My mother-in-law sent this article to me, I have no idea what paper it was except that the heading said Otisville, MI 1-800-336-9927 - March, 1997

Horton Ceramics

Head Vases
by Darlene Nossaman

Of all the three dimensional clay designs by Mrs. Geri Horton, head vases are perhaps the most unique and beautiful. Mrs. Horton had a true feel for working with clay and modeled all ware produced by Horton. She tells me that she would pull and guide the clay into a form that felt just right, then play with the clay until she saw something emerge. From this repetitive rhythm and flow of working with the clay came beautiful artistic designs.

This photo shows a large lady head vase with mold letters LH. This particular style was offered in 8" and 10" heights, and both had blond hair and wore bright colored makeup. Both the 8" and 10" sizes were produced with the lady looking over her right shoulder or looking over her left shoulder. Mrs. Horton says that for market shows, doilies were placed inside the head which formed a lacy hat, then artificial flowers were added to form the arrangement. A different smaller 6" tall lady head vase, mold letters SH, was offered with blond hair, but this lady wears a green drape around her neckline.

Here is a baby head vase and was produced in two sizes, 4" and 7". The 4" high vase has mold letters BH incised on the bottom, while the larger 7" version has mold letters BHL. Since these two baby head vases proved to be best sellers, a third baby head vase, which was 6" high, was offered. This particular baby head vase was offered wearing either a pink or blue bonnet which tied under the chin.

This is called Aztec Woman and is 10" tall. The head vase has a brilliant mango color glaze that contrasts with brown, black and turquoise matte finish. It was advertised as being a replica of an authentic museum piece.

In the last photo we have the Madonna, mold no. M-1. This head vase was produced with Madonna wearing a blue hood and red dress, or in a plain white high gloss glaze. Horton produced another Madonna head vase, M-2(not shown) also in blue or white, but more slender and taller.

During the late 1940s and early 1950s when head vases were popular, Horton head vases were best sellers, and seem to be readily available in antique shops and flea markets. Be sure to check the bottom of each head vase for Horton ceramics. I hope these pictures offer some clue to identifying these beautiful head vases.

--Darlene Nossaman

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