Yellowware pottery is favored by collectors who like the simple look of country charm. Such molded pottery or earthenware pieces were produced in shades of yellow, from sunshine or egg-yolk bright to a pale, creamy buff with a shiny, clear overglaze that intensified the color. Some pieces were solid yellow, while others had embossed patterns or raised designs. Most desired by collectors, and thus most expensive, are pieces with blue, brown or green "sponge-decorated" or "sponged on" seaweed designs.
Yellowware was produced in the United States, England and some other countries. Only a few pieces were marked with company names that identify the place of manufacture. American-made yellowware usually has a plain look, and the pottery seems thicker than pieces made in other countries.
Yellowware produced as early as the first third of the 19th century and as late as the 1920s and '30s was made in a variety of utilitarian pieces. Some pieces are always in demand, so they have a much higher value. The value depends on the piece, its age, condition and rarity. Among the rare pieces are cow-shaped creamers, heart-decorated pie plates, which can sell for more than $150 (other yellowware pie plates were unadorned); salt boxes; Toby snuff jars; spittle cups, once used by "fashionable" ladies who sniffed snuff; and rolling pins, unadorned, chunky types, 3 1/2 by 3 inches, with plain wooden handles or a turned "clothespin" design.
Other rare pieces include coffee pots (some with a lighthouse shape are worth big bucks), spittoons (some were octagonal, with a Victorian-Gothic look), pickle jars, mugs, soap boxes, doorstops, colanders, and pitchers in various shapes and sizes (one five feet tall was a trade sign for Woodward, Balkely, and Co., Pottery, East Liverpool, Ohio). Also popular are charming miniatures -- chamber pots, jugs and molds.