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Roseville Pottery Information

Roseville Pottery Information | Shape Number Families

Shape Numbering Systems at Roseville

Between the factory's founding in 1890 and its close in 1954, Roseville used several different shape numbering systems, which are briefly described below. This page summarizes them. (For a more complete explanation, see  Understanding Roseville Pottery.) <>Here's a summary of a surprising discovery--which is also not explained in other writers' books on Roseville...

During 1916-1946, Roseville used a relatively logical shape numbering system
: shape numbers were assigned by shape family and in numerical (and therefore chronological) order.

In the table of Shape Number Families, the ca. 1916-1946 shape numbers are shown in boldface.

Some Creamware items (like Persian and Tourist) were numbered in accordance with this system; others (like Juvenile) were numbered separately. Some shapes in Rozane Pattern begin with the letter "R." Some Sylvan shapes begin with the letter "S."

In 1947 an alpha-numberic system was introduced (used for the lines Snowberry and Wincraft, and later for some examples of Capri and Burmese). This system proved cumbersome, and was not used very long.

Starting in 1948, Roseville adopted a numbering system in which the first digit of a shape number identifies the line: Wincraft shape numbers start with "2," Apple Blossom with "3," Pine Cone Modern with "4," Ming Tree with "5," Gardenia with "6," Silhouette with "7," Bittersweet with "8," and Mock Orange with "9."

The so-called "short lines" (such as Lotus) were numbered separately, as were both Raymor and commercial items like Hyde Park. By 1954 the company's financial difficulties were more pressing than other considerations; lines introduced just before the factory closed sometimes have an individually assigned sequence of shape numbers.

Important Note: During 1916-1946, Roseville sometimes defined as one shape family a group of items that present-day collectors may view as unrelated. For example, the "Novelties" category includes many bud vases, cornucopias, fan vases, flower frogs, gates, and strawberry jars.

Before 1916, shape numbers at Roseville were much less predictable.

Reproductions of Roseville Pottery!

Appendixes in both Introducing Roseville Pottery and Understanding Roseville Pottery illustrate some of the most typical reproductions, copycats, and lookalikes, including photographs of their fake marks.

© 2009 Mark Bassett
Updated 8/09/09