Fiesta Ware

A lot of three Fiesta globular pottery handled ice-lip water pitchers on circular support, two yellow, one cobalt blue, by Homer Laughlin China Company

p4A ItemID E8959872
A lot of seven Fiesta cups and saucers, assorted colors, by Homer Laughlin China Company

p4A ItemID E8959871
A pair of Fiesta small yellow pottery handled disc pitchers, by Homer Laughlin China Company

p4A ItemID E8959861
A pair of Fiesta tri-pod candleholders, ivory glaze, rounded triangular base having a ribbed domical form

p4A ItemID E8946674

Fiesta Ware Pottery

Fiesta ware was introduced in 1936 by the Homer Laughlin China Co. of Newell, West Virginia as a line of lower priced dinnerware at the Pottery and Glass Show in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Fiesta line was styled by the noted designer Frederic H. Read and featured a streamlined look characterized by a band on concentric circles. Most importantly, it was issued in five “festive” colors in a self-reflective glaze. The original colors where red (which was actually an orange-red), cobalt, light green, yellow, and ivory. Turquoise was added in mid-1937. Red was discontinued in 1943 when the U.S. government assumed control of uranium oxide, used in the manufacture of the glaze. The color returned to the market in March 1959 when the Atomic Energy Commission granted Homer Laughlin a license to buy uranium oxide.

By the fall of 1951 the company had retired three colors: cobalt, light green, and ivory. They were replaced with forest green, rose, chartreuse, and gray, the so-called “Fifties” colors, since they remained in production until 1959. The eleventh and final color to be added was medium green, introduced in 1959.

The company re-designed the Fiesta line in 1969 with red remaining as the only original color in production. As part of the re-design Fiesta cups lost their original full circle handles in favor of a new partial circle form.

Color is a major factor in determining Fiesta ware values. Medium green is the rarest and most highly prized, since its production covered only a few years and did not include many of the earlier forms. Some medium green accessories are especially prized, including the deep plate, disk pitcher, casserole, and medium teapot. Items in red, cobalt, and ivory also command relatively higher prices.

Certain individual forms also generate considerable interest, such as the 10 inches and 12 inches flower vases, which were in production from mid-1936 until the fall of 1942. Other scarce items include the syrup pitcher and marmalade jar.

The new 1969 dinnerware, Fiesta Ironstone, was discontinued on January 1, 1973. Its continued popularity, however, prompted Homer Laughlin to reissue the Fiesta line in 1986 with a completely new color palate and new companion pieces designed by Jonathan O. Parry. This “modern” Fiesta ware continues to be made today


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