2 new pieces of Wick China added to my collection

This week our mailman that happens to be female, delivered a long anticipated package from an individual in Ohio.  It was so exciting to receive the phone call at work that a large box arrived in the mail for as I knew exactly what was carefully wrapped inside.  Inside this box nestled in those irritating packaging peanuts and taped in bubble wrap were pieces 73 and 74 for my collection of china manufactured by the Wick China Company.  I couldn’t wait to get home and place these two items with the other 72 pieces that were all made before 1914.

The Wick China Company was a commanding presence over the Allegheny River.

Once I arrived home from work that evening, I carefully removed each from the box and eagerly unwrapped their protective covering, I could see the beautiful blue tone floral print on each piece.  Both these pieces were at one time part of a toiletry set that possibly graced some ladies wash stand in her chamber.  The greatness that these two pieces were part of a set are not what has thrilled me as much as the pottery mark on the bottom.  This will be the first in my collection to contain the KNOBLE T W C Co. on the bottom.

The newest additions to my collection of Wick China.

The KNOBLE mark from the Wick China Company.

My collection up until acquiring these pieces, consisted primarily of the two most common marks which are the Aurora China mark and the one with two horses flanking a coat of arms with The Wick China Co. underneath.  I also have another rare mark, a mark that I have never read about in pottery books, nor have I ever seen on another piece of Wick China.  Due to the distortion on the bottom of the plate it is stamped on, this mark is somewhat illegible, but a portion can be read.  It appears to be Marseillies or something close to it.  The rest of the design resembles the Aurora Mark.

The mysterious "Marseillies" mark from a Wick China Plate in my collection.

Over the past year, I have had several individuals inquire about the pottery that once stood along North Water Street, where the new YMCA facility is currently being build.  Many people are looking for the same information.  How can you tell if it is Wick China?  Do you know who worked there?  How can you tell what year certain pieces come from?  All these questions are certainly important.

The truth is, after the storm destroyed the plant, and W. S. George purchased it, there is little to no documentation on the company.  Beers History of Armstrong County briefly overs some insight about the company.  The Sanborn Fire Insurance maps for Kittanning, dating from 1903, 1908 and 1913, do offer a glimpse to the layout of the pottery.  These maps show the kilns, painting and decorating areas, as well as offices, and a host of other areas that Kittanning and Wickboro residents earned a living.  There are also a handful of pottery books on the market that have made reference to the company, as well as offer a few images of the marks to identify it as Wick China.  Other than those records, nothing else has been discovered.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps from 1908 offering some insight as to the layout of the pottery.

This past summer I have started to extract names from the Kittanning Borough and Wickboro 1910 Federal Census Records of those listed as being employed by the pottery.  Currently, I estimate that I have complete about one quarter search.  This will be the only known list or partial list of employees that punched the time clock at the pottery.  I hope to create a database or table of these names and their residents and available information from the Census.

One of two best known pottery marks on Wick China, Aurora with T W C in the center.

Sources:

1908 Sanborn Map & Publishing Company, Limited, 117 & 119 Broadway, New York, NY.

Lehner’s Encyclopedia of U. S. Marks on Pottery, Porcelain & Clay, 1988 By Lois Lehner.

Grandma’s Tea Leaf, by Annise Heaivilin.

Wick China Company photograph from Pete Harmon

Pictures of Wick China and markings from the collection of Christopher Anthony.

4 thoughts on “2 new pieces of Wick China added to my collection

  1. Hi Christopher,

    I have some toilet ware pieces from The Wick China Company. Can you help me get some information about the pieces? Is there a website I can reference? I have a pitcher, bowl, cup, mug, and soap dish with lid. The marking on the bottom of the pitcher is the one with the 2 horses on the right and left side and hand written the numbers 124.

    Thank you,
    Anne Wolfe

    • Hi Anne
      You certainly have a great find there!!! I long to own a toiletry set from the Wick China Company. Unfortunately there is not website containing any information regarding the company. What is known is what I know of it as well as a few others. I have .been attempting to extract the names of individuals that worked there from the 1910 Census.

      Thanks for your interest and look forward to hearing more from you.

      Christopher Anthony, Co-founder of kittanningonline.com

      • We are collecting Ford China Co. Pottery. On Let Go some was selling Aurora pieces. They looked so much like our collection. I had to do quite a bit of research before a found a reference to Wick China Company. Thank You!

        • Good day to you and thanks for taking time to visit our site. Ford China was actually started by John Wick, who was the founder of the Wick China Company in Kittanning. There is very little published history or information regarding the Wick China Company. What material is around I have completed a lot of the research.

          Christopher

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