When talking about vintage pottery, it’s almost impossible to avoid the mention of the great Frankoma Potteries.
The 1933 Oklahoma-based company has had a rich background. It not only made unique collectibles but also contributed to the state’s culture. And so, antique collectors find the Frankoma Pottery to be very interesting.
In today’s post, we have compiled the 15 most collectible Frankoma Pottery. We have also discussed the identification and valuation of the collectible in detail. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
15 Most Collectible Frankoma Pottery
Finding Frankoma pottery for your collection is not difficult at all. Antique stores and online marketplaces like eBay are filled with these vintage pieces. Below, you will explore the most valuable Frankoma pottery collected yet.
Please note that all the items in this list have been sold on eBay in 2022.
1. Frankoma Cornucopia Large – $150
The Frankoma vintage cornucopia line isn’t very common. This piece was manufactured in the 1950s using Ada clay. While the rest of the product is colored prairie green, the brownish red base reveals the true clay color.
It has a matte, smooth finish with minimal signs of wear. There’s also a beautiful floral pattern across the rim of the cornucopia.
2. Panther Figurines Prairie Green – $176
Animal figurines have been a strong point of Frankoma Pottery. They created various animal statues in different colored glazes. This particular set of panther figurines has a prairie green glaze.
One panther is in a reclining position while the other is seated. Both the collectibles have Frankoma marks with a big O and mold number. So, they were manufactured after the 1950s.
3. Early Weeping Lady Statue – $199.95
The Frankoma Weeping Lady figurine is a simple work of art. It shows a woman sitting on the ground and crying with all the hair in front of her face. So, the facial expressions are not visible.
Overall, the dimensions of the statue are 6-inches wide and 6-inches tall. It has a black exterior with green undertones. There are only some scratches on the glaze.
4. 1934 Matched Jade Green Dinnerware – $199.98
This dinnerware set belongs to the Mayan Aztec series of 1934-35. If you look at the pattern, you’ll notice that the pieces hardly have any chips or cracks. It’s because they’re made from strong Ada clay.
The complete set includes one pitcher and four mugs in jade green color. While the pitcher is approximately 7.5-inches tall, the mugs are 5-inches tall each. Frankoma rubber marks are on the back of each item.
5. Early Puma Mark Ada Clay Vase – $195
From 1934-38, Frankoma used a different logo on their products. It showcased a puma or cat with Frankoma written on the bottom. However, after the factory fire, the manufacturer’s mark was changed.
The collectible featured above belongs to that time period. Apart from the rare mark, it has a simple Ada clay design. The vase is in pretty good condition except for the brown patches because of age.
6. 1942 Duck Flower Holder Vase – $204
In the 1940s, Frankoma introduced a range of mini vases or flower holders. These small and compact animal figures made excellent home decor. The duck flower holder is one of the few surviving collectibles.
It has a beautifully textured exterior with a hole in the center. The unique peacock blue glaze, original Frankoma stamp, and damage-free condition justify its value.
7. 1942 Elephant Flower Holder – $265
Here’s another cute Frankoma Pottery figurine. The elephant flower holder or vase is one of the shortest collectibles. It has a height of 3 ½-inches only!
The glaze color is prairie green, though age has turned it into a shade of brown. On the base, the 1942 pottery bears one of the earliest manufacturer’s marks. There’s Frankoma engraved onto the right side.
8. Forest Green w/Terra Cotta Thunderbird – $299.99
The Thunderbird pattern of the Frankoma Pottery is very popular amongst collectors. It’s fairly modern with vibrant colors and designs. This set of 6 has a forest green base color, while the pattern on the rim is pastel orange.
It includes four soup bowls, one large bowl, and one chip and dip tray. Everything is made from fine quality terracotta, which explains how the used dinnerware survived wear and tear.
9. Grecian Woman Statue – $303.75
Frankoma Pottery had many talented artists on board the team, like Gerald Smith. The artist is widely known for his 6-nude women figurines. Each one was made in a different glaze, which makes these collectibles highly valuable.
This Grecian Woman Statue belongs to the limited edition figurines. It features a 12-inches tall naked lady carrying a vase on her shoulder. The statue is around 4½ inches wide and has a dark blue glaze.
Its base has Frankoma printed on it along with the number 151 and the term C G553. Gerald Smith has also personally signed the piece, which contributes to the value of the collectible.
