Viktor Schreckengost’s Estate Sale

June 27, 2016

By Janet Dodrill

Hundreds of people showed up within the first couple hours of the estate sale for industrial designer and artist Viktor Schreckengost on Friday, the first day of the three day sale, at his Stillman Road home in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. When I arrived in the first hour, there was a mob of people waiting outside and I was instructed to get number. I got number 153, and they had just called 74, so it turned out I had a couple hour wait ahead of me!


Viktor Schreckengost’s house and estate sale in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, June 24, 2016.

Once inside, the house was full from basement to attic of personal household items of the Schreckengosts, Viktor and his wife Gene. It was an incredible feeling just to be in his house, and on the grounds. I left with a few small items that I thought were interesting, and learned by someone at the sale and a member of a Viktor Schreckengost Facebook group that he most likely designed a couple of them.


Creamer designed by Viktor Schreckengost.

One item being a plain coffee cup and creamer he designed for Salem pottery with no design. The other being his popular Christmas pattern showing a decorated tree with gifts under it. A pedal car and pedal plane ornaments made good additions to my holiday decorations. I thought a partial metal sign with his initials, V.S., may have been from a childhood toy. Miniature solid colored dishes that he designed but had produced to give as holiday gifts, and I bought five to have. A few small plates were most likely salad plate designs by Vik.


Miniature dishes designed for production by Viktor Schreckengost.

There was a room in the house where Viktor had hundreds of seashells and rocks, separated in different boxes, containers and cans. A few of the shell collections were in old cigarette boxes, Marlboro and Viceroy. I thought this was a clever way organize them, using boxes and containers from around the house!



Sea shells stored in an empty cigarette box belonging to Viktor Schreckengost.

It was a well-organized and fun event (by Mitchell Attenson Estate Sales), to see what purchases others were walking out with, like a globe, candlesticks, and plate designed by Viktor, a steel yard stick, a teapot, and even a Pantone book!

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Viktor Schreckengost estate sale, June 2016.


Christmas ashtray with artwork designed by Viktor Schreckengost.


Cup designed by Viktor Schreckengost.


Salad plates designed by Viktor Schreckengost.


Metal sign piece with Viktor Schreckengost’s initials.


Pedal car Christmas ornaments designed after actual pedal cars by Viktor Schreckengost.


Pedal car and plane (reproductions) designed by Viktor Schreckengost.


Shells, rocks and organic objects in boxes and containers in the attic of Viktor Schreckengost.


Painted poster in the home of Viktor Schreckengost.


Books belonging to Viktor Schreckengost.


Travel souvenirs and miscellaneous art and objects in the home of Viktor Schreckengost.


Cowan Pottery Jazz Bowl by Designer Viktor Schreckengost

June 14, 2012

By Janet Dodrill

Viktor Schreckengost

Viktor Schreckengost 1906-2008

In the early 1930s, an Art Deco style masterpiece was created in earthenware with black and vibrant blue glazes and a jazzy New York theme, tilting skyscrapers, stars and other symbols — the “Jazz” bowl. It was designed by ceramicist Viktor Schreckengost.

A web site is dedicated solely for Viktor’s bowls. It states in Viktor’s words that a design was requested, submitted and selected for a punch bowl with a New York theme while he was working at the Cowan Pottery Co. in Rocky River, Ohio, The client turned out to be Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the bowl turned out to be the first of a series (and first of three that she ordered) that he designed. It is estimated there are between 20 and 50 of these bowls, though the exact number is unknown.

Last weekend parade participants created a huge float version of a “Jazz” bowl and displayed it at the popular ‘Parade the Circle’ event in Cleveland.

Rago Arts auction has one of the bowls with a Schreckengost signature and Cowan stamp in their June 16, 2012 auction, estimate: $40,000-$60,000. According to, a similar “Jazz” bowl sold at Rago in 2010 for $158,600, and the bowls have sold at other auctions across the country. The are in both public and private collections.

Viktor Schreckengost Jazz bowl at Rago auction

Jazz bowl at Rago aucton.

I was fortunate enough to see a “Jazz” bowl in person at The Cleveland Museum of Art’s exhibit “Viktor Schreckengost and Twentieth Century Design” a few years ago.

Sources and related links:

Viktor Schreckengost on Wikipedia

Rare Schreckengost Jazz Bowl to Auction at Rago’s in June

Schreckengost Jazz Bowl Sold

The Biggest Jazz Bowl in Parade

Viktor’s Jazz Bowl Web Site