These pieces with an obliterated mark sometimes have other marks still in place denoting the decorator, when the piece was registered and what mixture of clay was used.
A piece with a line through the mark denotes it was likely sold as a"second."How Come Newcomb Pottery Has So Many Different Marks?
Being keenly aware of the importance of handcrafted design, Newcomb's mark system documents the making of each piece including who molded the clay, who decorated the item, and what clay mixture was used.
Another mark used was "N" and "C" on either side of a vase within a rectangle.
Several other marks were also incised into the bottom of each piece: by Edwin Atlee Barber printed in 1904. Being regarded as high quality representations of both American art pottery and the Arts and Crafts movement, Newcomb College pottery has its share of fans ranging from collectors with deep pockets to museums across the globe.
If an antiquer happens to run across a piece of this pottery at a bargain price, it's considered a rare find today although it does happen on occasion.
Newcomb College Pottery began as a collective designed to build on the Arts and Crafts ideal of hand crafted decorative arts being far superior when compared to machine made goods.
This pottery, made in New Orleans, Louisiana beginning in 1894, allowed women to learn the craft of decorating clay wares, and also gave them a means of successfully sharing their work with the world through 1939.
Unlike pieces made by George Ohr, who crafted his misunderstood wares in nearby Biloxi, Mississippi and studied with Newcomb's master potter Joseph Fortune Meyer, Newcomb pottery was very highly regarded even when it was newly made.Today, collectors of American art pottery dating to the turn of the 20th century still see it as a skillful representation of this type of decorative art. With exacting standards reflecting the ideals of William Morris, founding father of the Arts and Crafts movement, early Newcomb wares were uniquely a southern American product."The pots were to be well-designed, one of a kind, hand-thrown and hand-decorated utilitarian pieces.Decoration was to be inspired by Louisiana flora and fauna.Local clays [dug] north of Lake Pontchartrain were used (although suitable clay for throwing required the addition of various materials from Alabama, South Carolina, New Jersey, Kentucky and Indiana).""Before Newcomb pottery was offered to the public for sale, its quality had to pass a rigorous assessment by a four-person faculty jury.If a piece did not meet criteria of the committee, the College's impressed cipher of an "N" within a "C" was ground off the bottom of the pot with an abrasive wheel," according to the Louisiana State Museum's website.