In 1900, the Ransbottom brothers started Ransbottom Pottery in Roseville, Ohio, which produced stoneware crocks, jars, etc. In the early 1920's, they merged with the Robinson Clay Products Company in Akron to create Robinson-Ransbottom Pottery, advertising themselves in a 1920's catalog as being "The Largest Stoneware Pottery in the World." We have included a photo of the cover of that catalog paired with a page from it that shows a pitcher (third row down on the right) whose form appears identical to this one, although it's not possible to see the decoration on it. RRP proved to be one of the few companies that made it into the 21st century producing utilitarian stoneware until they went out of business in 2005.
These early pieces of stoneware were often not marked--this one is not either--and were not given pattern names by the company, just model numbers. The raised, molded central figures on both sides of this piece have been described in several different ways; we agree with the description of the design as a woman playing the lyre, with a column on each side of her (very reminiscent of ancient Greece.) There is a raised row of diamond shapes both top and bottom and an embossed pattern down the sides of the strap handle and thumb hold. The pitcher is 8 1/2 inches in height, with a mouth 4 inches in diameter and it measures 7 1/2 inches from the point of the spout to the handle. It weighs a sturdy 3 3/4 pounds...imagine using it when it's full!
The soft, medium blue color of this pitcher is lovely. The condition of the stoneware body is excellent, amazingly good for a piece that would have seen use in a kitchen. Any minor defects, such as dents in the pottery or glazer inconsistencies, were done in the manufacturing process (this is not art pottery, after all). There are no chips, no cracks, no hairlines, no damage--it's a beautiful antique pitcher that displays handsomely in any room in the house.