Ceramic Wall Plaques

By David Chown

During the late 1950′s, the highly prestigious Hagen-Renaker Pottery of San Dimas, California, produced the most stunning plaques and wall hanging figures which covered a variety of subjects from butterflies, horses, fish and a bison to still life. All were produced in the usual Hagen-Renaker earthenware. Following discussions between Maxine Renaker, wife of the president of HR and Iris Carryer of Wade (Ireland), some of the molds were sent to Portadown, Northern Ireland where it was hoped Wade could produce them in porcelain for the gift market. This however became something of a nightmare as during the cooling process, after being removed from the kiln they cracked. As Iris Carryer explained to me recently, “It was awful, Ping, ping, ping! They were all cracking as they cooled down.” This was due to stress on the porcelain which, as it cooled, had the effect of pulling it apart and thus the cracks appeared.

None of the Wade wall plaques ever went into general production and few were ever sold, however, those which do exist, like those which were produced in limited numbers by Hagen-Renaker, realise extremely high prices at auction or when privately offered for sale. If they are marked at all, those made in Portadown carry this backstamp: Made in Ireland by Wade Co. Armagh whereas the Hagen-Renaker variety are normally found unmarked. In recent years, Wade Ceramics at their Manchester Pottery once again experienced similar production difficulties when they made theBetty Boop plaques for C&S and had a high number of breakage
1958. Rock Plaques and their modellers.

1. Fish Snapper – Bill Climes (top right)
2. Two Horses – Maureen Love (bottom right)
3. Butterfly – Tom Masterson
4. Crab – Bill Climes
5. Fish, Perch – Bill Climes
6. Fish, Corbina – Bill Climes
7. Fish, Pompano – Bill Climes
8. Butterfly, Large – Tom Masterson
9. Fish, Barracuda – Bill Climes
10. Bird and Butterfly – Tom Masterson

1959

1. Horse shaped plaque, Right – Maureen Love
2. Horse shaped plaque, Left – Maureen Love
3. Rooster shaped plaque, Right – Bill Climes
4. Rooster shaped plaque, Left – Bill Climes
5. Geisha, small head – Bill Climes (No’s 5 to 9 were made in several parts and mounted on wooden panels)
6. Geisha, large head – Bill Climes
7. King – Bill Climes
8. Queen – Bill Climes
9. Jack – Bill Climes
10. Buck – Maureen Love
11. Doe – Maureen Love
12. Fawn – Maureen Love
13. Rearing Horse, Right – Maureen Love
14. Rearing Horse, Left – Maureen Love (top right)
15. Toucan Bird Rock, Right – Tom Masterson
16. Toucan Bird Rock, Left – Tom Masterson
17. Siamese Cats Rock – Bill Climes
18. Bison – Bill Climes (right)
19. Bottle Plaque – Bill Climes
20. Fruit Plaque – Maxine Renaker

©C&S 2000 All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior consent of the copyright owner.

 

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