Colorado Gallery

Broadmoor Bird Vases

#65 2013-08-01 rev

Broadmoor bird vases are quite nice and usually not hard to find. We feature this pair because it shows bird impressions well and has other points of interest.

The blue is special because it is a drip glaze and was signed by Cecil Jones during his year with Broadmoor; the bisque because we seldom see Broadmoors without glaze.

Most of our vases are hard to photograph because of their glossiness. This bird vase form would be especially attractive in Broadmoor's common red (Oxblood) glaze.

From a more aerial view check out the irregular hand crafting of the vase rims.

Likewise we show two of four of our vases with irregular hand crafted footing. 

The base on the right shows Cecil Jones' prized mark (click to enlarge). Also its runny glaze has been properly ground level after flowing around the base. The unglazed vase gives us a nice view of Broadmoor's typical off-white buff fired clay body.

The girth of each has the same attractive press molded impression. From opposite sides the bisque and blue vases show different bird views.

Again our unglazed vase shows Broadmoor's typical off-white or buff clay body.

We now look at two crackle-glazed bird vases.

This first has a pretty white fine-grained crackle glaze. It was introduced by Cecil Jones to Broadmoor in Colorado Springs in 1934, their first full year of operation. 

After Jones left the following year Broadmoor was unable to reproduce the white crackle. Crackle glaze know-how in hand, he began his own pottery business, La Mirada, in Los Angeles in 1935, where he made this crackle as well as a green variation in abundance (future article).

So Broadmoor could only produce a coarser light brown glaze in Colorado Springs until 1937, before dropping the crackle effort altogether in Denver.

So the brown crackle is rare or non-existent from Broadmoor-Denver. Carltons Colorado Pottery shows an example with a Denver foil label, but we believe it may have instead been made in Colorado Springs. Occasionally Colorado Springs pieces are re-labeled, re-incised or re-ink stamped with Denver marks.

(More on the Cecil Jones crackle story in a future article.)


(click to enlarge)

Returning to the topic of base finishing, four of the six vases in our group are footed, while these two have less labor-intensive flat bases. Broadmoor-Colorado Springs vases are more often footed while Broadmoor-Denver vase bases are usually flat.

Our lone Broadmoor vase from Denver has a flat base. And the pretty cobalt is almost always a Denver-only glaze.

Broadmoor production

Also note although Broadmoor Art Pottery & Tile Co in Colorado Springs operated twice as many years as Broadmoor Pottery Co in Denver, Denver pots are much more plentiful.

Springs pieces usually have more of a studio pottery look, e.g. footed bases. And we find fewer advertising ashtrays and vases than from Broadmoor-Denver.

Broadmoor in Denver evidently ramped up production and made a serious go of its new pottery making endeavor beginning in 1937, unfortunately in the midst of the "depression within the Great Depression" of the 1930s.

After a single tourist season Broadmoor was shut down forever in the spring of 1939.

Cecil Jones

Finally we believe Cecil Jones must have been the designer of the pretty bird vase.

He had long been associated with ceramics going back as a student and later assistant headmaster at Coalbrookdale School of Art in England.

On his arrival to America in 1913, he was listed as "designer" and worked for American Encaustic & Tiling Co in Zanesville, New Jersey and finally Los Angeles as AETCo's plant manager until the Depression hit.

We also have a Broadmoor tile signed by Cecil Jones as well as several vases in swirl and floral relief (future articles). We believe The Brown Palace Hotel's Ship Tavern ashtray is also a Cecil Jones design.

Eric Hellman, the other ceramist with Broadmoor in Colorado Springs was very much the wheel work specialist as was Jonathan Hunt later with Broadmoor in Denver. However Cecil Jones appeared less the thrower and more a raised design artist.

After Jones returned to Los Angeles, his La Mirada Pottery produced much ware with embossed designs.

September 2013 additions: This attractive green drip Broadmoor bird vase was listed on the eBay auction site. It is footed and made at Colorado Springs.

And we found another pretty bird vase in red. Also footed and from Colorado Springs.

Please contact us if you have insights on this or other topics. Thank you.