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Brayton Laguna Pottery

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Brayton Laguna Pottery

The Coachman from Pinocchio

Hakes Americana and Collectibles

The Year was 1927:

That was the beginning of Brayton Laguna Pottery, the company started by Durlin Brayton in . . . Laguna Beach. It's said that he started selling out of his home and began with dinnerware, vases and flower pots. But things started to change when he married Ellen Webster Grieve in 1936, a talented artist who helped introduce the figures that helped make the company take the leap to a successful pottery.

Brayton Laguna's figurines are the pieces most collectors look for and are quite distinctive. Many of the children figures have wide open, big expressive eyes, that once you've identified them, are easy to pick out. A whimsical look, without being too cute.

Did You Know?:

Brayton Laguna was the first company that was licensed by Walt Disney, which included several figures and pieces made for the animated movie, Pinocchio. One important piece made during this time period (1938 - 1940) was the Coachman cookie jar, still one of the more sought after cookie jars and selling even now for several thousand dollars.

The Marks:

There are a variety of marks for Brayton Laguna pottery. Some are stamped with a variety of stamps, which can also include the name of the piece it is on. It's also noted that some are unmarked, and others are incised with just the company name. Confusing? Yes, but the once several marked pieces are studied, unmarked pieces can often be identified by the way the piece is made and style of the piece.

Brayton Laguna Pottery Cookie Jars

Online Prices:

A sampling of Brayton Laguna Walt Disney pieces sold on eBay in Spring 2013:
  • Pinocchio with Figaro
    Size: 4.5"
    Auction Price: $399.95
  • Snow White
    Size: 11"
    Condition: Repaired
    Auction Price: $302.
  • Baby Ferdinand the Bull
    Size: 3"
    Condition: Light Crazing
    Auction Price: $227.49
  • Sleepy Dwarf
    Condition: Light Crazing
    Auction Price: $199.99
  • Rabbit
    Size: 5" long
    Auction Price: $137.50
  • Figaro Cat Figurine and Figaro w/Bowl
    Size: 4" each
    Auction Price: $104.50

The Bottom Line:

Brayton Laguna Pottery is a well-known California pottery that is sought after by collectors. The company lasted until 1968, well after the passing of the founder in 1951 and made it's mark on the American collector.

It should be noted that some of the styles produced by Brayton Laguna can be quite different, for example when comparing a cookie jar such as the Gingham Dog to the Matilda jar, it's might be hard to realize, that they are in fact made by the same company. The styles are so different.

From Who's Who in California Potteries: Brayton-Laguna is credited with originating the concept of designing and selling sets or pairs of ceramic figurines. Examples: A well-dressed Victorian couple commemorating their first anniversary, a lady in a lavender dress holding a basket, with a hat over her other arm, a peasant woman holding a basket. Artists included Durlin Brayton and Andy Anderson.

Sources include: California Potteries, The Complete Book by Mike Schneider.

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