10. Prairie Green Nude Woman with Puma Statue – $325
This is a beautiful statue of a nude woman with a puma standing beside her. The exact time period of the figurine has not been identified. However, we know that it belongs to the limited edition collection by Gerald Smith.
The collectible has a prairie green glaze with hints of orangish-brown here and there. It has a height of 11 ½-inches with the base signed by the artist.
11. Tall Cork Tree Bark Vase – $349.95
Frankoma made a lot of different types of pottery. The Tall Cork Tree Bark Vase is an amazing example from the period 1960 – 1961. It’s a 9.7-inches tall vase with a 6.7-inches medium opening.
The usage of Sapulpa clay in its manufacturing accounts for the reddish color on the bottom. There’s also an original Frankoma B9 mark. Meanwhile, the rest of the vase has an interesting tree bark-like texture.
Its prairie green and dark satin brown glaze give it a slightly realistic touch. The collectible vase makes an excellent choice for dried flower arrangements and decor.
12. Early Ada Large Vase – $350
Before the 1950s, Frankoma used only a special type of clay found near the southern town of Ada. It is a light, beige-colored clay that gives the pottery a matte glaze. Almost all earliest Frankoma pottery has the classical, old look because of this Ada clay.
The Early Ada Large Vase featured in the picture above belongs to that time period. It is around 7.5-inches tall with a round base and small opening. The word Frankoma is engraved on the bottom.
13. Vintage Indian Head Face Chief Mask Miniature – $400
The Frankoma Pottery Indian Head Face Chief Masks have been commonly available in the market. But, this complete lot of 21 is a very rare find. It features all the unique multicolored designs made by the company.
They are not entirely in mint condition. Different pieces have different signs of cosmetic wear. It explains why the seller sold the lot of 21 for a slightly lower price than it should have been.
14. 1974 War God Woodland Moss T3S Tiki Mug – $1075
Frankoma’s tiki mugs hold a special place in the vintage pottery world. These rare mugs were specially made for the Cultured Pearl Club in 1974. Since the event lasted for one year and there were a few pieces crafted only, the tiki mugs are rare collectibles.
This particular War God Woodland Moss T3S Tiki Mug is one of the glaze colors that have been found. The mug features a furious tiki with flared nostrils and gritted teeth. Its surface is smooth and scratch-free.
On the base, there are three marks; Frankoma, Cultured Pearl, and Tulsa.
15. 1930 Cowboy Figurine Ivory Glaze – $1200
This Cowboy figurine by Frankoma Pottery is perhaps the oldest high-value collectible. It was created in the 1930s, which also makes it the earliest design. There’s an engraved Frankoma impression at the bottom that verifies authenticity.
The figurine is approximately 7¾” tall while its base is 2⅛” across. With an ivory glaze, the Cowboy statue is in surprisingly great condition. It has no major chips or cracks.
Frankoma Pottery Value & Price Guide
Once lost in the sea of antiques, Frankoma Pottery collectibles have made a comeback in the market. More and more people are ready to buy these pieces. To avoid fraud and poor sales, it’s important to know about their identification, valuation, and pricing.
Why Is Frankoma Pottery Valuable?
The primary reason why Frankoma Pottery is so valuable is its rich Oklahoma-based history. It was one of the first commercial producers of potteries in Oklahoma. And throughout the years, the company remained the market leader.
Unfortunately, the luck of the business wasn’t so smooth. John Frank – a professor of ceramics and arts – started the venture in 1933. However, one of the plants in Sapulpa burned down during the first year.
Frankoma Pottery recovered soon and reconstructed its plant. But, things didn’t last long before another factory fire occurred. Thankfully, the company had stored some of its original molds in fireproof storage.
It started again, though the damage was irrecoverable. In 1973, John Frank passed away, and his youngest daughter (Joniece Frank) inherited the business. As a pottery artist, she managed sales and production till the 1990s.
In 1991, the company was bought by a Maryland-based investor named Richard Bernstein. Joniece Frank took over the position of vice president. Meanwhile, she joined hands with her sister Donna to find the Frankoma Family Collectors Association.
The organization is still active and hosts educational events. Frankoma Pottery is also operating through an online website, but it manufactures collector’s items and custom orders only.
Factors Affecting the Value of Frankoma Pottery
There are numerous factors that influence the value of Frankoma pottery. Understanding their effect on the collectible can help in determining the worth better.
