A Nod to Napco (National Potteries Corporation) ❤️🤍❤️

By Gail Moore Woltkamp

It simply wouldn’t be Christmas without her. The vintage ceramic “cold paint” angel passed down to me from my grandmother is a keepsake I look forward to displaying year after year. Aside from her festive style and intricate design, it’s her signature Napco marking that confirms her authenticity to prime collectors.

Family Treasure
Napco Christmas Bell Angel with 1956 Marking
Photo by Gail Moore Woltkamp

Ohio Roots

National Potteries Corporation (Napco) was established in 1938 opening its doors in Bedford, Ohio, southeast of Cleveland. During its first peak in popularity, (the 1950s and 60s), the company distributed a variety of collectibles depicting the times, with products like birthday and Christmas angels, Lady Head Vases, (remember the Lucille Ball one?), planters, ashtrays and nursery rhyme figurines. This explosion in production of novelty items made them a much familiar sight in my mid western household and I’m sure in others across the country.

Since I have long-admired many of my family treasures, I decided to research more about the company. A quick discovery was Kathleen Deel’s book, Napco, A Schiffer Book for Collectors, which I purchased, and contains great info on various Napco collectibles.

I learned that Napco’s products are known for being “well-designed” as items are distinctive, with a “cold paint” technique, referring to the outside finish of the ceramic item.

Vintage and Today

In Napco’s vintage world, each product is marked with various paper labels, foil seals or markings featuring wording such as: “A Napco Collection;” “Napco originals by Giftware;” “National Potteries Co., Cleveland, OH; and “Napcoware, Import Japan.” fromgrandmastree.com

Napco cookie jar, that I purchased for my grandmother in 1978, with one of many variations of authentic Napco label
Photo by Gail Moore Woltkamp

Today, Napco has an extensive vintage product presence through online sales platforms like eBay, Pinterest and Collectors Weekly. There is also Napco Marketing Corporation, a wholesale distributor of floral and plant containers, and similar products, owned by 1-800-Flowers.com, Inc.

The website, Napcoimports.com, has an impressive online catalog, and touts a customer-driven product line with a 150,000 square foot distribution center in Jacksonville, Florida. napcoimports.com

To keep my family’s 1950s holiday nostalgia intact, I will pass down my cherished “cold-paint” Christmas angel, along with some other novelty keepsakes. After all, Christmas would not be Christmas without Napco! 🎁⛄️🎁

References

1-800-Flowers.com, Inc.

collectorsweekly.com

Deel, Kathleen; Napco, A Schiffer Book for Collectors; Schiffer Publishing Limited, 1999

fromgrandmastree.com

https://www.napcoimports.com

🎁🌲🎁🌲🍋🎁🌲🎁

Published by Lemon Twist

💛Kansas City Girl 💛Freelance Writer 💛Baker University Grad 💛Love my family, my hometown and anything from the 1960s💛🍋💛

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: