When Haeger Potteries and Pottery Museum closed their doors in the summer of 2016, lifelong customers, pottery collectors and Chicago history buffs rushed to buy one last time from the 145-year-old institution. On February 24 the public will have a final opportunity to buy from Haeger Potteries and the Pottery Museum collection and access archived treasures unavailable until now from the closed factory and store.
Haeger was founded in 1871 by David H. Haeger as the Dundee Brick Company, establishing strong roots in Chicago after manufacturing bricks that would help rebuild the city after the Chicago Fire. In the 1900s leadership of the growing company was passed to David Haeger’s son, Edmund, who propelled the company forward by manufacturing glaze and formalizing a pottery company. Edmund Haeger put the art of pottery making on display at the 1934 Chicago World’s Fair, which secured national and international attention for the company.
One of the earliest works to be offered in the Haeger Potteries auction includes a Haeger Pottery vase marked 1914, which is listed as one of the earliest examples in the collection. It has a presale estimate of $150 – 250.
By 1938 the third generation of the Haeger family continued the legacy of the company by appointing Edmund’s son-in-law to General Manager. Joseph F. Estes developed Royal Haeger, a highly successful line of pottery. In the late 1970s, his daughter Alexandra Haeger Estes became president until the company closed in 2016.