With the value rising day by day, there’s no wonder that modern reproductions have crept into the market. These lookalikes can be used by the seller to deceive you. However, always remember that an original Frankoma pottery will have a manufacturer mark (discussed in detail below!).
It will also show signs of aging, like scratches, chipped surfaces, and cracks. If you find an early Frankoma collectible in mint condition, be wary and verify the authenticity before purchase. Also, don’t forget to question the seller about the vintage item.
A genuine and reliable seller will have sound knowledge about the piece. Even if he’s not a dedicated collector, he should know the basics, like the company background, what the item is, and the manufacturing period.
Original Frankoma pottery will cost much higher than a reproduction. To give you an idea, a fake Frankoma animal figurine can start as low as $10.
● Age & Rarity
Frankoma Pottery has manufactured products since 1933. The oldest surviving pieces are considered to be more valuable than the modern ones.
As you can see from the list above, the most expensive Frankoma pottery sold in 2022 was from the 1930s (cowboy figurine – $1200). Comparatively, the Cornucopia from the 1950s was priced at $150.
Besides age, the rarity of the collectible matters a lot too. Frankoma made many limited editions during its time in business. Some examples include the 6-nude woman figurines by Gerald Smith, Tiki mugs, and political mugs made in 1974.
There’s a general rule for all vintage and antique items. The better the condition of the item, the more valuable it is. It’s simply because an undamaged piece will offer better insights than a damaged one.
You cannot study a completely deteriorated Frankoma pottery. It cannot even be used to decorate and display around the house. So, the value of the collectible is not much.
How to Identify Frankoma Pottery?
Identification of Frankoma Pottery can help with two things; originality and dating. It can help tell whether the collectible is authentic as well as when it was manufactured. So, let’s explore the ways to identify Frankoma Pottery below!
1. Manufacturer’s Mark
The manufacturer’s mark is a unique logo or print used by the company to mark the products.
Since Frankoma Pottery has changed its mark continuously over the years, you’ll come across several different markings. But do not get confused. Just used this table to check when it was manufactured:
Manufacturer’s Mark Used
1933 – 1934
Frank Potteries Norman Oklahoma
Frank Potteries Norman Olka
In the first year of operation, Frankoma Pottery marks changed thrice.
After incorporation, the company started using rubber stamps as a mark. It was used for a very short time, which makes the collectibles very rare.
1934 – 1938
Cat Mark / Pot and Puma Logo
Frankoma with an O (round)
The Frankoma Potteries logo featuring a puma and vase was used on larger pieces. It is also called the cat mark.
Meanwhile, the smaller pottery items impressed Frankoma with a round O.
1938 – 1950
Frankoma with an O (oblong)
After the 1938 fire, the company used an impressed oblong O.
From the 1950s and onwards
Trademark and mold number
Frankoma Potteries modified all its mold during the 1950s. The new products did not have hand-impressed marks. Instead, they had trademark and mold numbers.
Some molds were left unmodified. So, you might find 1950 collectibles without any markings.
Other Artist Signatures (e.g. Gerald Smith)
John Frank impressed or signed personalized items with his name. These pottery pieces were often gifts, which makes them highly valuable and rare.
You might also find limited edition pottery signed by the creator.
2. Clay Type
During its long reign, Frankoma Pottery has only used a few types of clay in production. It’s why knowing the different clay types can help you identify the manufacturing period.
- Ada Clay
From 1933 to 1954, Frankoma Pottery used a special clay extracted from the southern town of Ada. It was a light-colored clay with great strength. All pieces made from it have a sandy, brown hue.
- Sapulpa Clay
In 1954, when the company shifted near Sapulpa, the transportation costs for Ada clay became high. Plus, the quality of the extracted material was dropping significantly.
Frankoma Pottery decided to use Sapulpa clay. This dark-colored clay was extracted from Sugar Loaf Hill. It resulted in dark red pottery.
- Sapulpa Clay with Additives
After 1980, the company started adding different substances to the Sapulpa clay. The attempt was to lighten the dark red color to a pink/orange tone. It was successful and led to some people calling Sapulpa Clay Post 1980.
Check out this video on how to identify Frankoma Pottery age by clay type:
How Much is Frankoma Pottery Worth?
Generally, the worth of Frankoma Pottery can be anywhere from $50 to $1000. This wide range is because Frankoma never made one type of product.
