American Brooklyn Rare Volkmar & Cory Pottery Plaque, City Hall on Wall St., N.Y.

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American Brooklyn Rare Volkmar & Cory Pottery Plaque, City Hall on Wall St., N.Y. 

The rimless plaque with medium foot, painted with a bold scrolling foliate border toward the edge, the center painted with a view of "City Hall on Wall St. N.Y. 1699." 

Charles Volkmar (1841-1914) was born into an artistic family, and practiced both fine and decorative arts for much of his career. Volkmar's pottery which was  produced in Greenpoint 1879-1888 was a ware that had some of the tensile feeling of Delft, with a light and elegant glaze. The blue tones decorating his white wares have a distinctive Continental feel, as well.The blues are of medium density, applied with an almost watercolor technique to the plaque surface. 

Impressed VOLKMAR & CORY to underside. 

11 1/8" x 11 1/2"

Two holes for hanging wire


In 1895, Volkmar reorganized his factory works, moving to Corona, Queens, where the pottery concentrated on tiles and plaques. Decorative painter Ms. Kate Cory supplied to Volkmar drawings of American interest - either historical buildings or characters, which Volkmar painted on his plaques.


Kate Cory ( 1861-1958) herself lived an extremely interesting life. Her parents were from Maine and Canada, and her father became a major figure in the Underground Railroad, while printing the Waukegan Gazette. Kate studied and taught art in NY, and found a career as a commerical artist while a young woman.  After her brief career selling drawings and designs to industrial firms, Kate Cory turned away from commerical endeavours and lived among the Hopi between 1905-1912/13. Cory immersed herself in the culture and the languageof the Hopi, and took hundreds of photographs of the people of the Hopi community where she lived. The Museum of Northern Arizona has all of the photographic material Cory developed, but because of Hopi beliefs, the images are not well-known nor have they circulated (one may examine some of the images by request). For the latter decades of her life, Cory lived outside of the typical society norms and habits of an educated white woman in Arizona. Her work languished for decades, before accidental rediscovery in the 1980s.


CF: A related plaque from the same series is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1986.443.10. 

Literature: Edwin Atlee Barber describes Volkmar's pottery, Marks of American Potters,pp. 82 and 83. 

Note: We are adding additional images of the plaque shortly.