Birch leaf threshing jug brings $7,100 at RWCS Auction

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RED WING, Minn. – An impressive 10-gallon Red Wing double-handled threshing jug with birch leaves drew the highest bid at this year’s Red Wing Collectors Society (RWCS) Auction, bringing $7,100.

The RWCS Convention brought more than 1,500 visitors to the city of Red Wing from July 7-10 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 4 gallon North Star salt glaze water cooler with upturned leaf (missing hex bung cover), $2,600; a 5-gallon straight-sided salt glaze water cooler front-stamped “Red Wing Stoneware Company” with Drop-8 decoration, (hairline), $2,300; a 2-gallon straight-sided Elephant Ear Ice Water cooler with reinforced bung (base chips and a hairline on the back), $2,100; a set of three Red Wing Mason jars (quart, 1/2-gallon and gallon), $900; and a 5 1/2-inch salt glaze lunch hour cat, $850.

At $1,250, a mint 5-gallon transitional Ice Water cooler front-stamped “Red Wing Stoneware Company” was one of the best deals of the sale.

A few of the top dinnerware items included a five-compartment Ernest Sohn Lazy Susan with original turn table, $350; a Tampico tumbler, $275; and a Delta Blue 6-cup teapot with cover, $200. A collection of 68 different Red Wing dinner plates sold for $425.

Top art pottery pieces consisted of a bottom-signed garden ware bird bath with perch, $1,050; a bottom-signed 23 1/2-inch bronze-tan garden ware urn, $900; a bottom-signed brushware cherub vase, $300; and a No. 682 blue and green 13-inch Chromoline vase, $250.

The auction, which had about 300 items, brought about $95,000 in total sales.

The year’s convention commemorative, which could be purchased only by society members, was a brown, Albany slip pig figure. Two limited-edition commemoratives were also produced – a black pig and a white pig with black spots. These were mixed in with the regular commemoratives and all commemoratives were packaged in sealed boxes, so a small number of members were fortunate enough to get one. Of the 3,600 pieces made, 3,216 were brown, 350 were black and 34 were white with black spots.

Former Red Wing Potteries plant superintendent Jerry Mewhorter kicked off  the Convention with his keynote presentation. Other educational seminar topics included an orientation for first timers, demonstrations by a working potter “throwing” pieces on a wheel, Red Wing 101, recent finds from the old pottery dump, Red Wing dinnerware, identifying stoneware “fakes,” North Dakota potteries, news from the RWCS Foundation, undecorated Watt ware and correct methods for using stoneware for canning practices.

Topping the news from the annual business meeting was the election of three new RWCS Board members. Dan DePasquale, Ann Tucker and John Sagat were elected to the respective positions of president, vice president and secretary after Sue Jones Tagliapietra, Paulette Floyd and Jolene McKoon decided not to run for re-election. The trio put in a combined 34 years of service on the board and will be missed.

The Red Wing Collectors Society was founded in 1977 in Red Wing, Minn., and is devoted to educating people about all American pottery. There are more than 4,000 members worldwide. ?


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