Colorware History & Design

The Maximalist

Metlox 200 Series

Metlox 200 Series was Metlox’s first contender in the colorware market, going head to head with Bauer and Pacific Pottery. Unfortunately during their transition to a dinnerware manufacturer during the early 1930s, company records were spotty, making it difficult to track the actual number of items in production for any of these early lines. Some pieces may only be designated with a “California Pottery” in-mold mark, others – like Mission Bell – have a backstamp, but don’t include the Metlox name. This makes it challenging for collectors to find and identify pieces. The Series 200 Poppy Trail dinnerware evolved into a huge line. Colors included the full spectrum of bright glazes (rose, blue, green, ivory, red, yellow) and later in colorful matte pastels (15 colors in total).

The most commonly found pieces are pitchers, carafes, tumblers, and teapots – the rest of the items (especially individual pieces such as plates, cups, and bowls) are extremely hard to find. This is a common phenomenon for most dinnerware lines of the period – hostesses in the 1930s – the throws of the Great Depression – weren’t likely to throw out their existing dinnerware sets, but supplement them with colorware serving pieces. Beverage sets in particular are very common, and most potteries made a wide variety¬†of beverage servers and tumblers in each line.

Metlox 200 Series Piece List – Company Brochure

Metlox 200 Series Brochure

Metlox 200 Series Brochure (click to expand)

Metlox 200 Series Gallery

Metlox 200 Series Teapots

Metlox 200 Series Teapots

Of the two teapots shown here, the double-spouted 6-cup teapot is most commonly found. It’s also not unusual to spot one with the matching trivet. The teapot is sometimes confused with the almost identical teapot produced by Tudor Pottery around the same time period (who made it first?). Tudor pieces typically have a matte glaze. The smaller 2-cup teapot is very hard to find.

Metlox 200 Series Demitasse Set

Metlox 200 Series Demitasse Set

Here’s the 6-cup teapot with the matching demitasse set. There are six colors shown here: Turquoise Blue, Delphinium Blue (the Metlox “delph” is a deep blue or cobalt), Canary Yellow, Sea Green, Old Rose, and Poppy Orange. The hanging creamer and open sugar are also part of the demi set and are not terribly hard to find.

Metlox 100 / 200 Series Carafes & Tumblers

Metlox 100 (left two) / 200 (right) Series Carafes & Tumblers

As you can see from the price guide, there are a variety of beverage servers (lids often sold separately. On the far right, we have the standard 200 Series carafe in turquoise, next to two very early 100 Series carafes. None of the reference books have any information on 100 Series and company records are long gone. In the turquoise mark shown below, you can see that the pieces are simply marked “California Pottery.” The carafes are shown with the standard 200 Series tumbler, which is often found with a clip handle. The mark on the tumbler reads “Poppy Trail,” again, without the Metlox name.

Metlox 200 Series Mark

Metlox 200 Series Mark

Metlox 200 Series Mark

Metlox 200 Series Mark

 

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