Sunday, June 7, 2009

Have you heard about Haeger?

I love pottery. When I was in my early 20s, it was wall pockets…then small cache pots…and now it has culminated in my shop with McCoy, Hull, Stangl, Gonder, RRP. I must confess that I am not into the buzz name potteries…Roseville, Rookwood, Fulper…but I do love what I call middle class pottery.

Last week, this beauty flipped into my shop! Being at the shore, we do have beachy kitchy accents, but every now and then a true decorative piece shows up. This is a Royal Haeger mermaid, and, of course, that brings in a little history.

Haeger Pottery is still in business, the company being run by the great granddaughter of the founder, David Haeger. He came to America in 1871 from Germany and founded the Dundee Brickyard. The plant was located 45 miles from Chicago, and, if you are familiar with history, the year 1871 was the year of the Chicago fire which destroyed nearly 18,000 buildings. Needless to say, Haeger’s company helped to restore Chicago, and yet few people are familiar with that part of the company’s history.

In the true spirit of American ingenuity, one of his sons, Edmund, began the transition from brickmakers to artisans. The company was making clay flower pots for the florist trade, but Edmund saw a market for glazed art pottery, and in 1912, Haeger Bricks became Haeger Potteries.

In 1938, Royal Hickman (yes, his name was really Royal) joined the company,
and Royal Haeger Pottery was born. He designed pottery for Haeger until 1944 when he moved to Florida and operated his own pottery, but it burned (ever note how many potteries go up in flames…kilns are hot!), and he returned in 1950 leaving in to go to California to join Vernon Potteries.

This one a Royal Haeger piece also...the man had a variety of styles!

Modern Royal Haeger is sold in department stores, and Haeger Floral Pottery is available to florists.

Above all, it is a family company still in operation...and in today's bizarre economy is that not a reason to support them...whether you buy vintage at a shop or new in a department store.

Speaking of supporting Americans, I had a talented woman redesign this blog for you so that it would be a pleasant blogging stop! Her site is I need to update some of my pictures, but it really does reflect my style. I thought it was interesting in today's NY Times that of the 133 million blogs that a company tracks only 7.4 million have been updated in the past 120 days. So, 95% of blogs are abandoned...but, I am hoping that you enjoy reading this as much as I delight in coming up with weekly ideas!


Patricia said...

I have had an incredibly busy stressful last month and have missed going blog hopping. Yours is one of the first I'm catching up on. Love seeing all the history you dig up on everything! So please do not join the 95% of quitters! The Royal Haeger is loverly! Can't say I've ever seen it (or been aware of it, I should say). Will have to keep my eyes open now.
Patricia Rose-A Potpourri of Fabric,Fragrance and Findings

Anonymous said...

Royal Haeger is just great. The history from brickyard to pottery is very interesting, especially the part about rebuilding Chicago after the fire. The new blog looks real nice. Always fun to read and learn on the blog. said...

I love hearing the history of an item. I fall in love with everything once I hear it's history.
Thank you for letting me visit your blog, I'll be back.

Cindy G

Kimberly said...

AS always, your blog is so informative and interesting. I like the new look too. Keep up the good work!

gail said...

Hi Susan,,, I havent heard of this pottery, but its so pretty. i always learn alot from you here! lol I like the mermaid alot!
Believe it or not, I did not see one single squirrel at the cape, just the bunny who lived out back. We did see one at the rockerfeller mansion, the Breakers in newport. But I could not get my camera adjusted to the light, so he didnt turn out :( But I sure was looking! lol Have a great week, gail
PS love the new look! so pretty

Cottage Flair said...

I always look at pottery pieces but know nothing about them. Great post.

Dawn-Hydrangea Home said...

What a pretty piece. And I love your new blog design. Have a great week!

Noelle Garrett Designs said...

Hi Susan,

Thanks for the birthday wishes. Great post and I love the new look of your blog! I may have to add a new design to my list of things to do. Have a wonderful week!

SoCal Helene said...

Hi Susan,
Long time no see! I always enjoy your wealth of knowledge. Love the Mermaid, I’m sure she will be sold before you even know it!!
Hugs, Helene

SoCal Helene said...

Oh, I forgot! Luv the new design and layout.

Marie said...

Hi Susan,
I really enjoyed reading about Haeger. Love the new look of your blog. It is beautiful.
Marie said...

Hi, from Baltimore. My husband recently just inherited this same mermaid but in green from his deceased grandmother (his mother wanted to throw it away!!). Its def kitchy but sums her taste up and we are very sentimental. Yours is the only info I found so far on the web for it. We would never part with it but are looking to know how much to insure our "new" knick knacks. Thanks.