The 2014 Hull Pottery Association commemorative is modeled after Hull’s donkey planter. Of all the beautiful pieces of pottery Hull produced, the sitting donkey planter has a most unique and colorful story. In 1940, the donkey planter was advertised as a campaign item for the times and a particular political party. This planter has an unmistakable humorous side from its sitting position to the broad “facial smile.” Remembering the times, post depression and just prior to the United States’ entry into World War II, the production of this campaign item may have been considered a bold step for the times, but may also have been just what a troubled nation was looking for.
Interestingly, the donkey planter was destined for another calling. This imaginative novelty planter was slightly changed by closing in part of the back and by adding an altered Hull swing band drummer novelty figure as the donkey’s rider. The “man on the donkey figurine” was made at the Hull Pottery Company and was sent to President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House during World War II. This piece was displayed prominently by President Roosevelt during his time in office. Now you know the rest of the story.
HPA members can now order the 2014 commemorative. Please visit the commemoratives page for ordering information.
Thank you to HPA Treasurer Bob Kirkwood for this article.