Vintage Flower Pots

Vintage planters & pots

Vintage flower pots have all sorts of practical uses.
Vintage flower pots have all sorts of practical uses. | Source

Looking for a unique flower pot for your home or office? Skip the garden center, and check out the nearest flea market and antique store. Or, go online.

Flower pots from the '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s and '60s can be found on eBay and other shopping sites that feature vintage goods.

Pricing

Often, vintage flower pots cost the same or less than contemporary flower pots.

I found my first vintage McCoy flower pot about 20 years ago at a garden club fundraiser. Although it was worth much more than $2 even then, that's all it cost—and an amaryllis bulb was included in the price.

Since then, I've purchased two other flower pots and a planter, each for less than $10. And I've inherited a few vintage vases and planters as well.

Unlike planters and flower pots, vintage vases can be quite pricey, but they're just as versatile.

This small vintage planter has no manufacturer markings and was probably mass produced for the floral trade.
This small vintage planter has no manufacturer markings and was probably mass produced for the floral trade. | Source

Uses

Vintage flower pots come in so many interesting patterns and finishes that you'll be tempted to use them for all sorts of things besides plants and flowers, from food service to storage. Try them as

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  • cachepots for temporary houseplants, sedums & African violets,
  • holders for makeup brushes,
  • pencil caddies &
  • silverware caddies.

Sometimes, vintage flower pots are so attractive that they don't need a use—other than being ornamental.

Vintage pots from Ohio potteries

A vintage McCoy flower pot used as a cachepot.
A vintage McCoy flower pot used as a cachepot. | Source

McCoy, Roseville & Hull

From the mid 19th century into the 1960s, hundreds of potteries operated in and around four eastern Ohio towns rich in clay, East Liverpool, Roseville, Zanesville and Crooksville (Myroth).

Hull Pottery Company, Nelson McCoy Pottery and Roseville Pottery Company are among the most famous and prolific of those companies. Others from the "Pottery Belt" or "Clay Corridor," as the area came to be called, include the Mosaic Tile Company, J.B. Owens Pottery, Shawnee Pottery, Watt Pottery, Weller Pottery and Zanesville Art Pottery (Myroth).

Roseville Pottery

A Roseville basket vase with two-tone orange/brown background & freesia motif.
A Roseville basket vase with two-tone orange/brown background & freesia motif. | Source

Roseville Pottery

Flower Pots, Planters & Vases

Roseville pottery was produced in eastern Ohio from the late 19th century until the potteries closed in 1954. For the first eight years, production occurred in the city of Roseville only, and then later in both Roseville and Zanesville.

Originally, the company's name was the Roseville Pottery Company, which changed to Roseville Pottery, Inc. during the '30s. Flower pots were among the earliest items produced (Crews). High-quality art pottery, including vases and jardinieres, were also produced.

Popular Roseville flower designs feature magnolias, freesia, clematis and water lily.

McCoy Pottery

A small "leaves & diamonds" McCoy pot.
A small "leaves & diamonds" McCoy pot. | Source
A large vintage McCoy Flower Pot in the "leaves & diamonds" pattern.
A large vintage McCoy Flower Pot in the "leaves & diamonds" pattern. | Source
An embossed McCoy marking on the pot bottom.
An embossed McCoy marking on the pot bottom. | Source

McCoy

Flower Pots, Cachepots & Planters

Nelson McCoy Pottery, established in 1899, became The Nelson McCoy Sanitary Stoneware Company in 1910, and later, in 1933, the Nelson McCoy Pottery Company. It continued to produce pottery under that name until the company folded in 1990 ("About McCoy Pottery").

Old McCoy pottery from the '20s and '30s often features berries and leaves. The glazes are ordinarily green or a blend of green and brown.

Pottery produced by Mcoy before 1929 has no markings (Imsand). Once the company did begin adding marks, 17 different McCoy marks were used over the years.


