Hugh C. Robertson ( American, 1844 - 1908 )


Dedham Pottery ( American, 1895 - 1943 )

c. 1896–1908
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General Description

Inspired by the Asian ceramics exhibited at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876, Chelsea Keramic Art Works' Hugh C. Robertson dedicated his career to the replication of Chinese and Japanese glazes. For example, "Robertson's Red," first achieved in 1885 and perfected in 1888, imitated the _sang de boeuf _or "oxblood" glaze developed in Qing dynasty China. He applied the glazes he developed to pale stoneware with simple shapes in order to showcase the saturation and brilliance of their hues, including turquoise, dark green, apple green, mustard yellow, and purple. The polychrome, textured surface of this vase is the result of Robertson's experiments with blended and layered glazes following the relocation of his enterprise, renamed Dedham Pottery, in 1895.

Drawn from

  • Elisabeth Cameron, Encyclopedia of Pottery and Porcelain 1800-1960 (London: Cameron Books, 1986), 101, 281.
  • Lois Lehner, Lehner's Encyclopedia of U.S. Marks on Pottery, Porcelain & Clay (Paducah, KY: Collector Books, 1988), 124.

Web Resources

  • Yale University Art Gallery
    Hugh C. Robertson's designs with bubbled or blistered surfaces are known as "Volcanic Ware." View an example in the collection of the Yale University Art Gallery.
  • Cooper Hewitt
    Read a brief history of the sang de boeuf or "oxblood" glaze.
  • Antiques & Fine Art Magazine
    Read about Hugh C. Robertson and his contemporaries in "American Ceramics, 1876-1956: The Robert A. Ellison Jr. Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art."