Monday, November 17, 2008


"The Frank Pottery" was founded in 1933 by John Frank. By 1964 the name had changed to Frankoma and a profitable family business was established. Located in Oklahoma, Frankoma produced vases and decorative figurines that had a southwestern flavor.

The company did see its share of mishaps and many changes over the years. Two fires, the first in 1938 which destroyed the operation and another in 1983. Different types of clay, colors and glazing techniques were added along the way. Dinnerware, collectibles, tea sets and figurines are just a few of the items produced by Frankoma that are quite popular today.

Dating Frankoma ware is relatively easy for collector's wishing to invest in the vintage pieces. Collectors know that the earliest Frankoma pieces had a leopard mark on the bottom that was used from 1936 - 1938.

Before 1955 Frankoma used Ada Clay - a honey tan color clay which was named after Ada, Oklahoma, the town where the clay was dug. In 1955 that was changed to red brick clay know as Sapulpa. There have been about 50 glazes that have been added over the years.

In 1965 Frankoma started producing ceramic limited edition Christmas Plates. In 1969 the bottle vase series began and in the 70's & 80's political mugs, bicentennial plates, wildlife and religious plates.

In 1990, after 57 years the family owned Frankoma business had to file for bankruptcy and the business was sold to a private investor. Today Frankoma continues to produce pottery in Oklahoma and is still a very collectible pottery.

Take a look at the pictures, these are early examples of Frankoma. The southwestern themed figure and the leopard on the back are two indicators of the age of this piece of Frankoma. There are some good books on Frankoma at our small library so if you are into Frankoma Pottery check out your library and your local bookstore for more information on the subject.

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