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Head Vases and Planters

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What’s a head vase? 

Some call them head vases and others call them planters, but these charming ceramic creations are essentially a hollowed out statue with room in the back for flowers, taking their name from the common form of a head or bust. There are others that are full figured and these are usually called planters.

America prospered after World War II, and found that Japan was the perfect location for cheap manufacturing with the most favorable rate of exchange with the dollar to the yen. Ceramics were a popular commodity and head vases were used by florists and could be found in five and dime shops throughout the nation. While most of these were whimsical designs, there was an unending variety of religious themed planters as well.

Not all were produced overseas, but as the cost of labor in the United States rose, production  moved to Japan – where copyrights were not enforced. The head vases created in the USA mostly date to the 1950s, while those made in Japan were created in the 1960s.

With the continuing increase in “religious materialism” due to mass production, head vases and planters with Catholic themes were became common in nearly every Catholic home.

Most commonly depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary, often holding her Infant, these were special gifts for Mother’s Day, for the birth of a new child, or to provide encouragement to those who were ill or grieving. 

Today a gift of flowers is likely to be presented in vessels resembling teddy bears or coffee mugs, or just about anything but the Blessed Mother.

While we at Catholic Home and Garden love them as devotional pieces, we recognize that they are also very collectible and hope you will enjoy the information below.

These are all examples of what has sold online and are not items that we offer for sale regularly. Please check our storefront as they become available.

Then

Head Vases And Planters

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Teleflora'S Be Happy® Bouquet

Please Read: The head vases shown below are a photo archive provided to promote the appreciation of this type of Catholic artifact.

They are not available for sale. I have provided links throughout to help you find some.

You may also see our current inventory, click here

Photo Archive of Head Vases

Artmark Art Mark Chicago, Ill.
Head Vases And Planters  

Head Vases And Planters

Standing Our Lady of Grace Planter 10 inches

Gum label Artmark Chicago Ill , Made in Japan.

Head Vases And Planters

Standing Virgin Mary Planter with Grapevine Detail

Artmark Red stamped Made in Japan. 10.5″ tall

Head Vases And Planters

Artmark Standing Virgin and Child Head Vase 10 1/2″

Head Vases And Planters

Artmark Holy Family Planter B-1412 10 1/2″

Head Vases And Planters

Infant of Prague Planter Artmark Japan. 8″ tall

Head Vases And Planters

Artmark Infant of Prague B-2002

Head Vases And Planters

Artmark Madonna and Child Head Vase

 

Head Vases And Planters

Artmark Standing Virgin and Child Planter 10 1/2″

Head Vases And Planters

Artmark Praying Virgin Mark Head Vase

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Enesco – Founded in 1959 by Eugene Freedman in Milwaukee as a small plastic figurine company. Freedman soon merged with N. Shure Company, a  Chicago based import firm and they became a huge wholesale marketing entity. The combined name, N. S. Co. became Enesco. The firm began marketing Southeast Asian giftware from a small office in Elks Grove, Ill. and eventually expanded throughout the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico, Hong Kong and Europe. Most of the head vases were made by Japanese potters and are marked only with paper labels.
Head Vases And Planters

Enesco Virgin Mary Head Vase 7 3/4″

Head Vases And Planters

Enesco Praying Nun Head Vase 3 1/2″

Head Vases And Planters

72. Enesco Virgin Mary Head Vase 8″

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Haeger Potteries, Inc. – Royal Haeger
Head Vases And Planters

Haeger Potteries Inc. Macomb, Ill. Praying Madonna Head Vase. Stamped “Haeger USA” in blue on bottom. 9″ high, 6″ deep 5 1/2″ wide

Head Vases And Planters

Unusual light up planter 11 1/2″ tall. H. 3806 A. L. Randall co. Haeger Am. Ceramic. USA

 Head Vases And Planters

ROYAL HAEGER. USA. No. RO 17. Statue is 11″ High, 4 1/2″ Across Base. Planter is 4″ Oval, 4″ Deep

Head Vases And Planters

Haeger Standing Virgin and Child in White 11″

Head Vases And Planters

Haeger Standing Virgin and Child Ivory 11″

 

 

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Hull Pottery – Hull Pottery began production in 1905 in Crooksville, Ohio, under the leadership of Addis Emmet Hull. Beginning with the manufacture of tableware, they moved into the art pottery field in 1920 and produced many pieces between the 1930s through 1950s. The firm closed its doors in 1983.

Head Vases And Planters

Hull USA F61. 9″ tall and 6.5″ wide

Head Vases And PlantersHead Vases And Planters

Hull Pottery in an ivory glaze,11.5 inches tall

Head Vases And Planters

Hull Art Pottery #26 Madonna and Child 8 inches

Head Vases And Planters

Hull USA 25 Kneeling Madonna Planter 7 1/2″

Head Vases And Planters

Hull Madonna Holding Rosary Head Vase Planter White Matte Finish 9 1/2″ #417

 Head Vases And Planters

Hull Pottery. 11 1/2″ tall. St. Francis of Assisi. A rare planter.

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INARCO – Founded by Irwin Garber in 1960, International Artware Corporation (INARCO) was founded by in Cleveland, Ohio by Irwin Garber in 1960. It is believed that his wife, Roselle, was a model for a number of Garber’s designs. At the start of trade, INARCO imported ceramics from Japan and in 1986 was purchased by Japanese giftware distributor Napco and moved to Jacksonville, Florida. While many stamps were used by INARCO, the company’s head vases usually featured one of three main designs: one reading “Cleve Ohio”, one marked “Japan”, and one with a globe featured prominently.
Head Vases And Planters

INARCO JAPAN E322  6 1/2″ HIGH  Matte Finish Praying Virgin Mary Head Vase

Head Vases And Planters

INARCO Praying Virgin Mary 1962 6-640

Head Vases And Planters

INARCO, Japan.  6-1/4″ tall, 4-1/4″ deep and 4-1/2″ across.

Head Vases And Planters

INARCO Cleveland Ohio E-1621 5 inches Novice Nun Planter – Collection of Gloria Jarrett

Head Vases And Planters

INARCO White Matte Finish  6″ tall, is 4 1/2″ wide and 3 3/4″ deep.

Head Vases And Planters

INARCO Standing Virgin Mary Planter E-3590 marked with Globe 10 1/2″ tall

Head Vases And Planters

INARCO Praying Hand and Bible Planter 5 1/2″ tall

Head Vases And Planters

 

INARCO Virgin Mary Head Vase

Nu E-2495 6 1/4″ Tall

Head Vases And Planters

INARCO Praying Virgin Mary Head Vase E-2001 1964 Ivory Glaze

Head Vases And Planters

INARCO E 2000 Virgin Mary Closed Eyes Head Vase

Head Vases And Planters

INARCO Praying Nun Head Vase 1964

 

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Head Vase

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