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Archaeological Studies of Ceramics


Coarse Earthenware


Semi-refined Earthenware


Refined Earthenware


Semi-vitreous Wares








Data for ceramic values from a sample of Ante-bellum Adams County (Natchez) Mississippi


Ceramic Typologies used for the Sunflower River, Mississippi Survey


Bristol slipped stoneware, probably a churn.


In the Mid-South, ceramics, both historic and prehistoric, are used by archaeologists primarily for dating. This is particularly true at the exploratory (Phase I and II) level of survey and testing. Ceramics are also widely used to explore the nature of social relationships (status) and social connections (exchange), particularly when larger samples are available from excavations.

In the preceding descriptions of ceramic types, many cases of the presence of certain ceramic types in a wide range of North American archaeological assemblages have been noted. The interested reader is referred to the particular reports indicated to build an appropriate data base for comparison to particular assemblages.

Ceramics and Dating

Mean ceramic dating, as developed by South (1972, 1977) is primarily of use on 18th and early 19th century sites; after the American Civil War it appears to offer little useful resolution. Median dates for ceramic types given in the following table are based on Brooks et all (2000). These sources and others take their date ranges and midpoints from South's original figures. Apparently, the mean dates have been used uncritically in the regional literature. There may be some potential for the refinement of these ranges based on actual archaeological contexts, rather than using the circular argument of assuming the historic sources to be correct and applying them to the data without checks. The MCD is generally reported with a standard deviation (s.d.) as an indicator of the length of occupation for the site or deposit being studied (Brooks 2000:126).

A second approach to the dating of assemblages is the study of manufacturer's marks. Direct dates can be obtained by comparing ceramic backmarks from archaeological collections to the known dates of production for the factories or firms represented. The above sections have detailed the dates of production of the more important exporters; many more can be found in standard references (Godden 19---, Kovel 19----). Due to the large number of marked specimens from the Hilderbrant excavations, this avenue of research has been followed extensively.

Ceramics, social structure, and status

Many archaeological studies of ceramics focus on using the varying proportions of ceramic wares as an indicator of the status of a site's inhabitants. These studies are ultimately based on price lists compiled from period marketing or acounting documents. One readily avaiable source relevant throughout the United States are the Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalogs showing the price range of many types of wares as well as the relative values of individual pieces. Store ledgers are sometimes avalable for particular localities, but the survival of this type of record is very spotty. There is an appended selection of probate or estate documents for 1850s Adams County, Mississippi, showing values appraised for ceramics found in households ranging from merchants and planters to relatively very poor individuals. Such data are available for many counties for that era.

Ceramic Function

Vessel function is most easily addressed through the analysis of form, however, context of recovery should also be considered. Detailed lists of the vessel forms typical of each ware and decorative category are compiled for sites or features.

American colonial studies noting the prevalence of hollowwares on slave sites tend to attribute this to a higher rate of consumption of soups, stews, and porridges, relative to the slaves' masters, who were more likely to eat solid cuts of meat from plates and platters. In Scotland, a similar assumption concerning foodways has been made to explain the prevalence of bowls on 18thand 19th century rural sites. There, the dominance of hollowware forms in Scotland predates the widespread availability of industrially-manufactured vessels. Webster (1999:68-69) notes the widespread consumption of milk, whey, and oat porridges, a dietary pattern that lasted into the mid-20th century in rural Scotland.


The archaeological study of historic ceramics is fraught with a number of difficulties, the most significant being typological: there are no standard archaeological definitions such as those of the type-variety system used to classify aboriginal ceramics. There are exceptions to this general rule, such as Walthall's definitions of French colonial types and the Spanish colonial types defined for the Carribean. However, even where these typologies are available, they are not consistently applied by archaeologists nor required by review agencies. The problem is particularly compounded when individuals who are primarily prehistorians take it upon themselves to create classes rather than referring to standard classes. Variation in terms of reference to identical materials will be dealt with under the individual groupings used below. An example of the great variablity in classifications used is shown in the appended discussion of historic ceramics from the Sunflower River. The Sunflower runs through the heart of the Mississippi Delta, and hundreds of cotton plantation tenant house scatters were found in a mult-year survey of the river conducted by Panamerican Consultants, Inc. for the Vicksburg Distict of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Wares are grouped below for discussion primarily in terms of clay body and temperature of firing in the following six broad classes: 1) coarse earthenwares, 2) semi-refined earthenwares, 3) refined earthenwares, 4) semivitreous wares, 5) stonewares, and 6) porcelains. Semivitreous wares are particularly troublesome, as several trade or brand names are used as archaeological classes and they tend to intergrade in degree of vitrification with refined earthenwares and true porcelains. Likewise, much of the material traditionally classified as stoneware is, in fact, poorly vitrified and should technically be considered as coarse earthenware. However, in this case, due to vessel form, technique of manufacture, surface finish, and intent of the potter, these low-fire or improperly matured domestic wares are retained under the stoneware heading.

Historic ceramics are generally sorted first by these six wares and secondly by surface treatment (decoration). Vessel form and function is considered secondarily, if there is available evidence from the fragment. Wares can be considered broadly as coarse or refined, with coarse wares being made with colored (grey, red, tan, buff) clays and refined wares being made of mixed clays and other materials to produce a white body. Coarse and refined wares are also differentiated by particle size, with some coarse wares containing obvious grog or sand particles or poorly wedged clays. Refined wares, while they contain various tempers, are made of finely ground materials, yielding a fine-grained, smooth body. The lowest-fired ceramic products are considered to be earthenwares. There is little or no vitrification and the body is porous. Thus earthenwares need a glaze if they are to be impervious to liquids. Stonewares and porcelains are vitrified, porcelains being completely vitreous (glassy). Upon examination of the body of porcelain and true stoneware, it is evident that the clay and mineral particles of the body have melted and fused, as in the formation of a metamorphic stone from a sedimentary one. As noted, there is a wide range of possible semi-vitreous wares between refined earthenware and porcelain, and there is also a wide range of vitrification between coarse earthenwares and stonewares. Thus stonewares are also generally slipped or glazed to render them impervious.

The intricacies of the study are also compounded by the vague line between emic and etic categories when dealing with materials from our Euro-American ancestors that are referred to with words that are still current in the English, French and Spanish languages, but whose meaning may have changed through the centuries-we may think we know more than we do.


This broad category can be taken to include all prehistoric Native American pottery and most of the early historic Euro-American tradition pottery of North America and the Caribbean. It includes the Colono-wares made by African slaves and colonial Indians in the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as lead-glazed redwares made from earliest colonial days in many of the New England, Mid-Atlantic, and even Southern colonies. Many varieties of coarse earthenware, generally with slips or glazes, were imported from all of the European countries involved in the colonization of America.

Lead is a common glaze for coarse earthenwares because of its very low fusing temperature; these glazes were produced by first baking lead and then grinding the resultant white particles with sand and glass which is then mixed with water and applied to the unfired (green) vessel as a slurry. The resultant glazed product was mildly toxic, particularly if attacked by acidic foods; and the powdered and liquid glaze itself if known to have poisoned many pottery workers. Early historic lead glazes are generally greenish, although a wide range of yellow and brown instances are also common. The glaze is typically semi-transparent, so the underlying clay body color influences the appearance of the glaze. Clay slips were also used.

The predominant coarse earthenware vessel form in the Early Historic Southeast is a broad, shallow, flat-bottomed, slanting-walled bowl commonly referred to as a milk pan. This was the vessel form used to cool and settle milk so that the cream could be dipped or poured off for making butter. The vessels were also undoubtedly used for other domestic purposes as well, such as food storage/preparation and serving/eating. Many materials broadly classified as stoneware, a, in fact, due to their low firing temperature, coarse earthenwares. These wares are often the product of hand potteries that do not have the clay or the kiln to make true stonewares. These products must be sealed with a glaze, generally the brown Albany slip clay, to make them impervious. However, as they have traditionally been considered stonewares, and because they intergrade imperceptibly with true, vitrified, stonewares, these ceramic products will be considered in a section below.

Coarse earthenware also includes various forms of terracotta, such as flower pots and architectural elements (tile, flues, chimney thimbles, sewer pipe, etc.). These larger coarse earthenware elements are generally not considered with other archaeological ceramics. Throughout the longleaf pine regions of the lower Coast Plain, countless thousands of terracotta fragments of turpentine cups have been deposited across the landscape. Made in several pot and trough shapes, these turpentine cups were attached to the base of each pine, which was periodically scratched so that resin would flow from the wound into the receptacle, which was periodically collected and distilled. These were in common use in the 19th century, being replaced in the 20th century by galvanized sheet metal collection boxes.


This category covers a wide range of coarse, unglazed wares made by early settlers of the Southeastern coast (Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida). They closely resemble prehistoric aboriginal sherds, and in some cases the colonoware tradition has been linked to colonial Native American potters, particularly the Catawba, who are still potting, operating in a developing plantation economy. Most colonowares, however, appear to have been made by enslaved and transported Africans and the first generations of their descendants (Ferguson 1992). A distinguishing characteristic of some colonoware traditions is the imitation of European forms (e.g. pitchers, handled cups, bowls with footrings, small reed-stem pipes) on hand-molded rather than wheel-turned vessels. There is some evidence of red slips and black "glaze" or varnish; most sherds are simply burnished or polished. Vessel forms that have been identified at the mid-18th century Catherine Brown cowpen site (38BR291) in South Carolina include plates, trays, bowls, cups, jars, and kettles (Brooks 2000:133-134).

Iberian wares

These large vessels were exported to North America from 1745 to 1780 (Brooks 2000:133, South 1977:211). These coarse earthenware vessels have a pink to buff paste and a green or yellowish interior glaze and unglazed exteriors. Vessel forms include large bowls and storage jars, some with lug handles (Brooks 2000:133).


Red-bodied, lead-glazed vessels made in France and the French colonies are commonly recovered from 18th century colonial sites, including Indian villages trading with the French. Bowls are the main French coarse earthenware form, followed by jars and jugs for transport, processing and storage. Gums (1988:139) notes that, in contrast to the Spanish, English, Africans, and Native Americans, the French did not use ceramics in cooking, having already adopted metal vessels for this use.

Walthall has defined a number of classes of French coarse earthenware. Saintoinge Plain, common on 18th century sites, has a white or pink body. The color of the body may vary throughout the vessel. The lead glaze is green or mottled green and yellow and is applied only to the interior and lip, with some dripping and running on the bisque exterior. Large bowls, deep or shallow, with flanged lips are the primary vessel form. The vessels were wheel made and have flat bases, often with slight heels. Saintonge Slip Plain is a similar ware, however, the vessels have a white slip applied prior to the lead glaze, resulting in a pure, often dark green glaze. The wares tend to be pink or salmon colored. Charente Plain has a dull orange to deep red paste with some iron content. This iron bleeds into the glaze, causing brown specks or mottles. The clear and shiny glaze, applied to the interior, appears caramel to honey colored due to the underlying fabric. Deep and shallow bowls, some with lids, are the primary vessel form. Lips can be T-shaped, flanged, or rolled. There are rare, undefined, decorated variants of Charente Plain. Gums (1988:149) notes sherds from French colonial Cahokia, Illinois, one with dark brown splotches, apparently intentional plays on the tendency of iron to stain the clear glaze and another with a .4 cm-wide dull yellow slip trailed decoration. She notes that slip trailed Charente Plain vessels are much more common at the Nova Scotia Fortress Louisbourg than in the interior.

There are other coarse earthenwares in the French tradition that do not have formal names. These include bowls, jars, cylindrical ointment/preserve pots, jugs, and mugs of red-bodied wares with clear glazes, the smaller vessels being thinner and more finely potted. A second unnamed ware has a translucent brown glaze on dull orange to red wares. The glaze can be very dark, approaching black, or streaked. Straight sided jars and flat based bowls of this ware were unidentified at Cahokia, Illinois (Gums 1988:151). Finally, oxidized orange and reduced grey sherds were noted at Cahokia as having translucent, lustrous green glazes (Gums 1988:151). The glaze on these bowls and vertical-sided jars is highly variable, ranging from light brownish green to deep olive in color.

The majority of coarse earthenwares found on historic sites are redwares. These have a soft, porous paste that is red, orange, or tan and are sealed with low-firing lead glazes. The glaze can have a wide range of colors, including most often clear, yellow, green, and brown. Most generally show the color of the body through the glaze. There is generally no other decoration (Smith 1993:193). Some types have dark brown (manganese) glazes or slip decoration. They are often glazed only on the interior and have a bisque exterior. The most common forms are large storage jars and bowls, although the complete range of forms approximates that of contemporary stoneware (large and small jugs and jars, bowls, inkwell and other specialized items).

Several semi-refined earthenware English products (Jackfield, agate, and Astbury wares), to be discussed below, were developed from simple redware bodies in the later 18th century.


