Mark 1.1894-1897
13/32" dia. red paper label used in Edgerton, Wisconsin in 1894, and in Chicago in 1895-1897. Extremely rare.

 

The Wisconsin Tobacco Reporter noted in its April 1894 columns, the foreclosure, sale, and re-organization of the Pauline Pottery. Lacking strong management, the mortgagees of the pottery, had no choice but re-organization. "...The pottery has a good supply of orders on hand and work will not be interrupted...", an article stated. A new company, The Edgerton Pottery Company, was formed and the assets of the Pauline Pottery merged into it.  Under contract to make a porous pottery utilitarian filter for the Geissel Field Water Filter Company of Chicago, Edgerton Pottery may have also made some art-pottery, using molds from the Pauline works, under the "Rock Pottery" name. There was, however, no strong art-pottery department, and Pauline Jacobus is not associated with this company, which remained in business until 1901.

     By the middle of the year, however, Mae Johnson, who had been teaching small classes in china painting while decorating white china blanks for Wilder Pickard, set up an art-studio in the Taylor House, an old hotel on the northeast corner of West Fulton and Albion streets in Edgerton. Her first major shipment of finished pieces went to a Waukesha, Wisconsin dealer, but by year's end she was filling orders for over one-hundred customers. Johnson's art studio was, in fact, the first decorating studio for Pickard China, a fact confirmed by that company's first mark, a paper label circle, about 1/2 inch in diameter, banded in red around the circumference with the legends "Edgerton" at the top, "Hand Painted" on the bottom, and "Pickard" in the open space between the red circle band.

     The small art studio was producing hand-painted, gold highlighted, china "...equal to any to be found on the market." Employing eight to ten decorators, the studio used about $300, worth of gold leaf in the decorating process. Eight to ten decorators and $300 worth of gold-leaf packets suggests that a large quantity of hand-painted and gold-decorated china was sent out from the small studio. 

     Reflecting their close professional relationship, Mae Johnson went to Chicago to attend Wilder Austin Pickard's December 28th marriage to Minnie Verna Flood, a teacher and artist who had studied oil painting and was now learning china decorating. They had met shortly after he arrived in Chicago, as the Flood home was across the street from the boarding house Pickard had taken rooms.

     Meanwhile, The American Art Clay Works was making statuary "...that are simply elegant...the handsomest yet turned out by them.

Pickard China

1. Edgerton's History in Clay by Maurice Montgomery

          Official Website of the City of Edgerton, 12 Albion St, Edgerton, Wisconsin 53534 (608) 884-3341 Rock & Dane County