King of Tarts cookie jar was a sweet find for Red Wing pottery collectors

Red Wing King of Tarts cookie jar One of the most desirable cookie jars made by Red Wing, this Mint “King of Tarts” cookie jar sold for $425.

DES MOINES – Many attendees sold Red Wing wares from their hotel rooms, arriving as early as Feb. 8 to buy and sell stoneware and pottery, but the event officially kicked off with a reception on the evening of Feb. 10.

The theme of this year’s event was a “1920s Red Wing Speakeasy,” and many members participated by dressing in their best gangster and flapper garb.

This year’s keynote speaker was Dave Hallstrom, president of the RWCS Foundation, who discussed the exciting steps the foundation is taking to purchase a new space for the Red Wing Pottery Museum.

The foundation is purchasing half of the Pottery Place Annex building located in Red Wing’s historic pottery district, with the Red Wing Area Seniors organization purchasing and occupying the other half. The groups are hoping to close on the property this spring; the foundation hopes to move the museum into the new space later this year.

Red Wing carousel cookie jar  Hard to find complete with lid, this Red Wing carousel cookie jar sold for $375.

Several educational sessions followed the keynote address, including Red Wing Dinnerware mysteries and reproductions presented by Larry Roschen and Terry Moe, digging in the Red Wing Pottery Dump by Steve Showers, and digging for stoneware and bottles in old outhouse sites by Mark Wiseman.

More than a dozen children attended the event with their parents, and they enjoyed participating in the KidsView “Pottery of the Roaring Twenties” themed educational activities.


The always popular Saturday Show & Sale was followed by an independently sponsored auction, which was once again conducted by Richard and Todd Houghton of Houghton’s Auction Services of Red Wing, Minn.

Red Wing pottery ashtrays  Auction attendees had the opportunity to buy an instant collection of different-colored ashtrays made to commemorate President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s visit to Red Wing in 1960 to dedicate the Hiawatha Bridge that crosses the Mississippi River into Wisconsin. Sold individually, the green, blue, yellow, purple and red ashtrays sold for a bargain – only $140 combined.

This year’s auction featured a wide variety of pieces for every collector’s taste, including stoneware, dinnerware and art pottery.

Two of the top stoneware pieces included a grayline cookie jar and a 5 gallon salt glaze leaf crock front-stamped “Red Wing Stoneware Co.” – each sold for $400. A Bob White water cooler and a “King of Tarts” cookie jar each sold for $425, and a dinnerware test glaze plate brought $260.

Red Wing cookie jar  This Red Wing grayline cookie jar with lid sold for $400 at the auction at the Red Wing Collectors Society’s MidWinter GetTogether in Des Moines on Feb. 11.

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. The Red Wing Potteries had diverse pottery lines that included stoneware, dinnerware and art pottery. Annual membership costs only $25 and includes six full-color newsletters mailed to your home throughout the year.

Also sharing in the keynote presentation was the Red Wing Collectors Society 35th Anniversary Committee, which announced a new lineup of activities for this year’s Convention.

Scheduled for July 12-14 in Red Wing, Minn., the 35th Anniversary Convention will attract thousands of collectors to Red Wing for a week of educational meetings, auctions, buying, selling and fun for the whole family.

10 gallon red wing crock  Although not a Red Wing piece, this cobalt decorated churn in the hard-to-find 10 gallon size was a great deal at $275 – it only had one small chip.

A new event called “Crockfest” will headline this year’s Convention. Slated for 5 to 9 p.m. on July 13 in Red Wing’s Central Park, the large gathering of RWCS members and local residents will include food, local artists, live music, children’s activities and live pottery demonstrations.

For more information on the Red Wing Collectors Society and its events, or to become a member, call the RWCS business office at 800-977-7927 or e-mail.

You can also find the Red Wing Collectors Society on Facebook  or follow the club on Twitter.


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