1938 was the year that artisan/designer Royal Hickman signed on to work at the Haeger Potteries near Chicago. Haeger was already one of the leading manufacturers of pottery in the US. With the addition of Hickman, the company introduced an elite line of art pottery.
The new division was called “Royal Haeger”. The products were admired for their flowing styles and original, high quality glazes. The pieces were offered in a wide range of designs for various uses as interior decor.
The alert pottery hunter can find many utilitarian Royal Haeger pieces in thrift shops. If you want something more artistic, though, the best places to look are at antiques shops and online. Be prepared for a wide range of prices. Naturally, the more exclusive pieces will cost accordingly much higher.
I don’t believe in specializing in collecting items from only one pottery, but I do have a great number of Royal Haeger vases and planters around the house. They are the “go to” vases when I want to display something very fancy.
Only one of today’s Royal Haeger containers was purchased from a thrift store. The light blue “lily” vase was manufactured in 1940. After examining it, I noticed two repairs. Normally, I reject such pottery, but this design is not often available, so I brought it home only because it is so attractive. The repairs are so crude that the resale value is very low. Fortunately, the breakage occured on the back of the vase.
The rare blue-violet glazed leaf vase is in near-mint condition and is a somewhat valuable piece. This one is actually marked “Royal Haeger by Royal Hickman USA 355”. This is something for a more serious American pottery collector. I wanted to create a balanced presentation, so I kept the flowers simple and basic.
Hickman designed several stunning fish vases for the Haeger company. This excellent example is finished in an irridescent ivory glaze and detailed with gold-leaf cold paint. This is one of the few vases that I never place in storage. A very simple, swept back floral design is all that is necessary to enhance and not overdo this vase.
If you are just beginning to collect art pottery, Royal Haeger is a good option. Attractive pieces can be had on eBay and Etsy. Whatever you discover will display very well in your home.