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Rookwood Plaque

This is a Plaque. It was manufactured by Rookwood Pottery and decorated by Sarah Alice Toohey. It is dated 1903–13 and we acquired it in 1984. Its medium is molded and glazed earthenware. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Rookwood, based in Ohio and founded in 1880, was the largest American art pottery firm of the over one hundred that existed around the turn of the century. In 1902, Rookwood opened an architectural faience department to satisfy the growing demand for architectural ceramic tiles. Such tiles were prized for their fireproofing properties, particularly in decorating chimneys, and their easy-to-clean surfaces, which catered to the increasing interest in sanitation. Furthermore, the handcrafted quality was in line with the period’s popular Arts and Crafts movement. Rookwood used advertising tiles like this one to display the rich surface textures and saturated, matte-glaze colors for which it was renowned. In 1901, the Crockery and Glass Journal named Rookwood’s colors and glazes the finest outside of Japan and China. Rookwood usually marked its wares with factory date, clay type, size, process, and decorator. The “ST” monogram, molded into the bottom left corner, belongs to Sarah Alice Toohey, who began working for Rookwood in 1887 as a decorator and was in charge of the glaze department by this time. Number “1359Y” is listed in a book of faience tile shapes and sizes as the “Landscape & Rock Design,” and clearly the form lends itself well to such a design.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled Two Rooks.

This object was donated by Marcia Goodman and William Goodman. It is credited Gift of Marcia and William Goodman.

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 37.8 x 20 x 3.2 cm (14 7/8 x 8 x 1 1/4 in.)

It has the following markings

Impressed on front as part of design: "ROOKWOOD"; Impressed on back: "ROOKWOOD FAIENCE 66 1288" / "1359Y"

It is signed

Artist's monogram molded in high relief, lower left corner: "ST"

Cite this object as

Rookwood Plaque; Manufactured by Rookwood Pottery (United States); Decorated by Sarah Alice Toohey (American, 1872–1941); USA; molded and glazed earthenware; H x W x D: 37.8 x 20 x 3.2 cm (14 7/8 x 8 x 1 1/4 in.); Gift of Marcia and William Goodman; 1984-84-22

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Rookwood Plaque |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=8 December 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>