Pottery falls just short of glassware in being the vintage collectible that takes up the most space at antique stores. But for all the impressive glassware brands that people can name off the top of their heads (Limoges, Murano, and so on), far fewer ceramic makers come to mind. It’s time to fill a hole in your ceramics education and learn more about Haeger Pottery — one of the longest-running ceramics manufacturers in the United States.
Haeger Pottery & It’s 20th Century Legacy
Haeger Pottery’s origin story isn’t much different from many Reconstruction-era American businesses. In 1871, David H. Haeger, a German immigrant, bought an existing brickyard in Illinois and began manufacturing a sundry of products. Yet, the company really took off when his son, Edmund, hired a ceramic engineer named J. Martin Stangl in 1914. Under his guidance, they released the first in a long line of ceramic artware, called Adam, and a companion piece called Eve.
This set them on the path towards independent ceramic production, and they really came into their own style in the next few decades. Haeger was so successful that it only shut its doors in 2016 — an impressive 145 years after it opened.
Collectible Haeger Pottery Styles to Look For
Haeger pottery has been climbing in popularity at a steady pace for the past few years. As thrifting becomes more popular and people turn towards vintage aesthetics, Haeger’s crisp, colorful glazes fit the bill for whatever interior design hole they’re looking to fill.
The Royal Haeger Line
But not every decade in Haeger’s catalog has caught people’s eye. The Royal Haeger pieces, produced under designer Royal Arden Hickman’s direction, are among the most valuable. These pieces were created in the 1930s to early 1940s and reflect the waning Art Deco style.
Of these Royal Arden pieces, some common characteristics to look for are:
- Art Deco flourishes such as scrollwork, floral motifs, and geometric lines
- Vases sculpted in the shape of animals like fish and swans
- Saturated colors that have a more matte effect
Royal Arden ceramics usually have Royal Haeger and not just Haeger stamped on the bottom.
Mid-Century Modern Haeger Ceramics
Mid-century modern aesthetics have been popping off in pop culture lately, and it’s thanks to this that many of Haeger’s less impressive mid-century pieces’ prices are climbing. Generally, the pitchers and vases from this period really draw people in.
Some characteristics to look for include:
- Flat, mid-century colors such as mamie pink and tangerine orange
- Simple, clear lines
- Ceramics with a play on height or width (i.e. slender and tall vases or wide dishes)
How Much Is Vintage Haeger Pottery Worth?
On the whole, vintage Haeger pottery is a bit hit or miss when it comes to impressive values. Occasionally, a piece or set will come to auction and do quite well. For instance, this Royal Haeger sculpted matador and bull set sold for $250 online. Or this impressive mid-century panther statue, which sold for $197.25. But, more often than not, Haeger pieces sell for under $100, like this quaint ribbed planter that only sold for $18 on eBay.
So, if you really want to make the most of your finds, look for the larger animal sculptures and mid-century modern pieces. The bigger they are, the more they’re going to be worth.
Get That Vintage Style on a Budget
As a vintage collector, there’s nothing I love more than getting good finds on a budget. When you’re not made of money, it’s the aesthetic that counts, and Haeger pottery delivers every time. Whether you’re in the market for a new-to-you piece or you’re looking for the perfect gift for a friend, Haeger pottery is a reliable and affordable choice that you can find just about anywhere.