The Rookwood Pottery Company was founded by Mary Louise McLaughlin’s rival, Maria Longworth Nichols Storer (granddaughter of Nicholas Longworth, daughter of Joseph Longworth) in 1880. Rookwood Pottery became an international sensation, winning many awards. It is still extremely popular amongst art pottery collectors. Maria had a strong interest in Japanese motifs, hiring a variety of decorators from Japan and encouraging designs such as the cranes seen here, a popular symbol in Japanese art. The decorator, Albert Robert Velentien was employed by Rookwood for 24 years, serving as the company’s head decorator for a time.