Lead glazed slipware was exported from England to its colonies from ca. 1670 to 1795 (Brooks 2000:134). The body of these wares is generally yellow or buff to brown, with decoration consisting of dots of combed lines of iron oxide (brown) on clear or yellow lead glaze. As the wares are very porous they are sealed with the low-firing lead glazes, which can vary significantly in color depending on firing environment. Vessel forms known for the type include porringers (handled straight-sided bowls), large and small simple bowls, plates, and cups/mugs. The vessel exteriors, particularly plates and shallow bowls, are often unglazed. Vessels generally lack footrings and other embellishment is limited to fluting or "pie-crust" crimping of the lip (Brooks 2000:235). Slip-combed bowls and plates were generally formed by the press-molding system, with the decoration being applied with slip horns. Plain brown/dark brown slipped vessels otherwise resemble lead-glazed redwares. Smith (1993:194) notes vessels of such ware that appear to be inkwells and other small containers on Ft. Southwest Point and other Revolutionary-era military sites.

North Carolina and Pennsylvania were home to an Early American slipware tradition; that of the Moravian settlements.


During the 18th century, as porcelain and Oriental teawares began to be in greater demand, European potters began to imitate them so as to compete with the Chinese product in their own countries. Coupled with a Neo-Classical antiquarian interest in the ceramics of Greece and Rome, an age of experimentation in the ceramic industry resulted, and along the way many products were introduced that had only limited popularity or were produced for short time periods. These short-lived types have great potential for the tight dating of 18th century British colonial sites.

Many of the early English experiments concerned the mixing or refining of colored earthenware clays and the development of glazes that could be fired at progressively hotter temperatures. These 17th and 18th century products, along with some later successors, are considered here as semi-refined earthenwares. The initial successful product was a tin-enameled ware that, though still thick and opaque, had a white surface that could be decorated with blue and other colors. The later, and eventually overwhelmingly marketable, development was the English production of refined earthenwares, that while not fully vitrified, cheaply imitated the complex forms and clear white and blue decoration of porcelain. Refined earthenwares are described in a following section.


In Mid-South contexts, it is usual to attribute yellowwares to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. However, yellow-bodied ceramics were made in Britain by ca. 1800. Yellow jugs, mugs, and punchbowls were being made in Liverpool with early transfer prints commemorating personalities and events of the American Revolution and War of 1812, intended for sale to American sailors calling there (Camehl 1971:xxi).

Rockingham or Burlington wares

This class of ceramics originated in the potteries of Yorkshire in northeastern England, particularly at the Rockingham works (Godden 1964:13). It was later manufactured in Burlington, Vermont, hence the secondary name. The ware is generally comparable to yellowware or redware, although the glaze was sometimes used on white-bodied (refined) earthenware.

Among the most common forms manufactured with Rockingham/Burlington glazes were spittoons of various shapes. The material was also commonly used for doorknobs.

Tin-glazed wares

These semi-refined earthenwares still exhibit yellowish or buff bodies. The wares are slip-glazed or enameled on the interior, and generally all of the exterior except the base, with a lead-based rendered white by the addition of tin. Hand painted blue or more rarely polychrome decoration is the standard, although some undecorated or sparsely decorated items were also produced.

Delft refers to the products of England and Scotland as well as the Franco-German Lowlands (today's Holland, Luxenbourg and Belgium); French products are designated faience, and those of Italy, Iberia (Spain and Portugal), and Latin America majolica. Tin-glazed wares have a typically pale yellow body and thick glaze, often with "pinholes" formed by bubbles in the glaze mixture. It was often decorated with metal-based colors prior to firing (Smith 1993:193). Colors possible include blue (cobalt), red, orange, brown, yellow, and green. However, the popularity of Chinese cobalt-blue decorated porcelain led to a great diminution of the palette, and within 20 years of the common adoption of porcelain in the mid 17th century, the Italian, Dutch, Spanish, and English tin-glazed industries had generally dropped all colors except blue (Honey 1946:4). Some French factories continued to produce polychrome wares. By 1700, there were at least 20 factories in Delft, Holland, producing these low-grade imitations of porcelain, and the English and Germans soon adopted their style of decoration that was loosely based on Chinese examples (Honey 1946:5).

South (1977:211) offers a North American date range of 1600-1802 for English delft; these wares were generally blue-decorated, although polychrome specimens are known, they are not as common as in the faience and majolica traditions. Delft is generally the most common imported ceramic type on early British colonial sites (Brooks 2000:136). The Temple Back Pottery in Bristol, built by Edward Ward in 1683, produced delft ware until converted to creamware production in 1780 (Coysh 1971:50). The wares gfrequently have a blueish-grey tinted glaze (Gums 1988:144), the result of the flowing of blue handpainted decoration. Motifs are floral, often incorporating the hatchure attributed to the Bristol potteries. Vessel forms identified include plates, teabowls, serving bowls, and chamber pots, the later three forms with footrings, plate bases generally being flat as in the French tradition, as they were formed by press molding.

Walthall has defined seven faience types from Mid-Western and Southeastern contexts. Paste colors range from buff and light yellow to salmon. Glazes are sometimes pure and brilliant white, but more often slightly off white with yellow or pink tints. Type names are intended to identify locales of manufacture. The type Normany Plain is undecorated; however many sherds classified in this class are plain fragments from sparsely decorated vessels. Vessel forms include small plates, cylindrical cups, and pipkins (straight handled cup/bowls). Normandy Blue on White has simple blue decoration. Two varieties have been defined. Variety Normandy is defined as having unlined blue decoration, executed in broad, flowing, simple brush strokes. The main vessel form is the plate, although platters and pitchers are also identified. Variety St. Cloud has blue decorations outlined in dark blue, black or purple (manganese). St. Cloud vessel forms include plates, platters, cups, and rare tureens are reported. Simple blue band decorated faience, classified as Brittany Blue on White, probably manufactured in and around the North Atlantic trading port of Rouen largely for export, is widely found on 18th century North American French colonial sites and contact period Indian villages (Walthall and Benchley 1987:58, Gums 1988:135). This simple pattern has decoration ranging from .3 to .6 cm wide. It appears that this motif was limited to the plate form. Provence Yellow on White is a minority type in all reported American assemblages. Rouen Plain has the same white interior enamel as the other types described, but vessel exteriors are covered with a dark brown lead glaze. This brown-and-white vessels are also referred to as faience brune. Rouen Blue on White has the same brown exterior combined with blue decorations as in the above-cited decorated forms. Rouen wares were used to make plates, platters, cups, and handled forms.

Walthall has also defined a number of rim border styles (see also Gums 1988:Fig 51). The plain blue band of Brittany Blue on White is Style A. Besides these rim styles, the main decoration of 18th century faience consists of floral medallions found in the interior centers of plates and platters.

As noted above, plates and platters are the predominant faience forms on North American sites, however, a number of other forms, including useful items such as medicine pots or jars, candlesticks and ink containers (escritoiri) have been identified. The other known forms include cups and the rare soup/sauce tureens. The flatwares were formed by press molding, and generally have flat bases without footrings. Vessel lips are generally rounded and direct. Larger plates and platters often have molded shallow scallops. Hollowares have simple globular or cylindrical forms and simple pulled handles. The body is almost always thick and soft and there is a tendency for the glaze to crackle and spall. Hollowares were wheel thrown and more often have broad, shallow, D-shaped foot rings. Bowls do not seem to be included in the faience repertoire, rather, they were made of the coarse earthenwares described above. Sometimes faience sherds have drilled holes, these are for repairs using poured lead or other rivets for repair. This practice is taken to indicate conservatism in areas where re-supply was difficult, infrequent and/or expensive, as in the assemblages of the poorly-paid junior officers staffing interior posts.

Majolica manufactured in Ciudad Puebla, Mexico, during the colonial period is widely distributed in the U.S. Southwest, with examples being found as far afield as the final Arkansas Post, occupied during the Spanish possession of Louisiana (Walthall-----SEAC). Puebla Blue-on-White imitated the glazes, colors and motifs of the Chinese porcelain that was then being imported by the Pacific or Manila galleon trade but was far from duplicating the Oriental paste or firing technique (Olsen 1978:9). This tendency to imitate porcelain will be discussed in greater detail as it concerns English refined earthenwares and 19th century Continental porcelains. Pueblan majolica typically has dark blue floral motifs executed in dense, broad brush strokes. The body is typically deep orange and somewhat sandy textured. Plates and bowls were manufactured. These wares are still manufactured in Mexico today.

Jackfield, agate and Astbury wares

The general term "Jackfield" refers to a limited range of thin (around 2 mm), high-quality coarse earthenwares with fine black glazes. The impetus for the development of a fine redware appears to have been the Yi-hsing red stoneware used for Chinese teapots of the 16th through 18th centuries (Honey 1946:5). Jackfield wares were produced between 1740 and 1780 (Brooks 2000:136; 1745-1790 after Smith 1993:193) and are generally ornamented in the then-current Neo-Classical styles. For instance, specimens recovered at a South Carolina backcountry site have embossed ivy designs (Brooks 2000:136). The Thursfiels variety has a purplish-grey body and brilliant black glaze while the Whieldon variety has a reddish-orange body and black or dark brown glaze. The ware was predominantly used for teawares, especially teapots, but also including other items of tea service such as trays and pitchers. Smith (1993:193) notes 39 sherds similar to Jackfield ware from Ft. Southwest Point with hard, shiny, dark brown glaze and fine, thin red paste, but notes that similar wares were made in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Ohio from ca. 1750 to ca. 1900.

Like Jackfield wares, agate wares lie at the upper end of the coarse earthenware spectrum and are sometimes considered as refined earthenwares due to the addition of white clays to the ceramic body. The material has a distinctive paste, formed by partially mixing or "marbling" orange clays with white ones. The wares are generally glazed with a "ginger" (yellowish) colored lead glaze, with bases being unglazed. Brooks (2000:139), following South (1977:211), states the manufacturing period of refined agate wares as 1740-1775 and mentions a bowl recovered from the Catharine Brown cowpen and homestead site in South Carolina.

Astbury wares, manufactured from 1725 and 1750, have a high-quality orange body while the glaze has white clay slip mixed into an otherwise lead-based glaze (Brooks 2000:139).


The driving force behind the 18th century refinement of English clay bodies was the desire to imitate the widely-popular, but expensive, imported white-bodied Chinese porcelain. In this experimental effort potters began to add ground calcined (burned) flint and bone and white Cornish kaolin-type clay to their wares and flint glass, zinc oxide, and sand to their glazes (Brears 1971:54). Many of these improvements were made or developed in the concentration of potteries in Staffordshire, and it is this region that dominated the world in the production of refined earthenwares in the first half of the 19th century. With one exception from Wales, all of the imported earthenwares from the Hilderbrant site that can be traced to a manufacturer come from Staffordshire. The late 19th century would see similar developments in the concentration of the American ceramic industry in the region of East Liverpool, Ohio. The history of this industry will be discussed in the immediately following section, as it is essential to an understanding of the origin of most ceramics found in 19th century archaeological deposits. After the section on the development of the industry, three refined earthenware bodies (creamware, pearlware, and whiteware) will be defined. Following these definitions, decorative techniques are discussed.

There were numerous other potteries in Britain producing refined earthenware in addition of coarse earthenwares and porcelain. The Rockingham works of Yorkshire have already been discussed in connection with the mottled brown glazed wares originated there, under coarse and semi-refined earthenwares; there were also potteries in the nearby cities of Leeds and York (Godden 1964:13). Among the most important centers during the early 19th century was the Cambrian or Swansea pottery on the south coast of Wales and the Worcester works on the River Severn in west central England, however, both focused on porcelain manufacture (Godden 1964:13). Much of the domestic consumption of the City of London was produced in its potteries: Bow, Chelsea, Fulham, and Lambeth (Godden 1964:13). Liverpool, the port-of-exit for Staffordshire, also developed a ceramic industry aimed at the export trade (Camehl 1971:viii). Glasgow, Scotland, had some of the 19th century's largest potteries, mass producing cheap wares such as sponge decorated bowls and plates, largely for sale within the non-industrial regions of Scotland. The scale of the Britannia Pottery (established by J. and M.P. Bell and Co. in the early 19th century) and the Glasgow Pottery (established by R. Cochran in 1857) surpassed that of the main Staffordshire works (Webster 1999:60, 67). These potteries supplied most of Scotland's demand for whiteware, but the extent of their export trade is unknown.

The Staffordshire potteries

The vast majority of historic ceramics found on nineteenth century sites in North America come from a single small region in the Midlands of England, Staffordshire, in the Stoke River valley east of the Welsh border and between the port of Liverpool on the north and the industrial center of Birmingham to the south. While Britain had a number of other potting centers, Staffordshire always commanded a vast lead in the export market. Today, the region known in the 19th century as "The Potteries" is part of the Newcastle-under-Lyme/Stoke-on-Trent urban area. Several advantages are cited for the development of the industry here, including dry climate, local availability of coal, high-quality clays, and improved turnpike roads and navigation canals that allowed for cheaper supply and wider marketing (Halsey 1971:275, Brears 1971:45).

