CHICAGO (WLS) --For over 100 years, Haeger Pottery sold artistic pottery to people around the world. Now, there are only a few pieces left and they are headed to the auction block on Friday morning.
Last summer, ABC 7 reported on the closing of Haeger Pottery in East Dundee, Illinois, after 145 years in business.
At Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in the West Loop, it's the end of an era. Haeger Pottery has sold unknown millions of items over the years and it seemed like it could go on forever. But forever is a long time and last summer the factory doors were closed.
The last 1,500 items left are now at the auction house.
"This is it. That's all that's left. When the factory closed down they had a final sale and this is what's left of the museum," said Nick Coombs of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.
When Haeger Pottery closed last summer it was one more sign of not being able to compete with low-cost foreign labor. The profits were gone and the future was dim. A sharp contrast to when Haeger opened in 1871 and the future was on fire.
"When they first started actually they were making bricks which turned out to be pretty good timing because the Chicago Fire happened. They were able to rebuild the majority of the city with the bricks they had," said Coombs.
Then in 1914, they started turning clay into works of art and Haeger's creative craftsmen never stopped adding to the portfolio. This Friday it all goes up for auction, including three huge murals from a big part of Chicago's history.
"These panels were at the 1934 World's Fair. Three of them present above a mock-up of a pottery exhibition that showed techniques from ancient to modern," said Cassi Baker of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.
There are giant murals eight feet by six feet - perfect for the family room.
When you walk in to the auction house, you can't help but notice an enormous vase. It's over seven feet tall and weighs over 600 pounds. So big it's not a vase, it's a "vahse." It's from 1976 and it's a Guinness World Record holder. World famous artist Sebastiano Maglio did it all by hand.
The online auction will take place on Friday morning starting at 10:00 a.m.