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Wall Pockets

A Pocket Full of Posies ... for the Wall

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Wall Pockets

Bananas Wall Pocket

- Pamela Wiggins
Wall pockets really hit their heyday during the 1940s and ‘50s. After their popularity waned with homemakers, it took a while for them to catch on with collectors leaving these interesting collectibles lingering on antique shop shelves for quite some time.

Now, however, wall pockets are favored finds with antiques dealers and collectors alike. This is especially true when it comes to popular pottery examples and hard-to-find pieces by a number of well-known makers.

Roseville and Weller Wall Pockets

Wall pockets made by Roseville, Weller and Rookwood found favor with dealers and collectors prior to other more kitschy examples. Wall vase patterns made by these pottery companies often matched other lines they produced, and they can be quite pricey in most instances.

For example, a pristine Roseville Sunflower wall pocket sold on eBay for $1,283 in September 2008, and a Columbine pattern piece with its unusual question mark shape topped out at $264 in the same timeframe. By and large, the only bargains to be found in Roseville wall pockets are damaged or repaired pieces and even those can sell in the $50 range depending on the style and pattern.

A Weller Brighton double bud wall vase featuring a bird amid two branches once listed for $1,250 in Schroeder's Antiques Price Guide, and that's for an unmarked version. That’s somewhat atypical, however. Most Weller wall pockets sell for at least $75 each these days, and those with fancier décor are well over $100 but only the rarest examples will reach into the thousands.

There are reproductions to deal with as well, and this is especially true of Roseville pieces. It’s hard to visit a bustling flea market now without running across pottery reproductions, and wall pockets are no exception. The quality of the decoration on these pieces is usually a dead giveaway, but it’s wise to take care when you’re buying from an unfamiliar dealer. Read Identifying Roseville Reproductions to learn more about spotting these pieces, which includes detailed photographs of a fake wall pocket.

Other Types of Wall Pockets

Fervently crafted until the 1950s, there were thousands of wall pocket styles made over the years. These popular decorative accessories were shaped like teacups, parrots, irons, and flowers, just to a name a few themes, and they hung on the walls of the most fashionable homes of the day.

Unmarked American wall pockets and imports from Germany, Czechoslovakia, China, and Japan weren't nearly as popular as the big names until just a few years ago. It was just a matter of time until the collecting cycle caught up with these kitschy wall decorations. Even so, most of them still don’t command values equivalent to that of Rookwood, Roseville, Weller and other pricier pottery examples.

More on Wall Pocket Values

For collectors just being drawn to these space-saving trinkets, bargain wall pockets can still be found in the $20-30 range. These will generally be unsigned or plentiful styles made by well-known potters.

Different glaze variations on the same piece or different styles in a series can result in variations in price. A number of the plentiful wall pockets made by McCoy fall into this category. For instance, a hard-to-find McCoy orange wall pocket usually sells for $200-250 but a more common pear or apple wall vase, also marked McCoy, can be found in the $25-30 range.

As another example, a McCoy grape wall pocket that can vary from $40 to $200 depending on whether the leaves are green or brown. For this reason, a good reference book to guide in distinguishing nuances like these can make a world of difference when pricing items for sale or shopping to add to a collection.

Book Recommendations

Look for Collector's Encyclopedia of Wall Pockets by Betty and Bill Newbound and Collector's Guide to Wall Pockets, Affordable and Others by Marvin and Joy Gibson as good references on this topic.

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