Staffordshire had a medieval pottery industry, but the main development of "The Potteries" was in the mid 17th century (Brears 1971:201). Potting has long been an inherited trade, and several of the major 19th century exporters had ancestors potting in Staffordshire by the 16th and 17th century. By 1700-1720, there was a concentration of potteries at Stoke, Staffordshire. They cornered the pot trade of the Midlands, and then improved and expanded their operations and products, particularly red-and-black wares and yellowwares, both of which had been made with press-molds since the mid-17th century (Brears 1971:43-45). By 1700-1720, the Staffordshire potters adopted the method of slip-casting in two-part plaster of Paris molds. The creative period at Staffordshire began with the Elers brothers production of a fine, salt-glazed redware and John Astbury's production of a salt-glazed imitation porcelain with a hard, strong, white body produced by the addition of ground calcined flint (Wetherbee 1985:5). These improvements were followed by the introduction of lathe turning, allowing fine relief detailing, and of engraved transfer print decoration, and with these innovations, potting in Staffordshire ceased to be a cottage industry and became the work of industrial factories using much unskilled and semiskilled labor (Brears 1971:54). The transience of this type of labor, coupled with the movement of journeymen between various masters prior to establishing their own works served to disseminate information about new developments in the trade as well as to unify the style of the products of the various factories (Brears 1971:58).

By the mid 18th century, Staffordshire wares were sold throughout England. At the same time, Chinese hand-painted porcelain was becoming more abundant and cheaper as an exclusively export-focused market developed in Guangdong Province ("Canton") on the south China coast (Wetherbee 1985:6). The new refined earthenwares still could not compete in quality with the porcelain service used by the elite and upper bourgeoisie, nor in cheapness with the coarse earthenwares still used by the poorest people, but rather with the pewter used on the middling class or artisan, tradesman and yeoman tables. The growing population of impoverished laborers still needed vast numbers of simple redware bowls, mugs, and plates, which were made at many locations throughout the country. Some of these poor workers included the tinners of Cornwall who rioted on one market day in 1776, breaking all of the Staffordshire dishes intended for sale to those who would otherwise buy pewter (Brears 1971:56).

With the nation extensively deforested, industrial scale potteries could only operate with a cheap supply of coal, and the Midlands lie in the main British coal-mining region, leading to further concentration of the industry there between 1800 and 1830. By 1828, when the industry was sufficiently mature to occasion the writing of a history, the Staffordshire potteries were the world's largest, employing around 50,000 workers of both sexes as young as 8 or 10 years. Most of the hundreds of operations employed 40 or fewer workers (Camehl 1971:viii). The locality also supported many ancillary workers in the production of packing crates and coarse wrapping paper, as well as copper plate engravings, colors, and tissue paper used in transfer printing (Halsey 1971:275). Local forests supplied hazel and yew rods for the wicker-work crates made by basketmakers of the district; it was in these simple containers that the Staffordshire products were loaded onto barges for their trip to the port of Liverpool (Brears 1971:61). As canals had done before the turn of the century, by the mid 19th century railroads further improved the profitability of Staffordshire potteries by allowing clay and stone to be hauled from Cornwall much cheaper than formerly, when it was the work of horses and carts (Brears 1971:78). Between 1800 and 1830, more than 80 new potteries were opened in Staffordshire, with Wedgwood, Spode, and Minton remaining the leading producers (Camehl 1971:vii). By 1796, Minton was supplying much of the pot trade of London, where the family maintained a pottery and glassware warehouse and sales room (Coysh 1971:50).

Between 1850 and 1880, the wages of British workers rose by 30%, so that by the mid-19th century even poor workers could afford the brightly decorated Staffordshire dishes, and they too quickly replaced their traditional, locally-made redwares with transfer printed whitewares (Brears 1971:78). Webster (1999:56) notes that by the early 19th century the remote Scottish islands were supplied with Stafforshire and Glasgow ceramic wares, although poor Hebrides women continued to hand-build imitation teawares as late as the 1880s. This was also the case in 19th century America, where by the first decades of the 19th century only the most lowly of slaves or frontier farmers ate off anything but the product of Staffordshire, and the products of the wood lathes of bowl-turners and the molds of pewter-workers quickly died out in common use in America as well.

There were six main communities in the Stoke borough comprising "The Potteries": Stoke-on-Trent, Hanley and Shelton, Burslem, Longport, Tunstall, and Cobridge. Stoke itself was the site of William Adams & Sons' four potteries (Godden 1963:27). The main potting town was Hanley and Shelton, the location of many earthenware manufacturers including the New Hall Co., the Ridgway firms, and firms of the 1830s and 1840s such as Hicks, Meigh & Johnson and Clementson. There were a considerable number of copperplate engravers in Hanley and Shelton as well (Godden 1963:24, 26). Burslem gained an advantage in 1763 with the act authorizing a turnpike between Liverpool and Manchester. In 1777 the Grand Trunk Canal was completed, and in 1805 a branch was extended to Burslem. Potteries in Burslem included the Machin works (Waterloo Pottery), Alcock's three works at Hill Top, and the leading manufacturer Enoch Wood. In addition, cobalt ores from Sweden and Saxony were refined there, along with other colors (Godden 1963:22, 24). Longport on the Grand Trunk Canal had wharves serving Burslem and Tunstall as well. It was the location of the Davenport firm, which bought up and added on to three earlier establishments in the 1770s while coming to produce an excellent line of ceramics. By 1801 steam machinery was in use and flint glass or "crystal" was also being produced. Later incarnations of the Davenport firms produced earthenwares and porcelain until 1887 (Godden 1963:21-22). Tunstall was built almost entirely around 1816; it was the headquarters of the Adams establishment, including the large house built in 1789 by master potter William Adams, Sr. (Godden 1963:19, 21). Cobridge was the site of the various Godwin firms, as well as the Stevenson operation later taken over by the Alcocks (Godden 1963:24). The work of these firms and other is discussed below in more detail under the section on transfer printing.

American refined earthenwares

By the mid 19th century the Northern states of the U.S. were struggling to establish a whiteware industry, based on the existing stoneware and yellowware industries, that could compete in the domestic market with the product of Staffordshire. Eventually, one city, East Liverpool, Ohio, would come to a preeminence to rival that of "The Potteries."

Creamware, pearlware, and whiteware

As described above, by the mid 18th century, English potters had perfected and marketed white-bodied earthenwares. The earliest are called creamwares after the rich, off white or slightly yellowish tinted glaze and cream or slightly yellowish body. Further refinement along the lines of imitation of Chinese export porcelain resulted in blue-tinted pearlwares, the product of the addition of cobalt to the glaze. Finally, plain white wares with lesser amounts of cobalt dominated the market. Studies of historic ceramics are often non-comparable because of the macroscopic criteria used to sort these wares. Body sherds not showing pooling in recesses are especially difficult to sort. To address this problem, experiments have been conducted using shortwave fluorescence. Under such lighting, the three tradition classes have been found to have distinctive signature colors. Creamwares fluoresce as yellow to brown light, pearlware as dull violet, and whitewares and ironstones (semi-porcelains), generally, as bright blue or white (James Matthews, http://members.hume.net/jmat 1/.)

Creamware was produced from 1762 until around 1810. This lead-glazed ceramic came to be commonly known as "Queen's ware" or "Queen Anne's ware after the popular brand names of Wedgwood (Hume 1970:123, Gums 1988:153)." By the 1770, creamware had replaced English delft and white salt galzed stoneware in British exports, but by 1780 pearlware had been introduced. Both remained in production during the early 1800s, but declined with the introduction of whiteware and semivitreous ware in the 1820s (Miller and Stone 1970:42). Besides being made by various Staffordshire firms, it was produced in Yorkshire. These wares continue in production today, as do the later "cream-colored (or CC ware)" or "ivory" variants of creamware with slightly off white bodies. These last are considered to be inferior, cheap products.

In contrast to the typically richly decorated pearlwares and early whitewares, creamware was generally been free of applied decoration, although some forms such as brown transfer printing, hand painting and mocha banding are known. Decoration has, rather, generally been achieved through molding, with distinctive shapes such as royal, octagon, flat, and concave. Rim patters include (unpainted) shell and feather edged and embossed dot-and-diamond (Smith 1993:189). Simple ribbed, beaded and fluted forms are common. Late 18th and early 19th century creamware is generally sorted in the archaeological lab by the presence of greenish pools of glaze in footrings and similar crevices (Smith 1993:189).

These wares were produced in matching sets for tea and dinner service. Common creamware vessel forms include plates, platters, soup plates, bowls, teacups, saucers, teapots, cans (mugs), chamber pots and various jars (Gums 1988:153). Flatwares were press molded using a technique that lent itself to relief decoration. Bowls generally have a high, rectangular footring, still in imitation of Chinese porcelain forms.

Pearlware, another product introduced by Josiah Wedgwood, is a white-bodied ware with a clear to pale blue lead glaze. The glaxe is generally of a very high, sparking quality. These refinements were achieved by adding calcined, ground black flint to the body and minute amounts of oxide of cobalt to the ware and glaze to neutralize the yellow tint (Smith 1993:189; Wetherbee 1985:12). A whiter body was achieved by increasing the proportion of "Cornwall" or white china clay in the body (Wetherbee 1985:12). In terms of overall quality of ceramic product, softer-bodied, mass-decorated whiteware represented a step down. The blueish-tinted glaze pooling in vessel crevices is the sorting criteria commonly used by archaeologists (Price 1979). There is temporal overlap between creamware and pearlware, with pearlware first being manufactured in the 1770s, common in the last decade of the 18th century, and declining after 1820 (Hume 1970:130-131).

Pearlware is much more profusely decorated than creamware and indeed was rarely undecorated (Price 1979:11). Molded decoration was common, and was often used in combination with applied decoration. Relief patterns include various forms of shell edge and herringbone bands (Gums 1988:155). Applied decoration includes blue and green painted and molded edges, annular, hand painted, and transfer printed.

Whiteware is something of a residual category, as it includes all refined earthenwares that do not exhibit the yellow-green or blue tints of creamware and pearlware. These ceramic forms date later. The proportion of cobalt in the glaze was decreased so that a clear glaze was obtained. All of the decorative techniques described below have been applied to whiteware. Whitewares from the first half of the 19th century are typically profusely decorated. By 1876, most table ceramics were once again plain white (Camehl 1971:xxiii), a trend that lasted into the early 20th century.

Colored glazes

The earliest colored glazes for creamwares were green. These products were produced between 1759 and 1775 (Brooks 2000:139, South 1977:211). Green-glazed creamwares were used for tea services and were often decorated with floral appliqué sprigs and buds. Smith (1993:192, after Noel Hume 1970, South 1977) describes a jar lid sherd from Ft. Southwest Point as green glazed and cream-bodied and notes that this ware developed by Josiah Wedgwood and Thomas Whieldon was not very popular and was soon replaced by creamware.

The term fiesta is applied to pastel and brightly colored, over-all glazed dishes of refined earthenware made in the early to mid 20th century. "Fiesta" was a trademark of the Homer Laughlin Co., of East Liverpool, Ohio, but has come to be applied generically by archaeologists to many similar products, such as "Lu-Ray".

Hand painting

The single most important color used for hand painting, as well as other decorative processes, is blue derived from the German roasted cobalt oxide ore referred to as "zaffre;" this material was imported from Germany and the Baltic region (Coysh 1971:7). The refined product was fused with sand and potassium carbonate to produce the glassy blue "smalt" used to color ceramics and blue glass. Supplies were interrupted by the Naploeonic Wars, at which time a cobalt ore source in Cornwall was developed (Coysh 1971:7).

Creamwares, particularly for tea service, were originally decorated with enameled hand-painted colors; that is the ware was glazed and fired prior to decoration, and then returned to the kiln for a lower-temperature firing to fix the colors in the same manner as described below for overglaze porcelain decoration in the West and the Orient. Coysh (1971:50-52) notes that Joseph Ring's converted Temple Back delftware factory in Bristol produced enameled creamware prior to the ca. 1816 conversion to transfer printing.

Most hand-painted vessels were not marked by their manufacturer. They may bear ambiguous marks that appear to represent individual decorators working within or for factories. Such marks appear to be present in the Hilderbrant collection and are discussed in detail in the following section on backmarks. Kovel (1986:237) notes that hand painting was again popular in the 1880-1910 era, when many female part-time workers or hobbyists painted items such as cup and saucer sets in their homes, returning them to the contracting kilns for firing.

