"Fulper" Art Pottery;
A selection of Fakes and Imposters...

 

Home-Made "Fulper" Fakes

Recently, a variety of hand-turned pottery items bearing a fake impressed Fulper vertical mark have been appearing on Ebay and some local auctions.  The shapes so far have been an assortment of vases and candlesticks.  They are amateurish and almost crude, and do not even resemble authentic Fulper shapes.  The glazes are dull and insipid, and like the shapes, bear no resemblance to any of Fulper's glazes.  Some of the shapes were turned of white earthenware and others are of a slightly reddish-colored clay.

  

  

The But the most unusual aspect is the mark.  The mark is unlike Fulper's impressed mark in that it lacks the oval surrounding the name (I have included a photo of a REAL impressed mark), but more importantly, the typeface is one that was not used by Fulper at all.  It's called "Hobo", and comes with many word processing software packages.  According to the Linotype Library at www.linotype.com, "Hobo font was designed in 1910 by Morris Fuller Benton for American Type Founders. This unusual Art Nouveau-inspired design contains no straight lines and no descenders. It imparts a friendliness to display work such as invitations, menus, signage, and packaging."  Even though the Hobo font existed during Fulper Pottery's years of production, it was a copyrighted typeface, and was not used by Fulper in any of their trademarks

If the Hobo font is installed on your computer, you'll see it below on the left.  The faked Fulper mark is below that, and an original Fulper impressed mark is on the right.

F
U
L
P
E
R

             
Faked Fulper Marks                                                      Real Fulper Mark

At first glance, the faked impressed mark appears similar to Fulper's typeface, but there are many subtle differences.  Most notable is the "U", it stands straight up in Hobo, whereas the Fulper "U" tilts at a rakish angle.  Also, the letters of the faked mark appear to have been impressed one at a time, as the depth of each letter varies considerably.  I would think if someone is going to the trouble to create a fake, they would do more research and create something much more realistic! 

Whether these hand-turned fakes with the Hobo impressed marks are an amateur's attempt to perpetrate a scam, or simply a hobby potter amusing himself creating "Fulper" is not known.  Fortunately, there doesn't appear to be too many of these fakes.

 

Made in China "Fulper" Pottery

Vases that at first glance resemble Fulper Art Pottery have been turning up on Ebay, odd flea markets and out-of-the-way auctions.   These vases are usually a heavy, stoneware-like vitreous china with a blending flambé glaze.  The quality, however, is lacking, and in no way compares to Fulper.  These are not copies of any particular Fulper artware shape, but simply stylized pieces that superficially resemble Fulper in weight and glaze.   The primary problem with these items is that several have been marked with fake Fulper paper labels or backstamps, and attempts have been made to pass them as authentic Fulper.  

The vase below seems to be a perennial favorite.  The highly crystallized copper dust glaze over a green flambé makes it a prime choice to pass as Fulper.  For the past five or six years, these vases have been available in the Pier-1, Marshall's and Home Goods decorating stores.  These are currently produced in China, 9" to 10" tall, and the bases can be found finished in a variety of ways - usually dry-footed, sometimes with a bit of antiquing, and occasionally with a forged Fulper mark or label.  At first glance, the glaze does resemble Fulper's Copper Dust - not surprising, as Fulper's glaze is a re-creation of an ancient glaze first developed in China....

  

 

The shape below doesn't turn up too often now, but created QUITE a stir when it first appeared on Ebay in 2001.
 
 Vase, 11.5", in green flambé glaze with ornamental curls and face medallions.

 

    

Interior, base and fake label.  The base is smeared with an antiquing stain that has also been applied to the fake Amphora and Majolica pieces also coming from China.  The label seems to be artificially aged and coated with a dark wax or shellac material.  The incised manufacture's marks were carved into the unfired, wet clay.  The fake label was actually pasted over these marks on the example below on the right.

   
Two more fake labels that have turned up.

While the green flambé example above wouldn't seem to pose a problem, there is also a blue flambé glaze that at times very closely approximates Fulper's Chinese Blue.  When this is viewed through a poor-quality ebay photo, it can appear to be more like Fulper than it actually is, as shown below.

