Saturday, July 14, 2007

John B. Taylor Ceramics, Louisville, Kentucky Horse Mug

John B. Taylor Ceramics, which later became Louisville Ceramics in 1971, produced dinnerware and art pottery as well as promotional items for other businesses. Tracing its beginning as a producer of stoneware to 1815, it was owned by John B. Taylor from 1938 to 1970 and is now known as Louisville Stoneware. It is probably worth mentioning that prior to 1944 Mary Ann Hadley worked for John B. Taylor as a decorator.

This piece is a large, heavy stoneware mug with a bridled horse head in low relief on one side. It doesn't seem to be part of any particular dinnerware set. does have listed a blue and buff horse dinnerware set but the items pictured have a design that is vaguely reminiscent of the White Horse of Uffington and nothing like this mug.

This thick walled mug is made from Indiana clay that fires buff. The weight alone (1 lb 14 oz)would almost guarantee that it is a display item rather than intended for use as a drinking vessel. The applied glaze decoration has a deliberately rustic look. The thumb rest on the handle is designed and decorated to look like an English saddle with a cinch running under it. The green line that follows both sides of the handle ends in a stirrup.

The mug was made in a mold rather than hand built. The mold line runs up the handle and up the side of the mug opposite the handle. It isn't totally eradicated but there was some effort made it finish it nicely. To the right is the cobalt undergaze stamp used to mark the mug. This is probably the last mark used by this company prior to the take over and renaming of the company. From the examples found online, the dinnerware lines for the most part continued to be manufactured with only a change in the mark. When I posted this there was only one other mug like it to be found.


Anonymous said...

I have 6 (six) mugs like this, only they are blue. Any idea of value?? said...

I have 6 mugs like this except that they are blus.Any idea of value??

Rimca said...

Well said.

Verilees said...

@fircone7: Sorry to answer this over a year later! The value of anything like this depends on the market. It has a lot going for it but it also does not appear to have an established collectible market. The more people who want an item, the more the price goes up. I remember when McCoy pottery would go for change.

The best thing that could happen would be for someone to write a book about Louisville Stoneware. Nothing seems to spur collectors on like a clear identification guide.

Value also depends on where the item is offered for sale. I imagine that the place a set is likely to sell best would be Louisville. I was there last spring before the Derby and saw people paying way more for associational items that I would have.

Remember, too, that condition counts for a lot. If there is crazing (not a sign of age as some would have it, but the result of a mismatch between the glaze and the clay) or chips then the value of a piece can be reduced substantially.

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Anonymous said...

I have a plate given to my uncle many years ago. it has the John B Taylor Ceramics mark on the back if it. Apparently it was made special for a birth as it reads: Jimmy Foster, October 19, 1942 with a tree in the middle of the plate. On the left side it has a clock with the time (5:56 a.m)and on the right side on the tree it has a scales with the weight (6 lbs 2 oz.) at the bottom it shows St. Anthony's Hospital
Oklahoma City, Okla

Has anyone seen anything like this & do they think it might be of some value.

Anonymous said...

last week our group held a similar discussion about this topic and you point out something we haven't covered yet, thanks.

- Laura