Sponged treatments

An additional even cheaper late 19th century whiteware decorative technique consisted of sponging. With the dominance of transfer printing in the market, the way was open for even more economical means of applying colored decoration. One of the primary means was through the use of sponges. Color was applied either as an overall, mottled treatment or in simple forms, generally flowers, with cut sponges taken from the smoother and denser root of the sponge. These simple elements are repeated for band effects, or are more widely spaced as medallions. Sometimes, the technique is combined with other treatments, particularly simple machine-applied bands. The treatment is also sometimes referred to a "splatter." The study of these wares has been neglected relative to other treatments, particularly relative to the dominant transfer printing tradition described below (Webster 1999). Sponge decorated wares are generally not marked by the manufacturer, and the anonymous nature of the decoration does not lend itself to formal typological studies. Webster (1999:57) notes that the sponges were bough pre-cut from suppliers, so the decorative forms were shared throughout the pot industry.

Sponge-decorated vessels are known to have been manufactured in the Glasgow and East Lothian area, the industrial center of 19th century lowland Scotland. Sponge decorated wasters have been found at kilns in Glasgow, Bo'ness, Kirkaldy, and Prestonpans. The technique may have been pioneered in the Clyde Pottery, Greenoke, and the Bo'ness Pottery. Historical archaeology studies typically identify sponge decorated wares with Scottish producers, and it has been suggested that the technique originated there in the 1830s, although they were also widely manufactured in Staffordshire and other British potting industries.

In North American contexts, blue, green, and red are the predominant colors used for sponge decoration. Webster (1999:65) notes that in post-1875 Scottish contexts a grey pattern called "Grecian" is popular; it incorporated a central element of trophies with a wreath of leaves around the rim. Four of the five known manufacturers of the "Grecian" pattern were Scottish-Bell's Glasgow Pottery, Cochran's Britannia Pottery, J. Marshall and Co.'s Bo'ness Pottery, and the Methven Liks Pottery in Kirkaldy, Fife. The fifth manufacturer was Maling in Newcastle on Tyne, in northern England. A second distinctive pattern, "Auld Heather," was manufactured at Kirkaldy. It is generally assumed that sponge decorated vessels are the cheapest of decorated whitewares. Bowls (medium-sized, individual milk or porridge bowls and larger kitchen bowls) are the predominant vessel form, followed by plates.

The technique was also applied to industrial stonewares in the early 20th century.

Transfer printing

Decoration of refined earthenwares with transfer printing was the single most important decorative technique applied to 19th century refined earthenwares. Early historic ceramists attributed the introduction of transfer printing to Liverpool decorators Sadler and Green, however, it is now known that the first transfer printing patent was issued to Irish engraver John Brooks (Brookes) of the Battersea porcelain enameling works at Birmingham in 1751. From Brooks, the technique appears to have spread to a contemporary, and perhaps, an associate, the engraver Robert Hancock. In 1756, with the bankruptcy of the Battersea works, Hancock began working in the Worcester porcelain factory. By this time, Sadler and Green were using the technique to decorate tiles (Halsey 1971:vii). As the first transfers were applied over the glaze, lower-firing black and red, shortly followed by brown and purple, were the first colors (Halsey 1971:vii). Apparently, a light glaze firing or baking as with enamels is implied. Cobalt blue, requiring a higher firing under the glaze, presented problems not solved until around 1760 when the Worcester porcelain factory produced the first blue transfer printed vessels. These initial developments will be discussed in more detail in the following section on porcelain.

At about the same time (1770s) Ralph Badderly (Baddely) was experimenting with underglaze transfers, but did not succeed until 1782. Spode, using engravers who had formerly worked at the Worcester and Caughley factories, perfected the technique for production in 1784, and soon became the leading manufacturer (Halsey 1971:viii). By 1800, underglaze blue transfer decoration was being applied in plants in Staffordshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire, and South Wales (Coysh 1971:7). Other pioneers in the use of blue underglaze chinoiserie patterns in the 1780-1800 era include Josiah Spode of Stoke, John Turner and son William of Land End, John Yates of Shelton, Joshua Heath of Hanley and William Adams. Turner's main engraver was William Underwood, formerly of the Worcester porcelain works; Spode's were Thomas Lucas and James Richardson, from the Caughley works; Yates employed John Ainsworth, also of Caughley; and Heath, Thomas Rothwell of the Cambria pottery in Wales (Coysh 1971:16). The Herculaneum and Islington potteries in Liverpool and Ring's Temple Back Pottery in Bristol also adopted the process; Temple Back under the firm of Pontey & Goldney specialized in local Bristol views and scenes derived from art prints through the 1840s (Coysh 1971:18, 52).

Each dinner service required many copper plates. Considerable time and expense was involved in tracing and engraving the designs (Camehl 1971:ix). The transfer was produced by heating the plate and rubbing or spreading with a palette knife an oil-based blue pigment onto the warmed copper plate, which was then wiped clear with corduroy rags, leaving the ink in the engraved crevices (Coysh 1971:7, Camehl 1971:ix). The pigment was the cobalt-based "smalt" described above under the section on hand painting. This smalt was mixed with powdered flint and oil to form a paste (Coysh 1971:7). The invention of the Fourdrinier paper-making machine allowed for the use of finer lines and stipple (Coysh 1971: 7). The paper was wet with soap and water and the trimmed tissue paper was laid on the plate and pressed down and rubbed with flannel rags to receive the color charge, again warmed so that the paper would absorb the ink. The ware was again washed in cold water to float or peel off the paper, leaving the cobalt compound applied to the bisque-fired vessel (Coysh 1971:7). A light firing in the muffle kiln drove off the oil and fixed the color, then the vessel was dipped in glaze and returned to the glost kiln for glaze firing, before being sorted and packed in sets (Camehl 1971:xiii). Much of this process was the work of the many girls and women working in the potteries, just as much of the hand painting had been (Coysh 1971:7). This of course depressed wages for the men and boys in the same work. The classic period of dark (cobalt) blue transfer printing, with colors resembling oriental porcelain or delft tin enameled ware, was 1820-1840; later specimens tend to be of a lighter blue, and by 1840 it appears that demand for variety or novelty had led to the introduction of a wider range of underglaze-firing colors (Halsey 1971:viii). Camehl (1971: xxiii) notes that the 1830 introduction of lithography as an alternative to copper plate engraving produced an economy in the process at about the same time that paler blue, grey, green, pink, red, mulberry, and purple transfer prints were becoming common.

As noted, some larger firms employed their own engravers, who also provided plates as well as colors to smaller concerns (Coysh 1971: 7). Most potters bought their sets of plates from stock designs created by a few specialized engraving firms. Designs are thus hard to attribute to particular engravers or potteries, as they were not protected by copyright laws and the designs could be used freely by any firm (Coysh 1971:8). Staffordshire engravers included Bentley, Wear & Bourne of Shelton and the successors Bentley, Wear & Wildig; Wildig & Allen; Allen & Green; and Allen and Hordley ca. 1813-1851. Others were William Brooks; Green, Sargent & Pepper of Hanley; James Kennedy of Burslem and Elisha Sherwin of Hanley (Camehl 1971:x-xi). In addition, sets of copper plates were often sold with the remainder of a plant's stock at the closing of a firm. There is no evidence to support the contention (Pat Garrow, personal communication 2000; Amy Young, personal communication 2000) that earthenware firms "stole" plates or designs from each other. For instance, the "Wild Rose" pattern of the 1830s through 1850s, second only to "Blue Willow" in all-time popularity, was used by many manufacturers, including the Don Pottery (Yorkshire); the Bell pottery (Glasgow); Borne of Fenton; Tracey Bover Pottery (Devonshire); Fell & Co. (Northunberland); Meir (Tunstall); Middleborough Pottery; Read, Clementson & Anderson (Shelton Townsend) and other Staffordshire works used this design. That there are several variants, all with open, single roses showing stamens, thorny briars and detailed leaves, shows that it was repeatedly engraved; it was common property prior to the 1841 British copyright act (Coysh 1971:46).

Godden (1963:11) states that over half of all English earthenware produced in the first half of the 19th century was decorated with blue underglaze transfer printing. In 1841 the declared value of this material exported amounted to a probably underestimated 600,000 pounds sterling. A total of 37% went to the United States, followed by Canada, Brazil, the East Indies, the West Indies, Germany, Holland, Austria, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Africa, Turkey, and Russia (Godden 1963:12). Many firms distributed their products in North America through agents in Montreal, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and New Orleans (Coysh 1971:7). As a courtesy, the name of this agent is sometimes included in the backmarks applied to the wares. This sort of trade through partnership or particular agents began to decline after the 1830s as more American potteries developed a refined earthenware body (Coysh 1971:7).

The first documented underglaze blue design for earthenware dinner sets is the famous Willow pattern, already mentioned, designed by Thomas Minton and produced by Thomas Turner of the Caughley works, Stropeshire, in 1780 (Halsey 1971:vii, Coysh 1971:7). Plates still exist marked "TT," but it appears that the apprentice engraver Minton was the actually responsible for this highly successful design, which is still widely produced today (Coysh 1971:10). Throughout the 1780-1800 period most transfer designs were derived from hand-painted Chinese porcelain, hence these as a group are called "chinoiserie" patterns, the generic "willow" more correctly being limited to a limited number of such designs with a tree as a prominent feature, but generally including a bridge, travelers, fishermen, birds and buildings (Coysh 1971: 14).

After 1800, designers and engravers began to turn to books, prints, and paintings of Ottoman and Indian scenes and geometric Islamic art patterns for their source of inspiration, Chinese and Japanese elements having come to be "old-fashioned" (Coysh 1971:7). By the 1830s and 1840s Romanticism prevailed, with Gothic scenes of Italy, France, Germany and the English countryside being particularly popular. During the early decades of the 19th century, some potteries printed specifically American views, but generally urban scenes rather that the rural views. There were exceptions, such as the "log cabin" plate medallion with "Columbia star" rim pattern during the Harrison presidency (elected 1840). Of several hundred potteries in Staffordshire, it appears that only eight of them produced vessels with transfer-printed scenes designed to appeal to a specifically American market (Halsey 1971:276). These are considered to be 1) Rogers, 2) Adams, 3) Wood, 4) Ridgways, 5) Clews, 6) Stevenson (later associated with Alcock), 7)T. Mayer, and 8) Joseph Stubbs (Halsey 1971:276-281). The Staffordshire products will be discussed in detail below, as these were by far the predominant suppliers of the North American market. Most of the American views (there were over 250 produced) were the products of mid-range shops that could not hold their own in the British market and were thus courting new overseas markets (Camehl 1971:ix, xx). Scenes of New York and Massachusetts were favored, but a few central medallions included important buildings of the cites of the South and West, like Savannah and Cincinnati.

During the 1790-1800 interval, David Dunderdale's Castleford pottery and the Don Pottery of Swinton (1790-1893), both in Yorkshire, and the Hartley, Green & Co. Leeds Pottery also began to produce blue transfer wares on creamware and pearlware with Chinese and Italian views, but apparently most Yorkshire pottery that was exported went to Germany, Russia and the Baltic states rather than the Americas (Coysh 1971:16, 32, 44). So, too, apparently, did the sub-standard products of Cornfoot, Colville & Co.'s and successors Low Lights Pottery in North Shields, Northumbland, and other Newcastle potteries such as Thomas Fells' St. Peter's Pottery, established in 1817 (Coysh 1971:26, 36). The blue decorated products of the Rockingham Works, Swinton, (known as J. & W. Brameld's, 1806-1826) are considered inferior, with blurred transfers and a poor glaze that tend to flake off; these wares were produced for consumption in northern England, Scotland, and Central Europe until 1842 (Coysh 1971:60). Likewise the Cambrian (1783-1870) and Glamorgan (1813-1838) potteries in Swansea, Glamorgan County, southern Wales, sent much of their product to the Caribbean and Latin America (Coysh 1971:88).

There was an Adams potting at Burslem prior to 1563 and an Adams making black wares and mottled wares in the 17th century. Various Adams men-John, Ralph, Thomas, and William-are listed as potters in Staffordshire prior to 1720 (Brears 1971:202). William Adams and Sons of Tunstall was established in 1786, and their products sent to America were generally marked simply "ADAMS" (Halsey 1971:279). William (1769-1800) and son Benjamin produced these wares at the Greengates Pottery at Tunstall and the Cliff Bank Works at Stoke-on-Trent (Coysh 1971:20).

Clews' patterns are likewise finely made, brilliantly colored and are of high quality (Halsey 1971:279, 282). Brothers John and Ralph Clews began work in 1811 (1817 according to Coysh 1971:22) at the Cobridge factory founded in 1808 by Bucknall and Stevenson, first making creamwares and later turning to extensive production of blue transfer printed wares (Halsey 1971:282). They sent much blue transfer printed ware to America, and in 1834, when their plant closed, one of the brothers moved to Troy, Indiana, where he tried unsuccesfully to establish the industry. After the failure of this venture, due primarily to the lack of skilled labor or men willing to accept factory work, he returned to England (Coysh 1971:22).