There’s a huge variety of collectibles that includes dinnerware, figurines, vases, and whatnot. In this Frankoma Pottery price guide, we will evaluate each type in detail.
The figurines were a specialty of the Frankoma Pottery company. They made all kinds of human and animal figures for home decor purposes.
However, you’ll notice that human figurines are typically more detailed and rare. It’s why their value rises above $1000. A great example is the 1930s Cowboy figurine worth $1200 mentioned above.
Comparatively, animal figurines are commonly found. These include panthers, buffalo, dogs, elephants, etc. Their price ranges from $70 to $150.
Frankoma manufactured several dinner sets throughout its time in business. The unique characteristics and values of the 5-most popular ones are discussed below.
- Southwestern Line (1942)
Also called Thunderbird, the Southwestern Native American dinnerware was the only series to feature vibrant colors. The black, red, dark blue, and forest green colored sets feature a pastel orange bird pattern on the rims.
The dinnerware is one of the earliest Frankoma pottery. It is rare to find and costs around $35 or more per piece.
- Mayan-Aztec (1947)
The Mayan Aztec series has muted colors and symmetrical designs. Each dinnerware item has a rectangular and circular geometric pattern recurring throughout the exterior. Up till now, the series has been sold for different values.
A 47-pieces Frankoma Mayan Aztec in average condition was auctioned for $71 in 2019. Meanwhile, a recent Etsy listing has demanded $56 for a set of 4-cups and saucers. It’s currently available at a discount of 20%.
- Plainsman Dinnerware Line (1948)
Following the tradition, Frankoma released another simple dinnerware set in 1948. The series has no fancy patterns. It is completely plain with a matte glaze.
However, the rim of the plates is shaped to resemble flowers. You can find them in brown satin, prairie green, woodland moss, and other glaze colors. Here’s a 52-pieces brown satin Plainsman dinnerware set available for $750 on Etsy.
- Lazybones (1953)
The Lazybones dinnerware set features a plain matte design. It’s usually found in prairie green, brown, and robin egg blue colors. Two 7-inches Lazybones plates can be bought for as low as $17.50.
- Westwind Dinnerware Line (1962)
Frankoma brought the vibrant colors back into style with the Westward dinnerware line. It has a minimalistic look and a glossy exterior. The famous color variants include yellow-autumn, robin egg blue, and black.
Check out these two Westwind mugs sold for $24 on Etsy. Another listing has priced a larger set of 6-cups, pitcher, and plate for $130.
In 1968, John Frank designed his first political mug for the National Republican’s Women Club. It featured an elephant with the year 1968 written on the top. Also, the total capacity was 5 ounces.
The political mug received an overwhelmingly positive response. Since then, Frankoma Pottery added political mugs to its product range. These mugs are still created in limited quantities. You can buy them from the company website here.
However, the vintage editions are the ones that hold value. A typical political mug is sold for $15 to $35, depending on the condition. Special Nixon/Ford mugs can cost up to $900 each.
Another rare type of Frankoma mug is the tikis. The Tiki War God mugs were designed by Joniece Frank in small quantities. Each mug is worth $500 to $1000+.
Flower Holders & Vases
As a pottery company, Frankoma paid special attention to making vases and flower holders. You can find these products in all sizes and shapes.
Usually, the flower holders are small with an average height of 3-inches. They are shaped into animal figures like ducks, fishes, and elephants. Both the flower holders listed above are in the range of $200.
Meanwhile, vases are larger in size. The price varies greatly with rarity, age, and condition. On Rubylane, you can find Frankoma vases listed between $15 to $100. However, on eBay, you can find unique ones.
Here’s a rare Frankoma vase marked with JFO currently listed for $999.
Additional Reading Resources
- Frankoma: And Other Oklahoma Potteries
- Collector’s Guide to Frankoma Pottery 1933 through 1990: Identifying Your Collection
- The Collector’s Guide to Frankoma Pottery, Book Two
Collecting Frankoma Pottery is a fun hobby that many people enjoy. The variety of shapes, colors, and patterns make each item highly valuable. If you’re new to the world of Frankoma collectibles, then do not worry.
All you have to do is study a few items and read some resources to get the hang of things. You also do not need big amounts to start your collection. Most original Frankoma pieces can be bought for $20 on sites like eBay and Etsy.
We hope this article has provided good insight into Frankoma collectibles, identification, and pricing. In case you’ve any queries, share them below, and we’ll be happy to help out!