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Question About Our Wagon Wheel Collection?

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Hi. My husband has collected the Prairie Green Wagon Wheel Frankoma for years. He bought a small set at an estate auction and we just add on to it as we find pieces. I am relatively new and learning about Frankoma. The pieces that he started with are all dark brown and green which I think is the Sapulpa clay. Most do not look glazed on the bottom.

I have purchased a few items here and there. Some of which are the lighter clay. I have been reading about Ada clay vs. the newer pinkish clay. I honestly can not tell the difference. I plan to try the wet finger test.

If the plates appear to be glazed on the bottom, does that mean they are newer?

The last set I bought raised some questions also.

I purchased 4 dinner plates, 2 bread and butter plates and 8 of the larger saucers which I think are salad plates.

I can identify 3 of these as Sapulpa clay because of the darker brown color.

The rest are a much lighter and more yellowish tan. All are wagon wheel. Some have a very small, imprinted Frankoma mark which I have read means they are older.

Some have no mark at all. What does this mean? I can not see how they wouldn't be Frankoma as the wagon wheel pattern is exactly like all of our other pieces.

Has anyone seen this before? We do not plan on selling the collection anytime soon but I am super curious as to why some are marked and some are not.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!


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I have collected Frankoma for 30 years. There are a lot of resources available for you to learn about your Frankoma. One of the best places to start is with the "Frankoma Pottery Fans" group in Facebook. This group is an information only group - no buying or selling. The former owners and employees of Frankoma participate in this group. There are other Facebook groups for buying and selling between members, just search for "Frankoma". There are some very good history of Frankoma websites that collectors have created. Search for "Frankoma Pottery History".
These resources will provide you with pictures showing the many colors and variations of Frankoma glazes and clays.
Your green and brown glaze is known as Prairie Green and was used from the beginning to the end of Frankoma's production.
Frankoma used three sources for clay during its production - and you can tell the age of the item by looking at the color of the unglazed clay. The oldest is the creamy colored clay known as Ada clay, because it came from land near Ada, OK - used from 1933-1954. The dark red clay is known as old Sapulpa red clay which they used from 1955-1970. The newest clay was a lighter red clay known as new Sapulpa pink clay used from 1970 to current.
Dinnerware plates are glazed are the bottom, but usually have a circle that is unglazed. The wagon wheel dinnerware was produced 1942-1988 so it spans all of the clays, which is why you see variations in it.
Enjoy your handmade in Oklahoma Frankoma and check out the resources I mentioned for more information.

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