The works experienced potter John Davenport established in Longport in 1795 produced good transfer printed wares early on, but the quality declined under the management of sons William and Henry after his 1830 retirement. Davenport produced transfer printed wares as late as 1887. The company's association with the importers Henderson and Gaines, 45 Canal Street, New Orleans dates----; they also traded through the predecessor firm Hill and Henderson, but there is no evidence that Davenport ever produced specifically American scenes (Coysh 1971:26, 28, 32).

Thomas and Benjamin Godwin's New Wharf and New Basin potteries, Burslem (1809-1834) used a number of Indian scenes, as well as producing a series of Pennsylvania views (Coysh 1971:38). Ralph Hall's Swan Bank pottery, Tunstall (1822-1836), Hall and Sons (1836-1841), and R. Hall & Co. (after 1841) produced a long series of "select" English views, generally with a wide fruit border (Coysh 1971:38). Charles Heatcote & Co., Lane End (1818-1824) produced fine dinner wares. They apparently bought engraved plates at the closing sale of the Turner factory (Coysh 1971:40).

Mayer of Stoke does not appear to have been very successful in courting the American export trade, based on the rarity of his American set (Halsey 1971:280). Job Meigh established the Old Hall Pottery ay Hanley in 1805 and made his son a partner in 1814. Although Job died in 1817, the name of the pottery remained the same until 1835. Much of their out-put was blue printed, and they were particularly known for bird and animals in their designs (Coysh 1971:46).

In 1814, Job Ridgway, who established a factory ca. 1794 (after Halsey 1971) or 1802 (after Coysh 1971), died and his sons J. and W. formed a partnership that lasted until 1830, with the Cauldon Place and Bell Works potteries in Shelton and Hanley (Halsey 1971;283-284). After the brothers separation, both produced lighter colored transfer printed wares, some with American scenes (Halsey 1971:284). Ridgeway pottery is known for the high-quality of materials and brilliant glaze and is considered a superior product by collectors of Staffordshire export wares (Halsey 1971:279, 284; Coysh 1971:54). The firm did a thriving export business with wares showing English as well as American scenes (Coysh 1971:54).

Little is known of Spencer Rogers of Longport, but it appears that he had a substantial export trade (Halsey 1971:279). John and George Rodgers of Dale Hall, Longport (1784-1814), successed by J Rogers & Son (until the 1836 closing) produced high quality blue printed wares; "between 1810 and 1836 their output must have been enormous (Coysh 1971:60)." They had many serie of designs, many with animals, classical scenes, designs derived from Ottoman geometric art and traveler's paintings of the Near East, but not many American views (Coysh 1971:60, 68).

Stevenson's work progressed from crude early efforts to prints transferred with high precision, reaching its high point in his final series made with Alcock (Halsey 1971:280). As early as 1686 there was a Stevenson potting at Burslem, and there was a firm of Charles Stevenson & Son at Burslem in 1786. In 1802 Stevenson and Dale established a pottery at Cobridge; Dale withdrew in 1815 and Ralph Stevenson maintained the works in his own name until 1834. The firm was listed as R. Stevenson & Son until it went out of business in 1840, although at some point it was also styled Stevenson and Williams on vessels intended for export through the New York earthenware potter/merchant R.M. Williams (Halsey 1971:284-285). The late borders attributed to Stevenson's work with Alcock emphasize roses and scrolls (Halsey 1971:287). Andrew Stepenson, the brother of Ralph, also exported much blue printed ware to America (Coysh 1971:86).

Halsey (1971:280-281) considers the work of Joseph Stubbs to be variable in color, quality and execution. Stubbs began the factory at Dale Hole in 1790, retired in 1829, and died in 1836. Upon his retirement, the factory was purchased by Mayer, long an occupant of one of England's oldest potteries at Clive Bank in Stoke-on-Trent. Coysh (1971:88) notes that much of the dark blue printed ware produced at J. Stibb's Dale Hall, Longport, factory between 1822 and 1835 was sent to America. Between 1828 and 1830 the firm was styled "Stubbs & Kent" (Coysh 1971:88).

The large and diversified Wegdwood works were innovators in many fields of the ceramic arts, but were late in adopting the production of blue transfer printed earthenware, although they had been among the leaders in experimenting with black overglaze transfer printing on creamware. The skilled hand painters, who of course resisted the new technique, had the help of the Wedgwood firm until the 1795 death of the firm's founder. However, upon the sucesion of son Joseph Wedgwood II, the firm began to produce some blue transfer printed wares. The plates appear to have been made by the Liverpool firm of Sadler & Green (Coysh 1971:92).

Although Enoch Wood & Sons, Burslem, was one of the first Staffordshire potteries with a large American trade, Wood did little in the way of specialized American scenes, but rather focused on natural and romantic scenery of foreign lands (Halsey 1971:279, 291; Coysh 1971:94). Halsey (1971:287) notes the long association of the Wood family with Staffordshire potteries, even before Enoch Wood, "the Father of the pottery," established his factory at Burslem in 1784. The firm operated as E. Wood & Sons from 1818 to 1846, with the main factory, the largest in the district, covering the site of five earlier potteries, in addition to two smaller outlying works (Halsey 1971:288). Coysh (1971:94) notes that the Wood & Challinor firm of Tunstall operated the Brownhills Pottery (1828-1841) and the Woodlands Pottery (1835-1843) in the production of blue printed wares said to be typical of the "declining" period. The firm apparently devoted themselves almost entirely to Britain's overseas trade, with their work being especially well represented in America, generally with borders including sea-shells and small flowers besides the common rose designs (Halsey 1971:291).

Flow blue

Flow blue, and the rarer variants flow purple (mulberry) and flow black (grey) were manufactured from the 1830s until the early 1900s. These types were produced by allowing a substantial charge of color to remain on the plate before the application of the tissue. The resultant excess color on the transfer fused with the glaze and ran slightly during firing. A cloudy image, lacking sharp edges and stark white surfaces results. Flow blue was often embellished with gilt bands and sponging in the late 19th century (Kovel 1986:256-257).


Guilding is primarily a decoration for porcelain, and the techniques of its manufacture will be discussed in detail in the following section on porcelain. Gilding came to be more popular during the late Victorian era, when plain white dinner services were preferred; in these cases it was sometimes applied to semi-vitreous wares. Numerous simple rim bands on refined earthenwares were made in gold, some hand applied and some machine-applied. Gilt was also applied over flow blue with sponges, as in the cheap, colored sponged whitewares.

Manufacturer's marks

Hollowware vessels (cups, saucers, sugars, pitchers) were often unmarked (Camehl 1971:xxii). Impressed backmarks include the distinctive diamond-shaped British registry marks used between 1842 and 1883 (Kovel 1986:233).

The unicorn and lion, shield, garter, and Staffordshire knot imply English ceramics. These logos began to become popular after 1806 and were, as noted, imitated by American firms, sometimes with such unusual variants as two lions or two unicorns. Actual British marks incorporating the royal arms show as central oval escutcheon prior to 1837 and the simple quartered arms after that date (Godden 1964:11). Printed marks identifying maker and pattern were rare prior to 1820 (Coysh 1971:32). British backmarks began to incorporate the pattern name after 1810, and in the 1820-1860 era backmarks frequently included elaborate scrolls and floral sprays (Kovel 1986:256). The "Staffordshire knot" dates from 1845, but was especially common in the 70s and 80s (Godden 1964:11).

"Royal" is used in British backmarks after 1850 (Kovel 1986:233). English firms began to incorporate "Ltd." and "Ld" in their logos after 1861, and largely by the 1880s, and "Reg," "Rd," or "Registered" by 1884 (Kovel 1986:237, 233; Godden 1986:11). "Trademark" dates after the 1862 British Trade Mark Act, and mostly after 1875 (Godden 1964:11). The 1891 McKinley Tarriff Act required that the country of origin be printed on imported ceramics. England had done so by 1880 and Germany by 1885 (Kovel 1986:229); Godden (1964:11) notes the incorporation of "England" in marks by 1891 and "Made in England" in the 20th century. "U.S. Patent" appears in marks after 1900 (Kovel 1986:234).

Vessel form

The straight-sided or cylindrical drinking vessel, shaped in the European fashion and called in England "coffee cans," went out of style in the 1820s (Godden 1963:16). Foot rings on early refined earthenwares can be described as single, double, or rounded (Coysh 1971:8).


As the initial aim of the trend towards refinement the European earthenware traditions was the duplication of Chinese porcelain, it is to be expected that there are several experimental approximations that closely or remotely resemble the original translucent, fully vitrified product. By 1700, England was importing much of its stoneware and porcelain from Germany rather than the Orient, and with the development of a purely European industry, the English had more opportunities to develop their own products (Wetherbee 1985:5). The 18th and early 19th century English attempts at porcelain resulted in a number of wares that lie in this transition zone. These are heavy, often thick wares, and were marketed under a wide range of names such as stone china, semi-porcelain, new stone ware, and ironstone (Godden 1963:13). Wetherbee (1986:15) lists some 61 synonyms, including those just mentioned as well as "feldspar china," "flintware," "granite," and "opaque china."

Much of the developmental history of semi-vitreous wares lies in the same Staffordshire potteries that produced refined earthenwares. Josiah Wedgwoood, a leading Staffordshire potter, introduced creamware, and then pearlware, the forerunner of "granite" ware (Wetherbee 1985:6). Indeed, much early pearlware approaches vitrification to a high degree, and the introduction of whiteware was a step down in firing temperature and silica content of the ceramic ware, while at the same time the high-fired pearlwares were being developed into a stronger body. By the 19th century British ceramic manufacture was divided between the mass-produced whitewares and the more ornate bone china porcelains and bone chinas.

William and John Turner of Caughley experimented with a durable and cheap earthenware with "New Rock Cornish stone" and prepared flint until 1806 and at the same time Josiah Spode was making a similar, opaque, fine-textured, blue-grey tinted ware. This hard ware was enriched with feldspar and it rings clearly, indicating that a step had been made in the process of fusing the clay body of these "stone china" wares (Wetherbee 1985:13). The firms of Davenport as well as Hicks and Meigh also tried to compete with hard, opaque-bodied wares (Wetherbee 1985:13). Davenport of Longport made exceptionally fine "stone china" between 1805 and 1820 (Godden 1963:14).

After partnering with Thomas Wolfe and John Lucock at the Islington Pottery, Liverpool, Miles Mason returned to his native Staffordshire and from 1800 to 1813 produced a porcellaneous ware with printed chinoisiere patterns marked with pseudo-Chinese seal marks at Lane Delph. He retired in 1813, leaving the management of his pot works to sone Leo (1789-1859) and Charles James (1791-1856). Upon his retirement, the sons immediately took out a patent for a ware tempered with furnace slag, a heavy, durable product they called "ironstone china" which became very popular in British and overseas markets (Coysh 1971:44,46). This ware was created by the addition of scoria or slag of ironstone, a by-product of the iron refining industry, which was pounded and ground with the baked flints, Cornwall stone, clay, and small amounts of blue oxide of cobalt. The Masons did not renew the patent in 1827, as by this date other potters had successfully copied hthe ware and the name "ironstone" ceased to be a brand name and became a generic term for hard, thick, blue-tinted semi-vitreous wares (Wetherbee 1985:13).

By 1850, English semi-vitreous wares faced sharp competition from cheap, hard white English porcelains in their American markets. The response was to ornament a grey-white, tough ware with sharp, delicate detail and gleaming glazes (Wetherbee 1985:15). While early British semi-vitreous wares have a noticeable blue tint, American and later British products tend to have a creamier-colored body (Wetherbee 1985:15).

American semi-vitreous or "ironstone" was manufactured in the 1840-1870 period, with the 1870s and 1880s being the main flourishing of the American industry, but with some continuing to be made after 1900 (Wetherbee 1985:6-7). Such wares after 1900 were largely for hotel and restaurant use, although they were also distributed for domestic use. In 1900, the Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalogue offered a 100-piece (12 place setting) set of "semi-vitreous china" for $5.25; these were simple white scallop and fluted rim dishes (Digest Books 1970:1085). The same catalog offered a plain series of "genuine stoneware white china" for hotel, restaurant, and boarding house use as "the most durable earthenware made, warranted not to craze" and as "white granite wear (sic);" the use of three terms (earthenware, stoneware, and granite ware) illustrates the confusion of terms of reference for such wares (Digest Books 1970:1086).

Semi-vitreous decorations

Over 250 molded patterns are known for "ironstone" (Wetherbee 1985:5). The majority of early semi-vitreous wares, like the predecessor creamwares, had no colored surface embellishment. As a durable ware for the use of servants in the Victorian period, little ornament was considered necessary.

By 1810, semi-vitreous earthenwares were being produced with underglaze blue decoration, and from the 1830s to the 1850s the same range of colors applied to common refined earthenwares were also available for use on semivitreous earthenwares. As was discussed above concerning transfer printing, about 60 artists and 700 subjects have been identified on ironstone and other semi-vitreous wares (Wetherbee 1985:14). William Turner used a "two-man willow" pattern on Mason's patent ironstone (Coysh 1971:14, 16). Hicks, Meigh & Johnson also produced blue printed "stone china," but they marked few of their products (Coysh 1971:42). Ridgeway's heavy stone china was often decorated with Indian scenes (Coysh 1971:54).

