This hand made bowl vase was made by North State Pottery in Sanford, North Carolina, in the 1930's. North State Pottery (1924-1959) sold their wares through their own shops, including one in Washington, D.C., and to other gift and craft stores throughout the state. They also employed independent salesmen to take orders in other parts of the country. The shop owner chose from the catalog the shape and color that they wanted to sell in their store and then the pottery was shipped directly to that location from North State.
This pot vase was made for a shop called Smith's Pottery, located in Natural Bridge, Virginia, for sale to tourists visiting the natural arched bridge wonder. (Thomas Jefferson called it "The most sublime of nature's works.") The mark on the bottom in black was made by a rubber stamp and reads THE SMITH'S Hand Made-NC POTTERY Natural Bridge, VA. The piece is pictured in North State's retail catalog that was published in 1938. We've included a photo of page 22 of that catalog; this vase is pictured as #12.
Made of red clay, the vase measures 5 1/2 inches wide at the handles, stands 4 inches tall and has a 2 1/2 inch diameter mouth. It weighs 1 1/4 pounds and is very stable and untippable." This vase is a lovely seafoam green, identified in their catalog as "tampa green," with a speckled brownish undertone. There is a heavy ring handle on each side of the vase, pulled and carved from the body and a 1/4 inch high raised foot. Great condition, with no cracks or chips but tiny nicks to the glaze on one side toward the bottom (pictured in photo #8); the other white spots are reflections from the light on the glossy top glaze. Pieces of North State Pottery are not abundant and this vase is an especially interesting one.