What Is It? September 2015


We had one correct answer for our September’s What Is It. Carol Vilkaitis of Loveland, Colorado identified the object this way: “What a nice surprise when I saw the Sept.’s What Is It in your recent issue. I actually have one of these Spanish Galleon wall pockets hanging on my wall. I always admired it when it was hanging in my parents’ home and was glad to receive it when they gave it to me. I love the bright colors which enhance any flowers I might add to it, although it looks striking all by itself!”

Yes, Carol, this is a wall pocket. This particular one is a colorful Spanish galleon on wall pocket made in Japan. Although people have hung vases and other containers on their walls for centuries, the golden era of decorative wall pocket did not really emerge until the early 20th century. During the 1920s and 1930s nearly every American household had at least one attractive example. Some came from the local variety store and some came from leading art pottery producers.

Today wall pockets are being discovered by collectors and thanks to the earlier ‘golden era’ they are fairly abundant in number and diverse in design. Staffordshire potter Thomas Whieldon is known to have included wall pockets in his wares as early as the 1750s. Many others including Josiah Spode and Josiah Wedgwood also produced them, at least for a time.

Congratulations, Carol, you have won a year’s subscription to the Mountain States Collector.


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