I have been inspired to start writing again, thanks to a note from Chris’s Wismar of Toms River, New Jersey, regarding a previously unseen (to the public) John Bennett vase.

I must say, from the images he sent me that it is an exceptional vase and I was very excited to see it. Mr. Wismar mentioned that he is contemplating selling this vase, possibly in an auction. The vase has been in his family for a long time and was gifted to him from his grandmother.


Of course, I pointed him to Rago Arts & Auction Center, located at 333 North Main Street in Lambertville, NJ. I explained that if I were selling a Bennett, that’s where I would want it.

The Rago Arts and Auction Center is a leading U.S. auction house with an international clientele. With sales of over $30 million annually  More…

This piece, 1881, is large (approximately 15-7″). It is of cream-colored earthenware, featuring the blossoms of a Clematis vine. It is very reminiscent, in style to the 1882 Bennett vase in the Metropolitan Museum of Art collection. It uses the same intense color palette with a stylized sprig design (darker toned yellow over a mottled yellow ground). Also, like the Metropolitan vase, this one exhibits a rarely seen John Bennett double signature. One signature is on the bottom and one is on the side, making it visible when the vase is displayed.


John Bennett, vase, 1882, featuring pink and white dogwood branches.
Metropolitan Museum of Art collection

Stylistically it is also like the covered jar in the  Newark Museum

John Bennett, Large covered jar, 1881

John Bennett, Large covered jar, 1881

John Bennett’s American Pottery
Newark Museum
Covered jar with yellow ground, 1881
Earthenware with under-glaze decoration
15 3/4 in. high x 11 1/2 in. diameter
from Collection of the American Decorative Art 1900 Foundation

This vase is also similar to the Newport vases presented by The Preservation Society of Newport County. See our January 20, 2013 post, about the 59th Annual Winter Antiques Show. This post included The New York Times article, “A POTTER’S SECOND BLOOM” by Eve Kahn . Her article promoted The 59th Annual Winter Antiques Show in New York.


John Bennett vases from Newport, at the 59th Annual Winter Antiques Show in New York, photographed by the distinguished collector Robert Tuggle.

Here are more views of Mr. Wismar’s lovely vase:






A Bennett vase of this size and stunning decoration is sure to generate excitement to John Bennett lovers everywhere. From the images Mr. Wismar sent, the vase appears to be in excellent condition. I didn’t notice any imperfections and the photos did not exhibit signs of restoration.

If you are interested, Chris can be reached through email at chriswismar@gmail.com or contacted by telephone at 732-619-6611.

If this vase goes to auction, I will write about it again. Thank you Chris Wismar for the inspiration to write. Good luck with your beautiful vase.