Appraisal of Inexpensive McCoy Vase

Hull Pottery

The Hull mark from a high-gloss jardinière produced between 1952 and 1954.
The Hull mark from a high-gloss jardinière produced between 1952 and 1954. | Source
Hull Woodland basket vase/jardinière with faux branch handle and flower design on both sides.
Hull Woodland basket vase/jardinière with faux branch handle and flower design on both sides. | Source

Hull Pottery

Flower pots, vases & planters

Hull flower pots and other ceramic garden ware from the 1930s and '40s are usually in pastel shades with a matte finish. Often, they have floral motifs and two-tone backgrounds, such as pink/blue, yellow/rose and pink/turquoise. Popular floral lines from Hull include Magnolia, Calla Lily, Orchid, Open Rose/Camellia and Wildflower.

Because Hull supplied garden ware to florists during the 40s, 50s and 60s, figural vases and planters featuring swans, kittens, lambs and baby carriages are fairly easy to find ("Hull Art Pottery").

A Short History of Hull

After over 80 years, Hull Pottery closed in 1986. Begun in 1905, Hull first produced casual dinnerware & decorative tile. In the 1920s, the company expanded, producing art pottery as well. From '30s into the '50s, Hull Pottery developed several popular product lines, including Red Riding Hood. Lamps, piggy banks & liquor dispensers were also added to its catalog at that time ("Hull Pottery History").

Although Hull produced some glossy garden ware in its early days of manufacturing, high gloss finishes are more indicative of Hull pottery produced after 1950, when a fire and subsequent new equipment made producing the popular matte finish impossible ("Hull Art Pottery"). At that point, Hull reproduced some of its most popular pieces with a high gloss finish, including those from its Woodland series, pictured above right.


Vintage Flower Pots & Planters

Planters featuring birds, lambs, kittens & other motifs appropriate for children's rooms make unique, inexpensive gifts for new parents.
Planters featuring birds, lambs, kittens & other motifs appropriate for children's rooms make unique, inexpensive gifts for new parents. | Source

Inexpensive, no-name vintage flower pots, vases and planters are readily available online and at yard sales, flea markets and antique stores. Originally manufactured for florists, they often feature motifs like poodles, lambs and love birds that are suitable for special occasions, such as births, birthdays and anniversaries.

Although no-name vintage flower pots and planters do not have discernable manufacturers, they often have that certain something, that " kitsch factor," that endows them with oodles of sweetness and charm.

Works Cited

"About McCoy Pottery." Just Art Pottery. 2012. Web. 14 October 2012.

Crews, Barbara. "Roseville Pottery." Collectibles. About.com. 2012. Web. 14 Oct. 2012.

"Hull Pottery History." HullPottery.net. 3 August 2008. Web. 13 Oct. 2012.

Imsand , Dewayne . "History of the Nelson McCoy Pottery." McCoy Pottery Collectors' Society. Web. 14 October 2012.

Myroth, Greg. "Ohio Art Pottery." Art Pottery Blog. 9 June 2008. Web. 14 Oct. 2012.

© 2012 Jill

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Comments 30 comments

The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

Hi Patricia. Sounds like a town with lots of antique stores! Hope you find something good! Take care, Jill


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 4 years ago from sunny Florida

Thank you, Dirt Farmer, for sharing these works of are with us. You are so right when you say that some are just lovely enough to stand alone waiting to be admired.

There is a tiny town near me where I am certain I can find one of these. I will be off soon to check and see.

ps


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

Hi Eddy. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the hub. --Jill


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

A great hub so very interesting and well presented.

Thanks for sharing.

Eddy.


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

Hey MsDora. Appreciate it. Thanks! --Jill


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

Yeah, they would make good vases. Great idea, Amaryllis! Thanks for the feedback.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean

Especially love the Roseville basket vase. Enjoyed the entire hub. Thanks for the lesson in vintage flower pots. Voted Up and Useful.


Amaryllis profile image

Amaryllis 4 years ago from New Hampshire

Fascinating hub. I'm going to look for some of these and arrange flowers in them!


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

Hi Peggy! Sounds like you come from a family of glass & pottery lovers, too. Sometimes it's hard to know what to do with it all, but it is nice to have. The Roseville does tend to be expensive. Thanks for commenting! --Jill


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Great topic for a hub. I have several Roseville pottery pieces and also some others that came down to me from my family. I really like using them because of the family ties and also just because they are beautiful. Some of those Roseville pieces on Amazon seem to be really good buys! Up votes and tweeted.


