We are offering an extraordinary pairing of six Frankoma Pottery Company lugged bowls with underplates in the Lazybones pattern, Desert Gold color. This quintessentially mid-century set was introduced by Frankoma Pottery in 1953, and we know from the clay color that our bowls and plates were produced prior to 1955.
Featuring clean, concise lines and an elegant, understated swirl design on the face of the plates, the lugged bowls adhere to the mid-century ethos of understated beauty combined with practical utility: they feature a a dipped handle on the top (see our photos) that allows the user to comfortably hold the bowl with their thumb, and – thanks to a ridge running from the side of the lugged handle to the base of the bowl – an indentation in the base that permits the user to support the bowl with middle finger. This excellently designed bowl measures 6-7/8” from the end of the lugged handle to the other side of the bowl, and has an impressed FRANKOMA stamp on the underside, along with the code ‘4X’, which is the manufacturer’s identifying number for this very bowl. Frankoma Pottery originally marketed these as cereal bowls, but we think they make excellent soup bowls as well, thanks to the marvelous heat resiliency of the pottery.
We have paired the lug bowls with an underplate that Frankoma Pottery originally marketed as a Bread & Butter plate. Measuring 6-7/8” in diameter, all six of our plates have the subtle, linear swirl design unique to this dinnerware line. Three of our plates have the raised FRANKOMA mark on the underside, and the other three are unmarked, which was not unusual for Frankoma Pottery items. These lovely, small plates will provide protection from spills and heat when paired with the lug bowls, and they will also do additional service as snack or dessert plates. Of course, these beautiful items are nearly 70 years old, so if you want to keep them out of service and on display, that would be perfectly fine!
Our six bowls and six plates are in mint condition, with no chips, cracks or obvious signs of use. Please view our photos, which capture the clean, lovely lines of the lugged bowls and the plates, as well as the granular beauty of the glaze!
BRIEF HISTORY: John Frank was a ceramics art professor at the University of Oklahoma. He started the Frankoma Pottery operations in 1933, producing vases and other types of art pottery. Initially he used a beige clay from the Arbuckle Mountains, known today as Ada clay. Frank eventually left the university, moving his family in 1938 to Sapulpa, Oklahoma, and set up a pottery on Route 66 just outside of Tulsa. The new plant began operations in June of 1938. Frank used Ada clay for about 16 years at his Sapulpa pottery; however, in 1955 he switched to a local, reddish clay now known as Sapulpa clay. The change in the clay sources has made dating Frankoma Pottery pieces a fairly simple exercise: Looking at the bottom of the piece, if the clay used appears to be a tan color, then it was created pre-1955 from Ada clay. If the clay is a red color, then it was likely produced after 1955, when Frank began producing pieces from the local Sapulpa red clay. Prior to the clay change, Frank realigned his business from the production of art ware to focus on dinnerware. First, he introduced the Southwestern “Wagon Wheel” line (1946), which featured a bas-relief wagon wheel as its central design motif. After introducing this tremendously popular line, Frank introduced a Mayan-Aztec design (1947), and in 1948 introduced the famous Plainsman dinnerware line, which was supposed to be evocative of the west. The Lazybones dinnerware line that followed in 1953 was evocative of the mid-century aesthetic, with its clean lines, utility and subtle grace.
Over the course of business operations, Frank and his family experienced a number of serious business setbacks. The Sapulpa plant burned to the ground twice, and the business suffered from ongoing financial problems. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1990, and Frank's daughter sold the struggling company in 1991. The company assets were auctioned off in May of 2011. The original Frankoma Pottery molds and trademark name were sold to a limited liability company which is producing limited amounts of pottery.
Shipping for our beautiful mid-century set of 6 each Frankoma Pottery Company lugged bowls and plates is $65.00 to the 48 contiguous United States. Please contact us for a shipping quote outside of the lower 48 United States @ firstname.lastname@example.org