The Little Frankoma Cracked Pot That Meant So Much To Someone

This Frankoma jar was found recently at an estate sale in Bethany, Oklahoma, a suburb of Oklahoma City, where Grace Lee Frank Smith was originally from

Notes Tucked Inside:

Here’s what the notes found inside the jar read, exactly as they were written:

This Frankhoma bowl or vase is one of the first made for sale by Mr. Franks. He was teaching at OU; he began making pieces of pottery for sale “on the side” and set up a roadside stand. I bought a pair for grandmother for her birthday, since I was in summer school. Grace (Bowman) (Mother) Franks Smith told me last summer (1976) that it is now a “collectors item”. Excuse the lack of “d” or “7”. I worked on the typewriter.

Made 1934-1936?? When did Mother graduate

Frankoma Round Jar #6 with Broken Cat Mark, 1935-38
Broken Cat Mark on jar bottom


  1. Frankhoma bringz back so many memories. My grandparent had Set of brown frankhoma

  2. Thanks for your comment. Great memories! And thanks for using our website. Ken

  3. Mardelle Ceaser says

    What is a broken cat mark?

  4. Thanks for your question. A list of all the marks Frankoma used can be found in the McBain Reference & Price Guide or the McBain Frankoma Book, both of which can be downloaded free from this website. The Pot & Leopard mark was used from about 1934 to 1938, when the dies were destroyed in the 1938 fire. The “Broken Cat” version of this mark consists of the word “Frankoma” and the base of the pot; the leopard and top of pot are missing (broken off). There are several theories to explain why this might have been done, but the most logical one is that it was an attempt to decrease the size of the mark in order to make a more uniform incision into the wet clay. Thanks again, Ken

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