Profusely ornamented ironstones with colorful painted and gilt decoration were shown at the great Crystal Palace exposition of 1851. However, J. Wedgwood noted that England consumed little of his product, and that most was exported to the Continent, the Americas, and the island territories. He believed these markets would not bear the expense of the more elaborately decorated forms and that products for American markets should not be "too rich or costly" (Wetherbee 1985:7). In 1900, the Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalogue offered a hand-decorated gilt dinner set of "three-fired semi-porcelain ware" of 100 pieces (12 place setting) for $12.75 (Digest Books 1970:1085). This set of simple molded ware "Marlin" pattern is described as "decorated with free hand, filled color rose decorations…heavy, deep, full gold stippled" covering the edges of flatware and handles and knobs of hollowware (Digest Books 1970:1085).

Manufacturer's marks

Impressed underglaze marks are generally older, but they can co-occur with black printed backmarks (Wetherbee 1985:17). The term "semi-vitreous" appears in backmarks on heavy dinnerware only after 1901 (Kovel 1986:233). Other remarks made above concerning backmarks on refined earthenwares are applicable to semi-vitreous wares as well.

Vessel forms

Late 18th century forms associated with the first semi-vitreous wares include handle-less cups or tea bowls, octagonal dinner service, molded leaf-shaped serving dishes for condiments, relishes, and desserts, sugar boxes, jug-type pitchers, and coffee "cans" or cylindrical mugs (Wetherbee 1985: 6).

The 1900 Sears, Roebuck and Co. offering of semi-vitreous ware mentioned above included soup plates, 5" and 7" plates, coffee cups, saucers, individual butter pat dishes, 3" fruit plates, 8" and 12" serving dishes, 7" and 8" baking dishes, 8" covered dishes, pickle dishes, sauce (gravy) boats, covered butter dishes, covered sugar bowls, and medium and large pitchers (Digest Books 1970:1085). The Sears hotel "granite ware" has prices cited for individual pieces, these are shown in Table---. The greater expense of hollowwares is evident from this price list. The Sears 1900 "Marlin" gilt semi-porcelain set included tea cups with handles, tea saucers, slop bowls, soup plates, breakfast plates, tea of pie plates, sauce plates, butter plates, large and medium platters, open and covered vegetable dishes, covered sugar bowls, cream pitchers, pickle dishes, covered butter dishes, and sauce boats.


Stonewares have long been made in Europe and were early produced in America. In the 18th century, the most famous and ornate stoneware in Europe, Westerwald stoneware from the German Rhineland, like faience, faced tremendous competition from the English potters. Like faience, this old and well-established tradition failed in the face of competition with the English potters during the mid eighteenth century. Forms made of this salt-glazed, cobalt decorated grey-bodied stoneware came to be imitated, and eventually replaced, by makers of the English "scratch blue" earthenware, with Westerwald reduced largely to simple cylindrical drinking vessels. During the 19th century American regional traditions developed, these are generally characterized as Northern and Southern. However, there is much shared between the traditions, and the Northern pattern appears to be an intensification of that in the Southern, in terms of the most easily-observed characteristics such as form and glaze. The traditions might better be contrasted as "hand pottery" vs. "steam pottery."

All early stonewares are hand-turned. With the introduction of steam-powered factories in the mid to late 19th century, most American stonewares came to be molded or slip cast in plaster of Paris molds. There were a number of regional production centers in the Northeast (especially Vermont and New Jersey) and the Mid-West or Old Northwest (particularly Ohio and Illinois). Some of these developed from earlier earthenware and stoneware technologies to refined earthenware and, by the 20th century, porcelain. As was seen to be the case in the development of Staffordshire asan industrial concentration, the success of these American centers depended upon access to transportation and the local availability of good clay and coal. Several methods of forming were in use, ranging from hand-assisted forming to completely pressed methods. Coal was used not only to fire the kilns, but to power steam machinery to mechanically form vessels. Beginning immediately before the American Civil War, but really taking hold in the 1870s and 1880s, a modern factory system used large gangs of unskilled labor to load and unload a series of kilns fired in succession. Heat was recycled to dry ware and heat workshops for year-round production, and eventually methods were developed to divert heat from the cooling to the warming of the kilns themselves.

However, throughout this time of increasing industrialization (1860-1920) hand turned wares continued to be produced the rural cottage-industry establishments of farmer-potters throughout the South, with a few families continuing the tradition until today. Locally made or domestic stoneware (often actually coarse earthenware) often has a reddish, brown, or buff/tan body, and is sometimes sandy textured.

Gray-bodied true stonewares, particularly those with evidence of machine-assisted manufacture, were exported from large Ohio Valley potteries to all settled parts of "the West" (including the Mid-South). The clays west of New Amboy, New Jersey, long provided the best stoneware clays for the northeastern colonies and, later, states. The clays were exported by barge throughout the New York and New England region (Schaltenbrand 1983:39). Stoneware clays are generally compounded from several ingredients. Impurities such as iron render a grey or brown color as well as fluxes which lower the fusion point. A simple body consists of 2 parts ball clay, 2 parts fireclay, and 1 part earthenware clay; other modern stoneware bodies call for ground, calcined flint and fine grog (Logan 1907:322) Unlike a clay used in throwing a clay body for jiggering and casting need not be very plastic (Logan 1907:262).

Beer, wine, and ink were exported from Europe in stoneware bottles (Thomasson & Associates 1996:147). These generally have grey bodies and ferruginous, or later, Bristol slips.

Stoneware slips and glazes

Five primary slips and glazes have been identified on American stoneware: alkaline, salt, ferruginous, brown (Albany), and white (Bristol).

The oldest in the European tradition is the salt glazing technique as perfected in medieval Germany. Salt glazing is often characterized as most common in the North, but it was also made by Southern potters, as well as being exported by water and rail from centers of large-scale manufacture. The process results from throwing salt in the kiln late in the firing, resulting in the vaporization of chorine as air-born acid and the bonding of sodium on any exposed vitrifying clay surface. The sodium combines with silica to form glassy silicate, chlorine gas is released at the moment of salting (Logan 1907:215). Colors can be obtained with slips and body stains. As a result a thick, drip-prone coating forms on the kiln interior, rendering it unfit for firing other glazes. Salt glazes are often found in conjunction with cobalt blue decoration and marks, as this blue is the only commonly-available colorant that will withstand the high firing temperatures required to manufacture stoneware. Salt glazes range in color from nearly transparent to medium brown and have a distinctively pebbly texture commonly referred to as an "orange-peel" surface.

A green alkaline glaze was perfected by the potters of South Carolina early in the 19th century (ca. 1820). This glazewas apparently arrived at through experiments intended to duplicate the greenish alkaline glaze then current on Chinese stoneware. Alkaline glazes are compounded of varying mixtures of ash, sand, lime, and clay and are a true glaze into which the vessel is dipped before firing. Ash glaze may be the first used by man, as any wood or straw will work; these highly variable compositions, generally very high in silica, with some alumina and calcium, require moderate amounts of fluxes such as potash, soda, and magnesia (Logan 1907:214).

Both alkaline and salt glazes seem to have passed out of general use around 1880-1900 with easy rail access to brown slip clays.

Some early Northeastern stonewares have a thin ferruginous slip similar to many European stoneware glazes, and a this somewhat transparent, light brown slip occurs on many non-domestic industrial stonewares imported throughout the 19th century in the form of bottles of ink and drink.

Albany slip is a thick, opaque covering made by dipping vessels into vats of liquid clay (slip). The high iron content of these clays renders various shades of dark or reddish brown. This glacial clay was extensively mined near Albany, New York, but other deposits occur throughout the Great Lakes region and it is sometimes also referred to as Michigan clay. In the North, they were in use in the early 19th century, but their introduction to Mid-South potters was not until after the development of the rail freight system. Albany slip is brown-black at cone 8-10. The addition of 2% cobalt produces a semigloss jet black. Frequently common brown earthenware clays can be used as stoneware slip clays for high temperature firing with small additions of fluxes. Slip-clay fluxes are generally alkaline earth compounds plus iron oxide. Slip clays generally come from small pits and vary widely in composition. Some Albany slip clay so lacks colorant that it produces a pale, semi-transparent tan. Slip clays are easy to prepare and fire well with few defects, and have a durable, silica chemistry (Logan 1907:215-216).

The last major stoneware glaze to be developed is a white chemical compound with large quantities of zinc oxide, known as Bristol glaze after the British port and manufacturing city where its use first became general. Made of white, cream, and light gray clays, it was invented in Bristol, England ca. 1884; by 1900-1920 it appears to have largely replaced all other stoneware surface treatments. This transition is part of the same late Victorian health and morality movement that brought, among other things, many forms of improved sanitation, along with plain white dishes and clear bottleglass. With relatively large amount of zinc oxide, which lowers melting point and creates opacity, single firings with Bristol glaze take 50-60 hours due to extremely viscous nature of Bristol. In general the surface is shiny, but it can be more matte with increased silica and decreased "calcia" (Logan 1907:214).

During the ca. 1880-1920 transition period, many vessels were made that combined Albany and Bristol slips, and the combination continued in use until the 1930s, with white exteriors and brown interiors, or brown upper portions and white bodies being most common.

Stoneware decoration

Stoneware, being predominately for utilitarian and domestic functions, is seldom decorated. Rare pieces have coggle-wheel impressed decoration (DePasquale et al 1997:69, 71, 157) probably directly descended from the rouletted decoration of German Westerwald stoneware. Other relief decoration was achieved on molded pieces, being particularly common on 20th century kitchen bowls and pitchers and toilet sets. Until improvements in a wide range of glazes suitable for use in high-temperature firing environments in the 1920s, cobalt blue was the only color suitable for use on stoneware, and it was widely used in the earlier salt glazed tradition, returning to popularity with the introduction of the Bristol glaze. By 1906 sponged or mottled red and brown were also available to provide simple ornament for Bristol glazed pieces (DePasquale et al 1997:157). No additional decoration could be applied to dark brown vessels and the only embellishment commonly seen is the inscribing of capacity numbers through the slip to reveal the lighter clay body beneath.

Manufacturer's marks

Manufacturers of stoneware often did not mark their products. This is particularly true of the commonest items in the trade, such as jugs, and for small, part-time potters in the rural South. In more industrialized areas such as the Northeast and Midwest, were there was greater competition and greater organization on a factory level, wares were much more commonly marked. The commonest marks found on stoneware are small impressed marks made with carved wood or cast metal stamps, generally giving the name and location of the maker. In the 20th century, factory-made Bristol glazed stonewares were commonly marked with color applied by a rubber stamp or stencil (DePasquale et al 1997:157). Many items, particularly jugs, were labeled with not the name of the manufacturer, but rather with that of their client, generally a grocer or liquor retailer.

Industrial or Northern stoneware manufacturers

While the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states had a substantial pottery industry, and may have shipped goods for sale in the Mississippi Valley via New Orleans, as British refined earthenware suppliers did, a great part of the 19th century provision of a wide range for agricultural and industrial products came from the upper Mississippi watershed, particularly via the Ohio River. The marketing of Mid-Western stoneware to the Mississippi Valley began with the development of a stoneware and earthenware industry in western Pennsylvannia. Terrace clays above the Monongahela River in southwestern Pennsylvania provided the first good stoneware clays discovered west of the Appalachians (Schaltenbrand 1983:39). Redware potters began to manufacture stoneware from this higher-quality clay in an attempt to command the important urban market of Pittsburgh. With this discovery, the towns of Greensboro and New Geneva also became competitors with the older industries of New York and New England, particularly in the parts of the Ohio and Mississippi valleys accessible by their water transportation. Some thirty manufacturing firms would eventually produce stoneware in the Monongahela valley (Schaltenbrand 1983:40).

Daniel Boughner of Greensboro (succeeded by A. and W. Boughner) was joined in the industry by A. P. Donagho in Fredrickstown in the 1840s. Around 1852 James and William Hamilton moved their potting business from the Beaver Valley to Greene County, Pennsylvannia; this large firm would produce there for about 50 years. They began advertising to retailers by 1859 (Schaltenbrand 1983:41). By 1855, in addition to those already mentioned, Samuel Dilliner and Henry Atchison had stoneware companies in New Geneva while Alfred Offord worked in Brownville (Schaltenbrand 1983:40).

