Blue Ridge Mountain Boys Mugs – 1947
Throwback Thursday takes a look at the story behind these interesting mugs created by the Imperial Porcelain Corporation of Zanesville, Ohio in 1947. The mugs feature popular characters from a 1940’s comic strip created by American cartoonist and illustrator Paul Webb. Webb was the creator of a single-panel cartoon called the Blue Ridge Mountain Boys. These Mountain Boys became featured on a large variety of merchandise during the 1940’s including the porcelain mugs shown here.
Paul Webb‘s comic strip series in Esquire Magazine, the “Mountain Boys”, was published in 2 collections: “Comin’ Round the Mountain” in 1939, and “Keep ‘em Flying” in 1941. In 1960, a paperback collection was published. Webb also produced paintings, calendars and illustrations of the popular Mountain Boys characters: Ma, Grandma, Pa, Willie & Luke.
American Art Pottery, which was first produced in Cincinnati, Ohio during the 1870’s, was still popular in the 1940’s. The pottery was hand-thrown and hand-decorated. In the 1930’s potters began making more creative and artistic pottery and wares. Collectors consider pottery made by a select group of pottery companies during the time period of 1876-1950 to be “Art Pottery”.
The Mountain Boys mugs were some of the last Art Pottery pieces to be created and wildly distributed. As they are all handcrafted, no two pieces are identical; this adds to their value. The caricatures portray southern mountain country daily life in a humorous and whimsical fashion.
Paul Webb passed away in 1985 after producing decades of artwork and collectibles. His folk art and creations are now highly sought after. All of his art is unique and each is signed and dated by Webb. The Past Antiques Marketplace at Nature’s Art Village has a collection of Paul Webb Mountain Boys Art Pottery Mugs available for purchase as well as many other popular Art Pottery from famous American artists. Visit The PAST Antiques on Route 85 in Montville, Connecticut to see our full selection of antiques and vintage collectibles.
Check back next week for another Throwback Thursday!