Q: I just bought a piece of Brooklin Pottery. I thought it was from New York but I am told it is Canadian. Do you know anything about it? Are there many popular collectibles from Canada that aren’t well known in the states?
A: Of course. Collectors in the United States and Canada started looking at their own countries after soldiers saw all the antiques in Europe during World War II. The first books and publications about collecting in the United States concentrated on English porcelains and furniture, Georgian silver, prints, Staffordshire figures and Chippendale furniture that could have been made in many countries. American pieces were wanted by very few. Our trip to eastern Canada from Ohio in the late 1950s was disappointing because we hoped to see Canadian things in antiques shops. We found a few in Nova Scotia selling early Canadian furniture, but shops in the large cities looked like ours—they were filled with mainly English or Asian pieces. But by the 1970s, Canadians had become interested in their own antiques and history and there were Canadian publications and shows. Brooklin Pottery was founded in 1952 by Theo and Susan Harlander. They had emigrated from Germany. Some of their best-known studio pottery is made with incised pictures of people and geometric designs in pale earthtones. The business was closed by 1987.