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  • Collections | Medalta

    Collections

    Tony Schlachter

    The Tony Schlachter Collection contains over 2,500 pieces of Medicine Hat pottery.

    Collections & Research

    The Friends of Medalta Society has been accepting donations to our Permanent and Study collections since 1992.

    Donations & Inquiries

    We are happy to answer any questions you may have about your antique ceramics produced in South Eastern Alberta.

    Collections and Research

    The Friends of Medalta Society has been accepting donations to our Permanent and Study collections since 1992. Thanks to the generosity of donors from across Canada, our collection has grown to over 30,000  objects.  The primary focus of our collection is artefacts related to the factories located in the Historic Clay District with a minor focus on the other Potteries that operated in Southeastern Alberta.

    Additionally, we have a collection of historic plaster moulds that were used at the Hycroft China site between 1938-1989, as well as collections of silkscreens, rubber stamps, stencils, tools and other artefacts found on site. We are also interested in product catalogues and advertisements from the Potteries in South Eastern Alberta. Additionally, we also collect stories of life working in the factories, more formally called Oral Histories.

    For additional information regarding the donation process please contact susan@medalta.org

    If you have an object that you think we might be interested in, take a few photos of the front of the object, as well as photos of any markings that may be on the base or sides. These photos will help us to assess if your object fits our Collecting Criteria listed below.  We need to be very selective about the objects that we take into the collection to conserve storage space for future acquisitions.  Walk-in donation inquiries are not encouraged.

    Collecting Criteria:

    • Does not exceed our acquisition limit of 3 of each item.
    • Is in very good to excellent condition (no chips, cracks, and very limited wear to decoration).
    • Exceptions to the above may be made at the discretion of the Collection Manager.

    You can send these photos by mail or email to our Collections Department along with stating your intention to donate to our museum.

    For additional information regarding the donation process please see our Guide to Donations.

    We are happy to answer any questions you may have about your antique ceramics produced in South Eastern Alberta. In addition to your question, please send us a few photos of the object, from multiple views including any factory stamps or markings on the object. These photos help us to narrow down the date range of when your object was produced.

    We are currently in the process of developing our online collection database for your self-serve research needs. We  also have books for sale in our museum gift shop that offer a wealth of information about the potteries of South Eastern Alberta, the products and markings of Medalta Potteries Ltd, and Altaglass. If you are interested in purchasing a book, please give us a call and we can let you know more about prices and shipping.

    In accordance with the International Council of Museums Code of Ethics, we are unable to provide appraisal services to the public. Estimates of value are performed by an appraiser. You can find an appraiser in the yellow pages of the phone book or through a member of the Canadian Antique Dealers Association.

    History of the Tony Schlachter Collection

    Anthony (Tony) Timothy Schlachter arrived to the world in the middle of the 1930’s depression. He was the second of eight children born to Joseph and Catherine Schlachter who had a farm on the Etzikom Road, between Seven Persons and Bow Island, Alberta.

    After managing a grain elevator in Hussar, Alberta for a couple of years, Tony also went into farming, growing wheat and raising cattle, on the land known locally as “the Flamme Farm”. It had belonged to August Flamme, an MLA for the Cypress area in the late thirties.

    It was on this farm that Tony discovered the very first piece of his collection – a stoneware chicken waterer.

    In the intervening 50 years, he has amassed an exemplary collection of South Eastern Alberta pottery which he generously donated to The Friends of Medalta Society in the Spring of 2008.

    Upon donating, Tony asked that it be shown as a single collection, which we were happy to do. His collection officially opened in Medalta’s former Kiln Room in May 2008 and was housed there until October 2010. Its permanent home is now in a secure section of our Reception Gallery and is open for viewing during our regular museum hours. Some of the artefacts are one-of-a-kind – including a vase made for the Veiner family and a half a chamber pot (custom-made by a former Medalta Manager for his “half-assed” friends).

    Other generous donors of items produced at Medalta: the late George Bruinsma and Wayne and Gina Battle, Bruce Douglas whose collection focused on Medalta’s Lamps. The late Peter Kenny who Collected items made by Medicine Hat Potteries Ltd.  Cam McLean who collected objects made by Sunburst Ceramics Ltd.

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