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

Hey Suzie! Glad you enjoyed the hub. I found the yellow and blue diamond/leaves pots in an antique store. I think the largest one cost $8, the smaller one $5. I really like that blue color in some McCoy pieces. The vintage pots seem to fit right in with cottage-style, country & shabby chic décor. Take care, Jill


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

Hi Blossomsb! Very funny. (And btw, you're vintage surely, not ancient--although that does imply even MORE value.) Glad you stopped by! (: --Jill


Suzie HQ profile image

Suzie HQ 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

What lovely pots in the vintage era! Never really thought about looking for vintage before in pots but love your selection and ideas for uses! Loved the basket, Mc Coy's diamond designed pots and the little birds one! Think I may have to use for other things too, like Mary, in fear of them getting damaged!

Thanks for such an interesting look at vintage with great research and links! VU, interesting, useful and shared :-)


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

What an interesting topic for a hub. As I'm ancient and have inherited ancient flower pots I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you.


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

Thanks for the vote, Faith Reaper! Glad you like the hub. (: Jill


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

Oh, how lovely ---vintage pots. Lovely hub with beautiful photos. Voted Way Up

God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

@ grandmapearl -- Hey! Thanks for commenting & for sharing this hub. Hope you find some old flower pots that you like. (:--Jill


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

What a fun and interesting topic! I will definitely be looking on ebay for some of these vintage treasures. Great ideas and lots of good information. Voted Up across the board and pinned!


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

Hi Sinea Pies! If I had the $ and the room, I might be tempted to be a collector, too. Art pottery really is beautiful. Thanks for stopping by! (:


Sinea Pies profile image

Sinea Pies 4 years ago from Northeastern United States

My mother in law was a collector of vases. She had one very similar to the Roseville basket you show here. It was beautiful.

Voted up and beautiful, just like the photos. :)


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

Hi Carol. Lots of people collect old Ohio pottery from the "Clay Corridor." Although I'm not a collector, I certainly like the look of vintage pots and tend to prefer old things to new ones. Thanks for commenting! Always nice to hear from you. --Jill


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

Fun to enjoy all these lovely pots. I had no idea there were so many of these around. I think we all often get caught up in what we directly are interested in. That is what is so good about Hubpages..exploring new topics and ideas. Great hub and voted UP+++


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

Hi livingsta! I found that one at a flea market. Glad you liked the hub. Take care, Jill


livingsta profile image

livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Beautiful little hub, the pictures are lovely. The pot with those 2 birds and an Aloe vera plant is just so beautiful! Voted up and beautiful. Thank you for sharing :)


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

Hi Mary. I have to agree with you, at least when it comes to the more expensive and fragile art pottery pots. One day when I was taking a walk through town, I passed a house with a beautiful blue magnolia Roseville flower pot perched on the porch railing. It was planted with impatiens, I think. Anyway, the owners had lots of hounds, and they tended to jump on the railings and walk along them, baying at passersby. I was so appalled (the pot was worth $150 at least) that I knocked on the door. The owner had no idea it was valuable--although it was absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for commenting and voting, Mary. Always nice to hear from you.


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

These are beautiful pots, but I would not put a real plant in one. I'd be afraid it would get broken, but I'd like to use them in other ways.

Informative Hub. I voted it UP, etc.


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

Hi donnah75. I remember those beige places! Luckily, beige is a good backdrop for a wide palette of colors. (: Thanks for commenting & sharing. Appreciate it! --Jill


donnah75 profile image

donnah75 4 years ago from Upstate New York

Beautiful photos. These vintage pots are real works of art. I think sometimes we lose that artistic flair today, so it is nice to know that the vintage pots are still out there and being used. I love having interesting flower pots to put plants in. It brightens up the room, especially since I live in a beige on beige on beige apartment that I am not able to paint. Great hub full of interesting information. Voted up and sharing.


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States Author

You'd be surprised how many you can find, Pavlo. I'm sure you could find vintage flower pots at really high prices, but I've never paid more than $10 for one. And they're sturdier than you'd think! Thanks for commenting. --Jill


Pavlo Badovskyy profile image

Pavlo Badovskyy 4 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

Hi, The topic is amazing. I could not imagine there ARE vintage pots. To my opinion pots are so fragile they can not actually stand long if they are actively used. I know that some people collect christmas toys and some of them are really valuable, but pots.... How much expensive can be a vintage pot?

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