After the Civil War, John Jones, a Greensboro glass-blower's son, joined his brother-in-law Frank Hamilton in establishing one of the dozen new firms that entered the stoneware industry. Theirs would become one of the largest in Pennsylvania (Schaltenbrand 1983:41). While many operations were small and short-lived, some of the 1870s and 1880s marketed their wares throughout the eastern United States. Others of the era were Alexander Conrad of New Geneva, Issac Hewitt of Rices Landing, Donagho and Beal of Fredericktown, and Hamilton and Jones of Greensboro. Smaller manufacturers were James Eneix, Stephen Ward, John Beuter, Leander Dilliner, Charles Williams, Adolph Eberhart, Norval Greenland, William Couch, and Johnston Lyttel (Schaltenbrand 1983:42). By 1890, the Monongahela stoneware industry was in dramatic decline, due to the ready availability of cheap glass vessels, the introduction of the icebox that allowed new methods of food preservation, and the competition of steam potteries in East Liverpool, Ohio (Schaltenbrand 1983:42).

In the 1890s, only three potteries remained in business: Hamilton and Jones of Greensboro, Williams and Reppert (who had bought out James Hamilton in 1880) of Greensboro, R. T. Williams of the former Samuel Dilliner and Alexander Conrad plant in New Geneva, and the Dilliner and Dils pottery of Point Marion (Schaltenbrand 1983:43). This last firm attempted to use rail distribution, but failed after a few years. In 1895, while on a selling trip downriver, R. T. Williams vanished, perhaps a suicide, and his business which had begun as the James Hamilton factory ,was closed the next year, ending the oldest shop in the area. In 1897, Hamilton and Jones's plant burned, and after an attempt to restart their work at the abandoned Williams and Reppert plant, the last Greensboro pottery creased production. The last pottery in the region was Hamilton and Robbins in New Geneva, which made plain jugs for local distilleries until early in the twentieth century. A new kiln was constructed around 1906, but it would cease production in less than a decade. The demise of Hamilton and Robbins is attributed to the Bureau of Weights and Measures requirements of standardization (Schaltenbrand 1983:43).

The early nineteenth century Monongahela wares are described as bright grey in color, typically boulbous, with the salt glazing accomplished in wood-fired kilns. A wide variety of forms included canning jars, storage crocks, milk pitchers, milk pans, churns, butter pots, water coolers, flower pots, jugs, and novelties (Schaltenbrand 1983:40). The early stoneware of the region was characterized by elaborate, hand-painted, cobalt blue decoration, particularly floral motifs and simple geometric forms; impressed lines and beads on shoulders; and by an abundance of impressed maker's marks (Schaltenbrand 1983:40).

After the Civil War, stenciled designs increasingly replaced hand-decorated vessels. The trend to mass production can be seen in the fact that in 1870, about one million pieces were being turned by hand each year to accommodate in increased demand (Schaltenbrand 1983:42). At about this time of maximum demand, glass and metal container production increased and provided new forms to replace the main stoneware vessel forms. Multi-purpose storage jars, wax-seal tops, and lard crocks became the dominant vessel forms, while specialized stoneware forms such as pitchers, milk pans, spittoons, and chamber pots declined (Schaltenbrand 1983:42). Schaltenbrand (1983:42) attributes the shift from boulbous to straight-sided forms to a desire for greater efficiency as seen in higher stacks in later kilns and long-distance shipping crates. Likewise, a shift to coal-fired kilns resulted in a darker, brownish, and less glossy salt-glazed surface.

Stoneware was manufactured in East Liverpool, Ohio, by a number of firms: Starkey and Simms, Laughlin and Simms' Star Stoneware Pottery (1868-1875), Ferguson and Simms, and N. M. Simms and Company (Mitchell 1980:33). It appears that the main clay sources at this major Midwestern ceramics manufacturing center were best suited to yellowware and whitewares (Mitchell 1980:33). However, the town's location on the Ohio River gave their ware the advantage of cheap water transportation. Likewise, by 1890, steam-powered plants began to turn out jollyed stoneware vessels. In this newly mechanized industry, a worker could produce a thousand vessels per day, lowering the unit price considerably (Schaltenbrand 1983:42-43).

Southern or rural pottery manufacture

In contrast to the Mid-West, particularly Illinois, stoneware manufacture is not well-documented for the Mid-South. Tennessee is the best-documented, with a state-wide survey. In 1979, Sam Smith and Stephen Rogers of the Tennessee Department of Conservation published their compendium of all known and suspected stoneware manufacturing sites in the state of Tennessee. This remains the only major effort at documentation of stoneware manufacturing in the Midsouth. Smith had conducted a similar, but much smaller scale survey in Arkansas in the early 1970s, while the 1977-78 work consisted of extensive field and archival investigation. Smith and Rogers (1979) distinguished between family and industrial potteries; family potteries being small, often rural, and using simple and conservative technology while industrial potteries are larger, with employees not kin to the owner, using mechanized means of manufacture and often relying on railroads for both raw material and the distribution of the product. They also grouped the potteries by geographical region and by very generalized data about the available clay sources.

The historic stoneware industry of Mississippi has hardly been documented archaeologically. A few examples are given to document the history of the industry in the Mid-South, their scheme of marketing, and the nature of their products. At Lockhart, in Lauderdale County, the Vestal-Wedgeworth stoneware pottery (22LD658) used a grayish white clay (Logan 1907:199). The clay fired at cone 8 as light gray, hard, and slightly porous; and at cone 13 as dark gray and steel hard, becoming white at cone 20 (Logan 1909:197).This small-scale factory went through several renovations and changes of ownership. It had the advantages of lying along a railroad, with ready supply of clay and pine wood for firing and packing, but stilled failed to prove successful in long-term competition with major factories. Logan (1909:137) states that a steam pottery was in operation on the Mobile & Ohio railroad 1 mile north of Lockhart. It had changed hands several times since it was begun around 1870. Vestal's establishment was a crude hand pottery, upgraded by the Wedgeworths. William Wedgeworth had not operated "in the last year" (Logan 1909:210). Wedgeworth products included ornamental terracotta, tombstones, stoneware, and decorative items.

The Wilcox formation in Marshall County in northern Mississippi has many outcrops of white pottery clay. In the WPA file (Record Group 60, Series 447) for Marshall County, there is some indication that the Holly Springs Stoneware Co. had been in operation since ante-bellum days and were certainly working during the 1870s. Several potteries have operated in Holly Springs, including the Allison Stoneware Company and the Holly Springs Stoneware Company. These manufactured a general line of stoneware and the fire brick used in their own kilns from clays found near Holly Springs. Highly silicious clay was mixed with plastic white clay to manufacture stoneware. The stoneware clay pits of the two companies were about 1 ¼ miles east of Holly Springs; the clay was hauled in wagons to the plants. Lying at the junction of the Illinois Central and the Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham, Holly Springs was ideally suited for mass marketing, including the goods of a large stoneware industry utilizing the abundant local Wilcox clays (Logan 1909:138).

These most industrialized operations were the last to survive in Mississippi, except for a handful of part-time craftsman carrying on family traditions. In the 1870 U.S. Census Industrial Schedule for Marshall County, Holly Springs P.O. has two wood-fired potteries. Smith & Bros. Pottery had a $600 capitalization, operated 12 months, and produced $1800 of product. The second pottery had $1000 invested, employed 2 males over 16, ran 12 months, and produced $3000 worth of stoneware.In 1880, these two factories were the only two concerns enumerated for the state. P.O. Smythe & Co. employed 10 hands, all males over 16, operated year-round, and paid skilled labor $3 a day and ordinary labor $.75 a day, for a total labor expenditure of $1800 a year. The value of the annual production, $4500. The (H.W. Stunbils?, illegible microfilm) & Co. stoneware manufacturers had a $3500 capitalization, employed 18 hands in a year-round, 10 hour day operation. Skilled labor was paid $5 a day and common, $.75, with total annual wages $7000. The annual production was worth $15,000 (U.S. Census 1880, Mississippi agricultural and industrial schedule.

The Holly Springs Stoneware Co. produced a general line of stoneware, including jugs, jars, crocks, churns, pitchers, bowls, and flower pots. By 1909, the clay was mixed in a chaser or wet pan. The turning and molding machinery was rum by steam which was also used in the drying room. The product was fired in two coal-fired circular down-draught kilns with an annual capacity of 500,000 gallons. At cone 17 the material used was light yellow, hard, and slightly porous while at cone 19 it was light blue and vitrified. The products were described as "a very attractive vessel with a white body and brown rim" made with an exterior chemical glaze combining feldspar and whiting as well as interior brown Albany slip (Logan 1909:142).

The Allison Stoneware Co. had a pit a few rods north of the Holly Springs Co.'s pit in a 12' thick bed of laminated cream clay under 4' of red Lafayette sand. The clay was pugged in a steel vertical mill and thrown on two wheels. The plant had recently been moved and enlarged to have two circular kilns and a brick drying oven when the Marshall County industry was documented by the Mississippi Geological Survey in 1909 (Logan 1909:147). By 1934, "the Jug Factory" had lost its master potter, Albert Herr, and was struggling to survive the Depression (WPA Record Group 60, Series 447).

Around 1900, the surviving hand potteries making crocks and churns included the one at Cumberland, in Webster County (central Mississippi), where a lignite was found in association with a bed of good Wilcox formation pottery clay (Logan 1907:244). Three generations of the Loyd family made stoneware in a small hand pottery in Winston County (Logan 1909:137). The clays were varied throughout, being largely blue clays with some vegetable matter; best results were obtained by mixing clays from the bottom 2' and the top 3." The 12' thick outcrop of white clay with pink and purple tints lay under a lignitic member of the Wilcox formation. This very plastic clay was said to take salt and slip glazes very well and to vitrify to a strong body at cone 5. At cone 20, the clay was vitrified and nonporous. Logan (1909:188) says the Loyd clay "makes good stoneware even with crude hand methods." A few miles south, Homer Stewart operated a small hand pottery (Logan 1909:137). The Stewart pit lay on the Macon-Louisville road, 1 ¼ miles east of his pottery. It was a yellowish white clay with yellow and purple blotches, cream when powdered. He was producing 4,000 gallons a year of Albany-slipped jugs, churns, jars, and crocks with a 500 gallon updraught kiln. The ware was light red or cream with a strong hard body (Logan 1909:188). Other small potteries have existed in this neighborhood (Loyd's and Stewart's) for short periods (Logan 1909:137). As the Mobile, Jackson & Kansas City line ran through central Winston County, there may have been some opportunity for far-flung marketing of the Loyd products.

At the southeast corner of Itawamba County (extreme northeastern Mississippi) are numerous exposures of the Tuscaloosa formation that have been used for stoneware manufacture. In 1909 (Logan 1909:123), the county was without a railroad, so the small hand potteries had a "very local trade." Vestal (1947) revisited Itawamba County for a more thorough geological survey during the Depression and found a number of small jug factories in operation, all confined to the southeasternmost township, and all part of a desperate and diffused scramble to make any sort of income. These were small shops with groundhog kilns, kick wheels, and production limited to a few thousand gallons of common wares per year.

The trend towards decline in the small rural pottery, and the survival of more modernized (mechanized) plants is likewise shown in the history of the east-central Texas pottery industry, where as single large-scale factory (Marshall Pottery) remains of a formerly extensively developed folk pottery tradition focused on the same Wilcox formation clay used in Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas. Humphreys and Schmidt (1976) have produced an art history catalog of the variety of Texas stoneware products. While the interpretation is limited, some 18 vessels and 6 maker's marks are illustrated. Some information on Texas manufacturers is provided. One of the earliest Anglo-American potterys in Texas was founded by the Kirbee family. They immigrated from South Carolina by way of Georgia, finally settling in Montgomery County, Texas, around 1848 and potting until around 1860. Their groundhog kiln was established near sources of water, firewood, and clay (Humphreys and Schmidt 1976:21).

In the late 1800s, there were at least a dozen plants operating in east and central Texas, mostly along the outcrop of the Wilcox formation (Bastrop, Limestone, Henderson, Rusk, Harrison, Smith, Bowie, Cass, Titus, Bexar, Wilson, and Gaudalupe counties). Denton County potteries used Eagle Ford formation clays, while manufacturers in Montgomery and Waller counties used "lesser raw material not as suitable for stoneware" (Humphreys and Schmidt 1976:22). The Winfield pottery, established at Winfield in the 1860s and moved to Mt. Pleasant in the 1880s used a beehive kiln, still in existence, at the later location (Humphreys and Schmidt 1976:22). Other manufacturers mentioned are M. K. Miller, Sr. and four generations of successors of Henderson County, beginning in 1883, but after 1930 only producing unglazed pots (Humphreys and Schmidt 1976:22-23). Odom in Upshur County, Roark in Denton ca. 1880, and the still-extant Marshall Pottery in Marshall all began production late in the nineteenth century. Others included in the catalog are: Ernst Richter, Star Pottery, Elmendorf, Bexar County, ca. 1887-1915; John Leopard, Rusk County, ca. 1860; J. C. Lambert, Denton County, ca. 1860; Oletha pottery, Limestone County, ca. 1890; James Prothro; Rusk County, ca. 1860; George Suttles, Wilson County, ca. 1882-1902; Meyer Pottery, Bexar County, ca. 1929-1937; A. L. Williams' McDade Pottery, McDade, Bastrop County, ca. 1890-1920, Southern Pottery and Love Field Pottery of Dallas, ca. 1930.