Vase, 11", in blue flambé glaze with 
ornamental curls and face medallions.

Unfortunately, these fake "Fulper" items were selling from a few hundred dollars to over one-thousand dollars when they first appeared on the market during late 2001 - early 2002.  Thankfully, collectors are now recognizing these pieces for what they are and are spending accordingly.

 

A few less-convincing Chinese "Fulpers"...

 
A very pretty vase in green flambé, passed as Fulper, but actually of very recent Chinese manufacture.  The body is vitreous china, with fake "antiquing" in the center of the base.  This one is only marked with incised manufacturers marks under the brown antiquing glaze, but others have been found with fake Fulper paper labels.  This same vase in a white glaze has also been "misidentified" as North Carolina pottery.

 

 
This dramatic piece bears a faked Fulper inkstamp on the antiqued base.  This vase too, is made in China


Blue vase, 11"; red vase, 12.5", both bore fake paper labels.  Made in China

 

 
Chinese vase being passed as "Fulper", 12 1/2" tall with faked paper label.

 

 
Imported Chinese vase in blue - green flambé glaze with a faked rectangular inkstamp.  However, the stamp is over the antiquing glaze and can be scrubbed off.  Original Fulper inkstamp marks were permanently fired to the body.

 

     
A nice, tall, copper dust flambé Chinese stoneware vase with a faked Fulper inkstamp mark, AND a "Made In China" gold foil paper label.

 

Some Etched Fulper Mark Forgeries...

Some unscrupulous forgers are now using Dremel tools with diamond or carbide tips to grind faked Fulper logos on unmarked pottery.  A variety of different pots have been found with faked etched "Fulper" on the base, none of which were actually produced by Fulper Pottery Co.  In most instances, the area around the name is removed, leaving raised letters.  But there have also been examples found with the letters simply etched into the base.


This attractive little stoneware pot was apparently un-attributable, so someone etched "Fulper" into the base hoping to make it a saleable item.


Another angle of the etched marking.

 


A nicely glazed porcelain vase (probably Oriental) with a Dremel-etched "Fulper" logo.  The mark was enhanced with graphite for better visibility.

 


An early non-Fulper stoneware jug glazed in Albany Slip with etched letters and outlining.

 

 
Green Japanese candlestick marked with a vertical Dremel-etched "Fulper".  The two round drain holes in the base and white vitreous china body are also clues to this piece having a very recent Oriental heritage.  This candle is part of a bath accessory set that was originally marked with "made in Japan" paper labels

 

     
Sadly, the value of this Chrome Red glazed North Carolina vase was destroyed when someone etched a fake Fulper logo into the bottom.

 

 

And then there is the old Sharpie Marker forgeries...

  
This faked inkstamp was applied to a #716 Brush-McCoy green Art Vellum vase, one of Brush-McCoy's most familiar and easily identified shapes!


Nice little Deco lamp with a forged Fulper mark hand-drawn with a Sharpie permanent marking pen.

  
This piece is a lot of fun...   It is a small Zanesville Zasko Stoneware pot with a "Fulper backstamp" rather crudely drawn on with a Sharpie pen.  At least it is American made and not a Chinese import!

Fulper Fayence Fake Paper Labels

Another, more convincing "Fulper" paper label has also recently turned up.  This one, based on Fulper's square paper label of the 1920s, appears to be photocopied on brown Kraft paper and aged.  The size is small and the border and logo configuration differ from Fulper's original as well.  Original Fulper labels have product information rubber-stamped or hand written in ink.  The fake label is written in pencil.  Although the fake label appears aged and worn, the pencil writing is crisp and fresh. Also, the brown Kraft paper of the fake has a high rag content, which can be seen under a magnifying glass along the artificially worn edges. Fulper's original labels were printed on thin white paper, and have usually aged and darkened in irregular patterns.  The original Fulper labels measure 1-1/4" by 1-1/2".  The fake label measures 1" by 1-1/4".  The fake labels have been found on older pieces of unmarked American pottery, such as Haeger and McCoy.


Fake Fulper Fayence paper label, photocopied on brown Kraft paper.

   
Two original Fulper Fayence paper labels

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