not about McCoy, though, but rather an unknown pottery in West Virginia.
Cameron Clay Products was founded in Cameron, West Virginia, in 1936 and destroyed by fire in 1964. In its 28 years of operation, the firm produced some amazing art pottery. Often their pieces are confused with Hull, Shawnee or McCoy. The “Tulip Ware” long-associated with Cronin Pottery of Minerva, Ohio, has been proven to be manufactured by Cameron Clay Products. More recently, shapes used for Roseville Keynote have been found with Cameron Clay Products markings.
Cameron Clay Products, or CCP, produced dinner ware, kitchen ware, planters, lamps, and novelty items. The firm used 24-karat gold in its “weeping gold” applications. Proven by sherds dug at the site, CCP produced the Sevilla line also attributed to Cronin Pottery.
There is a Cameron Clay Products Facebook page and a website dedicated to supporting the sharing and recording of information about this pottery. The Cameron website is dedicated to James L. Murphy, well known Ohio pottery expert who helped tremendously during its first year. It is also designed to be a resource in identifying CCP pieces.
On July 27, 2013, the people of Cameron, West Virginia, will hold their 2nd Annual Cameron Pottery Day at the B&O Freight Depot in Cameron from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. For more information on Cameron Pottery Day, call 304-686-3658.
With most pieces selling for less than $50, and many selling for less than $20, the time is now – before it’s as well-known and sought after as McCoy, Haeger and Red Wing – to start a Cameron art pottery collection. If lightning strikes twice, and the Antique Trader were to be the first trade publication to list Cameron Clay Products pottery, who knows how high the values may go!
For more information on Cameron Clay Products, visit http://on.fb.me/1aUbvRs or www.cameronclayproducts.com. A 54-page, fully illustrated downloadable ebook, “An Introduction to Cameron Clay Products,” is available for free viewing online. (The book can be downloaded for just 99 cents; all proceeds benefit the City of Cameron pottery collection.)