This exclusive excerpt is from the new book Antique Trader Antiques & Collectibles 2011 Price Guide by Dan Brownell (Krause Publications, 2010). Brownell has edited more than 50 books covering a wide range of subjects, including advertising, ceramics, glass, clocks, bottles, records, toys, coins, tools, and militaria. -Editor.
George and Rose Rydings were aspiring Kansas City (Missouri) potters who, in the late 1960s, began to produce a line of fine underglaze pottery. An inheritance of vintage American-made artware gave the Rydings inspiration to recreate old ceramic masters’ techniques. Some design influence also came from Fred Radford, grandson of well-known Ohio artist Albert Radford (circa 1890s-1904). Experimenting with Radford’s formula for Jasperware and sharing ideas with Fred about glazing techniques and ceramic chemistry led the Rydings to a look reminiscent of the ware made by turn-of-the-century American art pottery masters such as Weller and Rookwood. The result of their work became Rozart, the name of the Rydings’ pottery.
Many lines have been created since Rozart’s beginning. Twainware, Sylvan, Cameoware, Rozart Royal, Rusticware, Deko, Krakatoa, Koma and Sateen are a few. It is rare to find a piece of Rozart that is not marked in some way. The earliest mark is “Rozart” at the top of a circle with “Handmade” in the center and “K.C.M.O.” (Kansas City, Missouri) at the bottom.
Other marks followed over the years, including a seal that was used extensively. Along with artist initials, collectors will find a date code (either two digits representing the year or a month separated by a slash followed by a two-digit year). George signs his pieces “GMR,” “GR,” or “RG” (with a backwards “R”). Working on Twainware, Jasperware and Cameoware in the early years, George has many wheel-thrown pieces to his credit. Rose, who is very knowledgeable about Native Americans, does scenics and portraits.
Her mark is either “RR” or “Rydings.” Four of the seven Rydings children have worked in the pottery as well. Anne Rydings White (mark is “Anne” or “AR” or “ARW”) designed and executed many original pieces in addition to her work on the original Twainware line. Susan Rydings Ubert (mark is “S” over “R”) has specialized in Sylvan pieces and is an accomplished sculptor and mold maker. Susan’s daughter Maureen does female figures. Becky (mark is “B” over “R”), designed lines such as Fleamarket and Nature’s Jewels.
Cindy Rydings Cushing (mark is “C” over “R” or “CRC”) developed the very popular Kittypots line. Mark Rydings is the Rozart mold maker. ?
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