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Dedham Pottery

Immediately identifiable by the stylized rabbit motif that graces many of their pieces, Dedham Pottery pieces epitomize pottery production associated with the American Arts & Crafts movement in the early 20th century. From their original pieces to Dedham Pottery reproductions still produced today by the Dedham Historical Society, Dedham Pottery continues to be a favorite for fans of American ceramic expertise.

The impetus for Dedham's pottery began in the late 1860s, when the Robertson family of Chelsea, Massachusetts launched their own ceramic manufacturing company. Though lacking a niche at first, a fortuitous visit by Hugh C. Robertson to Philadelphia’s Centennial Exposition in 1876 redirected the company’s vision. So impressed by a deep-red crackle glaze that was featured in Chinese pottery, Robertson wanted to try to recreate the finish himself.

Over the following years, Robertson translated this fascination into more than 50 lines of pottery over the duration of Dedham’s production, many of which incorporated endearing animal motifs and featured glimmering glazes. Though Dedham reproductions can be found on the market, antique Dedham pieces are a true find for today’s collector.

Quick Facts

  • The original manufacturing facility, which opened its doors in 1867, was named Chelsea Pottery, as it was located in Chelsea, Massachusetts. They changed their name to Dedham Pottery in 1895, in part because the company moved to Dedham
  • So iconic was the rabbit motif encircling early Dedham pieces that it became known as the "Dedham rabbit." This early success led Dedham to create subsequent lines with different animals from small birds to elephants rotating around the plate’s perimeter
  • If a stamp appears at bottom of your Dedham Pottery piece with the name Dedham Pottery inscribed over a rabbit within a square, you likely have a true turn-of-the-century antique. This mark was used on Dedham pieces from 1896 to approximately 1928

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