Unusual Hagen Renaker Pieces

Hagen Renaker has been in business for 65 years. Some pieces they produced were made to be useful like their planters and dishes, but most were simply made as decorative giftware. No one at Hagen Renaker ever imagined that the pieces they made would become valuable or collectible.

They experimented with many pieces over the years. Some were never produced or documented. I will try to add some pictures of pieces that aren't pictured in any book. Many of these pieces were produced and sold by HR. Some were produced by other artists at the HR factory. Others are experimental. There are other lines produced by Hagen Renaker too. John Renaker ran a nursery at the San Dimas factory. They produced planters and plant accessories, for many years, most unmarked and undocumented. I believe the Oriental People were produced as companion pieces for Bonsai trees. Choo San and the Black Bisque horse were both produced in odd colors as companion pieces to the planters. Hagen Renaker even made pieces for aquariums, that I've never seen any listed on a sales list or inventory sheet.

One of the things that makes this such a huge task is the wonderful atomosphere and policies of Hagen Renaker in the early years. They were always very people friendly. Their employees loved working there and many worked there for 40 or 50 years. It was more like a family than a job. Employees could decorate pieces to take home, and were even allowed to purchase error and test pieces. At least one employee sold these pieces at the Flea Market for years. Other employees had their own pottery businesses. Hagen Renaker allowed these employees to work on their own lines at the factory too. Maureen Love and Millesan Drews produced their work at the Hagen Renaker factory. This freedom and helping hand wasn't just reserved for employees. Hagen Renaker helped anyone who needed help, including competing potteries.

Perhaps the best example is Roselane. The Roselane factory was closed for 2 years, when their factory was torn down to make room for a new Freeway. During that 2 year period, Hagen Renaker produced pieces, advertised and distributed for Roselane. Roselane pieces from this time period look and feel more like HR than Roselane. Many have Hagen Renaker stickers.

I would love any help or information anyone can provide about working at the factory or unusual pieces produced at the factory. These few pages are much harder to make than any of the other pages, because so little information is available. In some cases, there is a lot of incorrect information available. I expect to make errors on these pages but hopefully I will be able to correct them over time.

Some of these pieces are pictured here, and in other sections of the website.

Hagen Renaker Calico Painting Standard

This painting standard was used to show how to paint the calico cats
The painter would set this on their desk to use as a guide

Unique Test Hagen Renaker Horse Head Pin

1 1/2 inches tall
Purchased from a factory employee who worked at HR from 1947-49
Probably designed by Helen Perrin Farnlund

Hagen Renaker Aquarium Signs

Hagen Renaker made some Aquarium Furniture in their early years
These signs were purchased from a factory employee who retired in the early 70's
The bases are very crude and look home made

Hagen Renaker Aquarium Pieces

I purchased these from a factory employee
I was unsure if they were HR, until I found the bridge in the HR Archives

Hagen Renaker Early Fish

At least 3 different molds of this early fish were made
This one has been repaired

Unique Hagen Renaker Miniature Lady Bugs

These are early test pieces
Purchased from a factory employee who retired in the early 70's

Hagen Renaker Test Mold Boys and Girls

I purchased 2 of these from the Estate of a factory employee
The rest were purchased in a small collection of test colors I purchased in Monrovia California
They were probably never offered for sale
I have seen other designs of these, a Brownie, a larger boy in coveralls, a boy in bathing suit and a girl in bikini
A bisque girl with bikini is in the Hagen Renaker archives
Designed by Armae Conacher
Armae Conacher reworked the large DW Silver and designed Madame Fluff and Puff

Hagen Renaker Praying Children

I purchased these 3 from a factory employee
I saw another pair that an antique dealer had purchased in Monrovia, but she wouldn't sell them
I am still unsure if these are Hagen Renaker
I would love to hear from anyone with more information

Hagen Renaker Stoneware Test Pieces

The Panda, Giraffe, and Zebra are experimental Stoneware pieces
They are smaller than normal pieces, because they were fired at a higher temperature
The frog on stump is a mold that was never produced
The babies are stoneware also, but they are the correct size
They would have been larger before being fired

Hagen Renaker Bisque Mice and Cheese

I purchased these 3 from a factory employee's Estate
I have no confirmation that these were produced by Hagen Renaker
They are similar to other pieces in the HR Archives

Hagen Renaker DW Tongue Out Tabbie Cat With Eyelashes

Probably painted by an employee to keep or give as a gift

Hagen Renaker DW Starlite Cat With Extra Painting

Pink nose and tongue with lots of dark shading around the eyes
Signed Mary on the bottom
Possibly Mary Renaker or decorator Mary Earheart

Hagen Renaker DW Sparkle Kitten With Eyelashes and Extra Pink

Probably painted by an employee to keep or give as a gift

Hagen Renaker DW Black Bisque Glitter Kitten

Glossy handpainted eyes, but the rest is black bisque
Probably an early San Dimas test piece

Hagen Renaker DW Climbing Kitten with Pink Nose

Probably painted by an employee to keep or give as a gift

Hagen Renaker Early Baby Flower Monkey w/ Pipe Cleaner Tail

Painted by Decorator Lillian Andrews as gifts to her new step-children, Becky & Tim
Hard to read but painted in green are the names Becky & Tim

Hagen Renaker Mini Rabbit Wearing Clothes

Probably painted by an employee to keep or give as a gift
Frankie is painted on the offside
Hagen Renaker allowed their employees lots of perks
They turned a blind eye to decorators taking home pieces
They were allowed to take home, or buy rejects and test pieces
Designers could even work on their own projects at the factory
It must have been the most wonderful place to work
John Renaker was a wonderful man
In additional to helping friends, family and employees
He helped other small potteries, and even some established potteries that competed with Hagen Renaker

Rare Hagen Renaker Test St. Francis Plaque

Probably never issued
This and the Madonna Plaque are unusual pieces for Hagen Renaker
They didn't normally produce religious items
The religious pieces were made as test pieces for Maxine Renaker
14 3/4 inches by 8 1/2 inches

Rare Hagen Renaker Test Madonna and Child Plaque

Probably never issued
This uses the same blank as the St. Francis plaque,except it's inverted
This plaque bears the initials EK under the Madonna
I would love to know who that is
14 3/4 inches by 8 1/2 inches

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