Colorado Gallery

Paul Webb Imperial Porcelain Pottery

#60 2013-02-01

This time we show a few more hand decorated favorites from Imperial Porcelain. Imperial collaborated with cartoonist Paul Webb to transform his Blue Ridge Mountain Boys characters into porcelain form.


This covered box has a hound on the roof (lid) of a dog house. The curious baby is found on many of Webb-Imperial creations.

The characterful whiskey bottle reads "Blue Ridge Mountain Boys". Here is
the baby again with two other recurring Paul Webb characters -- granny and the skunk. Granny has a long gun stretched along the top of a tree trunk (stoppered bottle).

Notice the fine hand painted details of granny and other features on the porcelain. The bright mix of colors including flesh tones must have been a challenge to get right.

This stein shown in three views is
entitled "Foto Finish". The race is on to the outhouse which must be a one-holer since there seems to be some urgency to get there first.

The large pipe holder has two familiar hillbilly figures attached. The guy with the jug is commonly found on Imperial, the pipe guy less so. And of course the skunk.

Finally the Webb-Imperial effort produced many of these mugs with hillbilly handles. The incised mark on this example is only barely visible.

By the end of the 1940s Imperial must have been under pressure competing with low cost imports from Asia. Here we find a mixed-themed mug from Occupied Japan.

From a 1947 Zanesville Times-Signal article link Paul Genter became plant manager of Imperial in 1946 and worked with Paul Webb to transform his hillbilly comic characters into porcelain.

The article portrays Paul Genter as a ceramics designer arriving in Zanesville from Chicago in 1941, but did not mention his years in Colorado with Broadmoor. We know Genter resided with wife Imogene in Denver until at least mid 1940.

Related articles that may be of interest are Imperial Planters and Imperial Hillbilly Figures.

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