Haeger Potteries - A Collection Of Vases
125 Years In The Making
How did a brick manufacturer from Germany end
up migrating to Dundee, Illinois, in the 1870s and start one
of the most collectible pottery businesses in the nation?
David Haeger, a proud and wise brick-maker, seized a supply-and-demand
situation in 1871 when the Great Chicago Fire destroyed nearly
17,500 buildings. Haeger formed Dundee Brickyard and prospered
greatly from solely producing bricks and roof tiles during
this reconstruction period of 25 years. Through time, Dundee
Brickyard has readjusted its focus and even split into a division
called Haeger Pottery, which celebrated its 125 anniversary
Haeger Potteries' beginnings came after David
Haeger's death in 1900 when his sons decided to expand the
product line and include red clay pots for florists. By July
16, 1919, David's son Edmund purchased this pottery division
and renamed it Haeger Potteries. To this day, these timeless
vases remain a popular item in the floral industry. Inside
Haegar Potteries' 125th anniversary product catalog, Haegar
Potteries attributes its success to producing "the most
collected accessories for the home~ destined to continue into
the 21st Century and beyond". Some products added to
its wonderful collection are planters, vases, figurines, candleholders,
bowls, urns, ashtrays, bookends and lamps.
What makes Haegar Potteries so collectible?
From the time when Edmund initially introduced glazed ceramic
products in 1912, the Haeger glaze became and remains a distinctive
feature. Haeger Potteries doesn't always carry a mark;
instead, this pottery stands out by its characteristic color
and finish mixture, which changed each decade. For instance,
pink or lime green is the distinct coloring for Haeger Potteries
of the 1950s. The 1970s Haeger Potteries
line is best identified by orange and brown. Once better department
stores of the 1920s started to carry Haeger Potteries, its
factory output tripled.
Haeger Potteries scored a marketing coupe when
the company participated in the 1934 Chicago World~s Fair,
also known as Century of Progress. For the yearlong exposition,
Edmund Haeger exhibited a complete ceramic works that
demonstrated both current and southwest Native American pottery
techniques. Over four million people were introduced to Haeger
products during the fair.
The year 1938 marked two major events at Haeger
Potteries. First, management leadership passed to Joseph Estes,
son-in-law to Edmund Haeger. Joseph Estes became president
of the company upon the death of Edmund Haeger in 1971. Joseph
Estes subsequently passed the torch to the fourth
generation of the Haeger dynasty, his daughter Alexandra Haeger
Estes, in 1979. Alexandra Estes remains president of the entire
corporation, Haeger Industries, to this day.
Who would want to collect common red clay pots
used by florists? Well, this ordinary product doesn't hold
much more than sentimental value. However, the finer and unique
vases and figurines are highly collectible and sought after
antiques. The better quality antiques can get as much as several
hundred dollars from dedicated collectors.
From the grand vision of one man's desire to
introduce glazed ceramic pottery out of his father's brickyard,
Edmund Haeger went on to create an enthusiastic market for
his products. These quality goods, new or antique, are still
the market today and sold around the nation.
George Coggle is the owner of FG
Collectible which is a principal web site for collectible
related information. For questions and comments please visit
his archive of articles at: http://www.fgcollectible.com.