Authentic Roseville Pottery is highly sought after by collectors and rare pieces command thousands of dollars at auction. Unfortunately, this means there's opportunity for people to make a quick buck from selling fake Roseville Pottery. One of the first clues to discern whether your pottery is real or a reproduction is to examine the mark.
This is one of the many different types of reproduction marks found on fake Roseville Pottery imports. Notice the shape of the "R" in Roseville and the way the letters are straight rather than slanted slightly to the right in comparison to marks on genuine examples. While the absence of U.S.A. is a clue to reproduction marks in some cases, it's not always an indicator.
Another Style of Fake Roseville Marks
This was mistaken for a genuine mark, but it appears to be a fake mark after further investigation. If this were a genuine older mark, the absence of U.S.A. would not necessarily indicate that it is fake. However, the way the "s" is slanted, according to a collector who studies pottery voraciously, can be an indication that a Roseville mark is not genuine. Most older pieces will have a slanted "s" in Roseville, while almost all newer marks have an "s" that has little or no slant like the one shown here.
Remember, however, that determining fakes solely on the mark used can be a bit tricky, especially for the beginner. Many times, you have to look at the color, glaze, and the way the piece is decorated to determine whether or not a piece of Roseville is authentic.
Genuine Roseville U.S.A. Mark
This mark example was seen on a piece confirmed as genuine Roseville. Note how the "s" has a definite slant in this mark, unlike the one shown in the previous slide. While the way the "s" takes shape is not always an indicator of a mark being authentic, it is one important clue.
Note that there are also genuine Roseville pieces that are not marked. The overall quality of the mold, decor, and glaze must be examined to determine authenticity in these pieces.
Reproduction Roseville Wall Pocket
This wall pocket is not a genuine piece, although it was spotted at the big flea market in Warrenton, Texas simply tagged as "Roseville" with a marked price of $75.
Roseville Reproduction Wall Pocket Detail
This is a detailed view of the reproduction "Roseville" wall pocket. Notice the sloppy painting on the red flowers and green accents shown here. A genuine Roseville piece will be more finely decorated. The glaze also has more of a matte finish, which has a rougher feel in comparison to authentic Roseville pieces.
Authentic Roseville Clematis Lidded Jar
This beautiful Clematis vase by Roseville is the real deal. Observe the rich colors, slight shine to the glaze and the nicely detailed flowers and leaves.
Detail on Clematis Lidded Jar
Notice how nicely the flowers are painted here in comparison to the flowers on the reproduction wall pocket shown previously. Since Roseville was hand-decorated, the quality of the painting varies with the skill of the artist. However, it's safe to say that most all original Roseville pieces will outshine reproductions in terms of quality.
Genuine Roseville Zephyr Lilly Pattern
Notice the rich coloring, beautiful shading, and nicely detailed lilies on these genuine Roseville pieces.
Reproduction Roseville Pitcher
This reproduction does not have the beautiful shading in the colors and fine detail of authentic Roseville pieces shown. The flowers look garish in comparison, and the glaze does not have the soft sheen present when compared to a genuine piece of Roseville.
Some Roseville reproductions are not as obviously fake as those shown here. Handling as much genuine Roseville as possible and doing a side-by-side comparison with pieces you know to be authentic will help you to learn to identify the better fakes out there.