Many competent critics regard {Grueby} ware as the highest achievement of the potter's art in this country. It has a distinct individuality in character and tone...relying for its effect...on the super finish of its surface, on the subdued richness of its colors, and on the ideas embodied in its designs.

Walter Gray, "Latter-Day Developments in American Pottery," Brush and Pencil, January 1902

Grueby Faience Company

Grueby is a name synonymous with the American Arts & Crafts Movement and a marker of exceptional quality.

Grueby Faience Company was established in 1894 by William Henry Grueby. A great admirer of the matte glazes of French pottery and the refined simplicity of Japanese ceramics, Grueby founded his company with the intent of creating works of ceramic art that folded these two influences into a singular design philosophy that was wholly American. The bulk of Grueby’s creations were works of art pottery, though the company was also highly regarded for their production of some of the best architectural tiles in America.

The aesthetic of Grueby pottery has been described as ‘organic naturalism’ and can be identified by two defining characteristics; form and glaze. Most Grueby pottery features vegetal shaped forms, often bulbous and gourd-like, adorned with stylized foliate designs that were either placed above or carved into the vessel’s surface. The majority of these pieces were glazed in a matte cucumber green that would come to be the company’s hallmark. Other Grueby glazes exist, including light blue, soft yellow and a handful of other earthen hues, though none of these are as quintessentially “Grueby” as the deep woods green seen on most of the manufacturer’s pieces.

Grueby pottery and tiles enjoyed great popularity in the late 19th and early 20th century and were sold in fine design shops from Paris to New York. Grueby even landed a partnership with Tiffany Studios, producing lamp bases for the renowned lighting and glass manufacturer. Before long, Grueby became a victim of its own success, inciting mass-market competition that led the company to declare bankruptcy in 1909. Grueby emerged from bankruptcy but was shut down shortly after due to a fire in their manufacturing wing. Grueby was able to rebuild, but the weight of tragedy had begun to take its toll. The company closed its doors for the last time in 1920.

In the modern secondary art market, pottery and architectural tiles by Grueby are highly collectible and sought after. Innovative in design, delightful in form, and steeped in history; Grueby pottery and tiles are true American treasures.

Auction Results Grueby Faience Company

ADDISON LEBOUTILLIER FOR GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, The Pines tiles, set of two | ragoarts.com

Addison LeBoutillier for Grueby Faience Company

The Pines tiles, set of two

estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $81,250
GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, Rare and exceptional five-tile frieze of an ox-drawn cart | ragoarts.com

Grueby Faience Company

Rare and exceptional five-tile frieze of an ox-drawn cart

estimate: $40,000–50,000
result: $40,625
GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, Rare and Large vase | ragoarts.com

Grueby Faience Company

Rare and Large vase

estimate: $12,000–16,000
result: $40,000
RUTH ERICKSON FOR GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, Rare and Exceptional floor vase | ragoarts.com

Ruth Erickson for Grueby Faience Company

Rare and Exceptional floor vase

estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $35,000
GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, Rare and Early vase | ragoarts.com

Grueby Faience Company

Rare and Early vase

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $35,000
GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, Rare vase with leaves and buds | ragoarts.com

Grueby Faience Company

Rare vase with leaves and buds

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $30,000
RUTH ERICKSON FOR GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, Rare multicolor vase with daffodils | ragoarts.com

Ruth Erickson for Grueby Faience Company

Rare multicolor vase with daffodils

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $25,000
MARIE SEAMAN FOR GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, Rare vase with cinquefoils | ragoarts.com

Marie Seaman for Grueby Faience Company

Rare vase with cinquefoils

estimate: $7,000–9,000
result: $23,750
RUTH ERICKSON FOR GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, Exceptional and Tall vase with irises | ragoarts.com

Ruth Erickson for Grueby Faience Company

Exceptional and Tall vase with irises

estimate: $22,000–26,000
result: $23,750
GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, vase with irises | ragoarts.com

Grueby Faience Company

vase with irises

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $21,250
GEORGE P. KENDRICK FOR GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, Rare vase, model 84 | ragoarts.com

George P. Kendrick for Grueby Faience Company

Rare vase, model 84

estimate: $18,000–24,000
result: $21,250
GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, Rare cuerda seca nineteen-tile ship frieze | ragoarts.com

Grueby Faience Company

Rare cuerda seca nineteen-tile ship frieze

estimate: $6,500–7,500
result: $21,250
GEORGE P. KENDRICK FOR GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, Rare vase, model 84 | ragoarts.com

George P. Kendrick for Grueby Faience Company

Rare vase, model 84

estimate: $6,000–9,000
result: $18,750
WILHELMINA POST FOR GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, Rare vase with Jack-in-the-Pulpits | ragoarts.com

Wilhelmina Post for Grueby Faience Company

Rare vase with Jack-in-the-Pulpits

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $18,750
GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, fine large two-color vase with leaves and buds | ragoarts.com

Grueby Faience Company

fine large two-color vase with leaves and buds

estimate: $7,000–9,000
result: $16,250
GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, Rare squat vase with cinquefoils | ragoarts.com

Grueby Faience Company

Rare squat vase with cinquefoils

estimate: $9,000–12,000
result: $16,250
GEORGE P. KENDRICK FOR GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, Rare vase | ragoarts.com

George P. Kendrick for Grueby Faience Company

Rare vase

estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $15,000
GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, Rare table lamp | ragoarts.com

Grueby Faience Company

Rare table lamp

estimate: $17,500–22,500
result: $12,500
MARIE SEAMAN FOR GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, Rare vase with tulips | ragoarts.com

Marie Seaman for Grueby Faience Company

Rare vase with tulips

estimate: $2,500–3,500
result: $11,875
GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, Rare vase with tulips | ragoarts.com

Grueby Faience Company

Rare vase with tulips

estimate: $6,000–9,000
result: $11,875
GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, Fine, large, and rare two-color vase | ragoarts.com

Grueby Faience Company

Fine, large, and rare two-color vase

estimate: $6,000–9,000
result: $11,250
GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, Monumental vase with exceptional yellow glaze | ragoarts.com

Grueby Faience Company

Monumental vase with exceptional yellow glaze

estimate: $9,000–12,000
result: $10,000
WILHELMINA POST FOR GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, Rare vase with buds | ragoarts.com

Wilhelmina Post for Grueby Faience Company

Rare vase with buds

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $9,375
GRUEBY FAIENCE COMPANY, two rare tiles depicting cows in a landscape | ragoarts.com

Grueby Faience Company

two rare tiles depicting cows in a landscape

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $9,375