Royal Ariston (Importex Company & BC Ceramics)

 

This history of Royal Ariston of British Columbia begins with understanding that Royal Ariston was the brand name of a line of ceramics introduced by the Importex Company of Vancouver. From the late 1920s to WWII, Importex, managed by Frederick Leuchte, imported ceramic items from Germany, including lamp bases. During the war, German products were unavailable, so the company began producing its own ceramic wares. These ceramic wares were manufactured under the Royal Ariston brand name. This pottery line was first advertised by Importex in 1950.

Early Importex Company wares manufactured between 1939 and 1945 are not easy to find. Later pieces of Royal Ariston can be identified through glazes, mould numbers and the Royal Ariston marks. In 1954, Importex sold out to BC Ceramics and the moulds and glazes, along with the experienced engineers and artists, such as Walter Gerz and his wife Herta, transitioned to the better known company, BC Ceramics – in effect, ‘borrowing’ the shapes, moulds and mottled glazes of the the Royal Ariston brand. Unless a piece is marked with a mould number, it cannot be positively identified as an Importex or a BC Ceramics piece.     (Information provided by Museum of Vancouver)

History

Production years: Importex: 1928-1954; BC Ceramics: 1954-1967

Location: 1654 Franklin Street, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
People:
Owners: Otto Fleischhauer and brothers Leonard & Bernard Frank. Walter Gerz: 1951- Ceramic Engineer. 1955 – Walter Gerz would go on to run his own company, BC Ceramics, with his wife, Herta Gerz.

Materials:     ♦ Slipcast     ♦ white clay     ♦ moulds    ♦ matte glazes & colours, mottled glaze techniques

Popular Glazes:

  • Mottled turquoise to brown (purple brown) glaze
  • High gloss mottled turquoise glaze with mottled brown highlights
  • High gloss mottled pink glaze with white highlights
  • Mottled turquoise glaze with incised design
  • Bright red to mottled grey glaze
  • Turquoise to darker blue mottled glaze
  • Mottled green to brown matte glaze
  • Burgundy high gloss glaze to black base
  • Cream to brown mottled glaze
  • Mottled brown to light green high gloss glaze
  • Speckled pink to green high gloss glaze
  • Mottled white to black glossy glaze
  • Mottled brown to pink glossy glaze
  • High gloss pale pink glaze with mottled brown
  • High gloss mottled pink to brown glaze with turquoise accents
  • High gloss turquoise glaze with white drip or overflow glaze
  • High gloss turquoise with light and dark brown drip glaze
  • High gloss orange glazed with accents of olive green
  • Black, Burgundy, Gold, Dark Green or Yellow-green high gloss glazes
  • High gloss brown glaze with mottled green and white
  • Brown, pink, beige mottled matte glaze with high gloss mottled turquoise to beige glaze
  • Turquoise to mottled grey high gloss glaze
  • High gloss yellow to mottled brown glaze
  • High gloss lime green glaze with mottled brown highlights
  • Black with mottled grey
  • Pale turquoise to pale pink mottled glaze
  • Mottled brown to yellow high gloss glaze
  • Mottled brown to turquoise matte glaze

See Additional Resources:  Thanks must go to Allan Collier of Victoria, BC for his invaluable background information.


Comments

Royal Ariston (Importex Company & BC Ceramics) — 5 Comments

  1. Here are photos of our Royal Ariston vase. Any information would be helpful including date manufactured and current value.

    • Hannah, I’m afraid I have no more information on Royal Ariston pottery than what is posted on this page. And values will always depend on what is currently available in the online markets. I’m afraid I do not do valuations, and would suggest you conduct searches over a period of time to see what price ranges are available for your item. I can tell you that it is an unusual solid-colour glaze and could possibly fetch more money than the more common mottled glazes. Thanks for your interest and for sharing your photos.
      Maria

  2. From Hannah – Would you be able to supply me with any information about a green vase I have. It is labeled on the bottom, Royal Ariston 2605. I was unable to attach a photo to this message.

    Thank you
    Hannah

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