The pattern of glazing used in Texas shows a typical southern trend. Alkaline glazes were used by early Texas potters, to be followed by salt glazes and clay slips. A round 1900, combinations of Bristol and Albany slips came into use in most Texas potteries, as elsewhere. Humphreys and Schmidt (1976:23) conclude that the demise of the Texas stoneware industry was due to factors cited by many other researchers: "With the beginning of the twentieth century, Texas potters were faced with intense competition within the state and with the importation of stoneware and crockery from the midwestern states. Due to the increased costs of raw materials and labor and general acceptance of glass containers by consumers, a death blow was dealt to most of the state's potteries."

Similar trends could be demonstrated with Smith and Rodger's (1979) Tennessee data, or with that from Arkansas. There has been some archaeological work done to document Arkansas's redware and stoneware traditions, but little has been published. The majority of the data lies in the state site file and in geological publications. What is known about manufacturers of stoneware is summarized in table---. Dallas County in southwest Arkansas lies largely within the Wilcox formation. As is the pattern throughout the Mid-South, Wilcox clays in Arkansas are favored for stoneware production. Dallas County was one of the major centers of stoneware production in Arkansas. Watkins (1982:1) notes that the 1843-1910 stoneware industry of Dallas County grew around the towns of Princeton and Tulip. Princeton lay at the intersection of the Camden to Little Rock road and the Arkadelphia to Pine Bluff road. Due to its inland location, shipping costs from river ports were high, perhaps contributing to the success of the stoneware industry (Watkins 1982:2).

The Dallas stoneware industry is known as the home of the Byrd or Bird family. Four brothers, Joseph, Nathanial, William L., and James, were all born to William Byrd of North Carolina in the 1820s. Census record show three William Byrds, all resident in North Carolina counties with potting traditions. A churn stamped "J. and N. Bird" is also incised on the base with "Manufactured by Joseph and Nathanial Bird in the State of Arkansas, Clark County, May 1843" (Dallas County was created from Clark County in 1845). Watkins (1982:3) suggests that the stamp indicates a prior experience in potting and that the incision may commemorate the brothers first burning.

Stoneware vessel form

Jugs and crocks, including butter churns, form the vast majority of the stoneware produced and consumed in 19th century American households. Jugs were made in as many as 10 shapes at one time as well as in a variety of sizes ranging from pint to 15 or 20 gallons (DePasquale et al 1997:17). The liquor trade provided the primary wholesale outlet for jug-producing factories, although there special forms made for syrup, fruit, and other foodstuffs. The "common" or "beehive" shape jug was produced earlier and were generally handmade while the wide variety of "shouldered" jugs were made on cylindrical, machine-made bodies. Shouldered jug forms made in the 1890s include standard, cone, ball, dome, pear, funnel, and wide-mouth tops (DePasquale 1997:20-21). Few common jugs show Bristol glazes, indicating that few hand-turned vessels were being made by the time of its introduction (DePasquale 1997:29, 33). Large, generally cylindrical crocks were necessary for many food storage and preparation techniques of the 19th century, and they were available in large sizes such as 10, 12, 15, 20, 30 and 40 gallons, although smaller 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 gallon sizes with matching lids were probably much more common (DePasquale 1997:45-49). Churns were commonly made in sizes between 2 and 8 gallons.

A wide range of specialized stoneware forms were also manufactured, including some regionally-specific items, such as weights used to submerge food for pickling, baked bean pots or chicken waterers. More common forms include water coolers/fountains/filters, spitoons, toilet sets (pitchers, basins, and chamber pots), canning jars with a variety of seals, and small cylindrical butter pots. A Tripoli stone "Success" water filtering system was patented in 1989 and large numbers of such improved water coolers, along with earlier unfiltered models, were installed in locations such as school houses and middle-class homes in regions not yet having piped water through the 1930s (Depasquale et al 1997:59-68).

European stonewares

The presence of stoneware manufactured anywhere besides the U.S. in contexts after the first quarter of the 19th century generally indicates the consumption of some specialized product shipped in stoneware containers. Among the numerically most numerous are "ginger beer bottles" from the late 19th century. These are typically hand formed in a mold and often have oval stamps with manufacturer name and location on the base. The body is buff or gray and glazes are typically two-toned, with white slips and yellowish (alkaline?) glazes.

Rhenish stonewares represent one of Europe's highest points of accomplishment in the ceramic arts until the English perfection of refined earthenware. Throughout the late medieval Rhineland, a combination of high-quality clay, coal and timber, water transportation to ocean ports led to the flourishing of a series of potting centers. The earlier or, loosely, Rhenish, stonewares were typically brown, while later a light-bodied ware with a clear salt glaze was developed in the Westerwald district. Into the 19th century the lower Rhineland continued to manufacture bottles for commercial purposed (ale, wine, and ink, predominantly). These vessels are cylindrical and of varying height. They are generally of small circumference.

Westerwald stoneware focused on a few simple utilitarian forms such as storage jars, bottles, flasks (canteens), chamber pots, and especially, mugs, tankards, and beer pitchers or all sizes. By the time of the colonization of America, vessels were decorated in complex incised patterns, generally abstract floral, that were highlighter with blue (cobalt) glaze. Occasionally manganese ores were used to obtain a deep purple color. Further decoration consisted of turned grooves and ridges as well as rouletted bands resembling rocker stamping. Westerwald stoneware occurs consistently on archaeological sites throughout North America and much of the rest of the world until the mid 18th century, when the German industry faced heavy competition from the modernizing potters of England and their "scratch blue," white-salt glazed stoneware, and refined earthenwares.

English white salt glazed stoneware occurs in a limited number of forms with a likewise limited number of impressed rim patterns. This is a fine table ware that represents the culmination of the European stoneware manufacture. Plates and platters with scalloped rims are typical. The rim patterns include a grain ("barley") motif enclosed with wavy lines (scrolls) separated by panels of ribbing (Gums 1988:147). The ware was manufactured primarily in Staffordshire ca. 1750-1770 and is common on British colonial, military, and trading sites until its rapid replacement by creamware ca. 1780 (Gums 1988:147).

Chinese stoneware

The original coarse, dark brown glaze for soy pots, jian you, dates from the Sung dynasty (ca. AD 1000) and forms are still in use today for the same purpose (Olsen 1978:36). Olsen's thorough review of the vessel forms and decorative types of Chinese ceramics from a Tucson, Arizona, urban removal project reviews "brownwares" and other utilitarian stoneware from mid 19th through 20th century contexts. Common container forms have a dark brown to black glaze. Some of the smallest jars have a thin, lighter brown to yellowish glaze (Olsen 1978:33) An unglazed band , apparently from careful slip dipping, is typical of most brown-slipped vessel forms (Olsen 1978:31). There does appear to be a tendency for later forms to be less carefully slipped, with the slip extending over the base (Olsen 1978:36,49).The oldest wine bottles were wheel made and have a greenish brown glaze that does not cover the base, while 20th century specimens have a vitreous dark brown glaze covering the entire molded vessel. The shoulder of the small, short, hand-turned jars is high and weak and the wide-mouthed lip flares; while the larger tall jars have a narrow, tapering base and narrow, flanged mouth.

These brown-slipped stonewares are containers for preserves, shrimp paste, bean curd, or pickled or salted specialty products; and bottles for wine, vinegar, oil, and soy sauce. Printed paper labels appear to have been the rule, with wax paper lids held down with split bamboo wrapping (Olsen 1978:Fig. 8). which also served to cushion the bottles during shipping. The smallest jars held items such as candy, medicine, and spice. Olsen (1978:33) notes that they are likely the product of Kwangtung (Guangdong) Province, as much food was shipped to immigrants from there.No manufacturer's marks are noted, and these are characterized as cheap, mass produced "Mason jars" subject to extensive curation and reuse. A similar thick, dark brown glaze, sometimes covering only the upper half of the vessel, is noted for contemporary shallow earthenware bowls, small jugs, and other forms (Olsen 1978:34).

Ginger jars are a distinctive Chinese stoneware product that is present in early Euro-American contexts as well as in later overseas Chinese deposits. Olsen (1978:36) assumes that since ginger jars were shipped from canton to ports around the world, the vessels were probably made in Guangdong province. The distinctive vessel form is a somewhat globular to nearly cylindrical pot with a wide, neck-less mouth and a smaller, bowl-like lid with vertical walls. The coarse clay body is generally grey or buff and the irregular glaze is clear to slightly tinted with green or blue. Glazes typically vary in thickness and exhibit runs and unglazes patches, but the interiors are covered. Slight decoration with underglaze cobalt blue hand-painting is typical. Some stamped manufacturer's marks were noted, but these may indicate contents (Olsen 1978:34-35). A related form is the molded, hexagonal ginger syrup container, with a coarse, colored, granular body and thin, irregular green glaze. These vessels, still produced today, have relief molded decoration on the facets (Olsen 1978:37).

Chinese wine was exported to America in the 19th century in small traditional stoneware bottles with a globular body, short neck and flaring rim. The glaze is described by Olsen (1978:27) as a mottled glossy glaze that faded from dark brown to light olive brown, becoming coarser, less glossy and of more uniform color in the 20th century. These are probably alkaline (ash) glazes like those noted above as a possible inspiration for the Southern alkaline glaze tradition.


Porcelain is the highest-fired ceramic to be considered. It is fully vitrified by firing at around 1400 degrees Centigrade (Olsen 1978:11). Porcelain was one of the primary objects of the late medieval-early modern trade between China and Western Europe, along with silk and tea. Attempts to imitate these Asian wares led to many improvements in European ceramic technology, as discussed above, until finally the factories of Germany and France were able to closely approximate Chinese porcelains. Later the production spread to England, but it appears that the Continental (French and German) factories surpassed those of Britain in quantity as well as quality. The twentieth century saw a resurgence in the export of porcelain from China as well as the entry of significant amounts of Japanese porcelain into North American markets.

Many products have been made of porcelain that are not generally included in the archaeological study of ceramics. These include buttons and other domestic items; dolls and marbles; and tiles, electrical insulators and other architectural fittings. In the late 19th century, many struggling stoneware, earthenware, and porcelain manufacturers turned to the production of these more salable products.

Oriental porcelain

The original Chinese porcelains were compounded from intricate mixtures, but the two most important ingredients are kaolin ("high ridge," white or ball clay) and petuntse ("little bricks" so called as they arrived at the potteries crushed and molded into briquettes of feldspathic or "china" stone; Olsen 1978:11, Honey 1946:9). There is not as broad a spectrum of pastes or wares evident in porcelain as there are in refined earthenwares or stonewares, however, there are distinguishable variants. Among the earlier porcelain forms are a heavier coarser ware with a thick, imperfect blue-green glaze (Olsen 1978:8). Fine porcelains are generally made of fine-textured, well-mixed clays with very fine temper additives; the resulting ware is thin, white and translucent. More utilitarian porcelains tend to have off-white (greyish or bluish) pastes, noticeably coarser texture, and are thicker and heavier (Olsen 1978:11). Olsen (1978:5) notes that Chinese ceramic products besides the fine blue-decorated porcelains may be miss-classified or unclassified in historic archaeological collections; these are cooking and storage vessels, some of which are discussed above under stonewares.

The kilns of Ching Te Chen (Jingdezhen), Jiangxi, were the major potteries of the latter Qing dynasty, but it appears that much of their output, particularly that for export, was decorated and re-fired in Canton, the only legal trading point for foreigners (Europeans and Moslems) for much of the historic period (Olsen 1978:46). However, with the increase in foreign trade in Guangdong, smaller kilns producing coarse wares for the export market sprung up to compete with Jingdezhen. During the 20th century Chinese-tradition porcelains in a variety of forms and with a wide range of decorations have been manufactured in factories in Los Angeles, California (Olsen 1978:19). These include hand painted wares on white bodies characterized as executed hastily and gilt detailing.

Among the more elaborate Chinese porcelains are the rice grain wares, manufactured by cutting many small (grain-sized) holes in the completed, unfired vessel, and then covering them with thick glaze, which fills the holes but leaves them highly translucent. The ware generally has blue floral or geometric underglaze decoration, or, more rarely on later specimens, polychrome overglaze decoration (Olsen 1978:17).

The majority of early Chinese porcelains were hand-made on the potter's wheel, but with increased domestic and international demand, many of the simple and cheap forms such as simple, thick holloware for restaurant use and food shipping/storage vessels came to be mold made. Forms are seldom elaborate, although oval dishes and various octagonal forms are known. Both turned and molded wares are still produced today, with restaurant-ware type porcelain being particularly important.

From the initiation of direct sea contact with China, Europeans imported Chinese porcelain, a thin, translucent, white, blue-decorated ceramic that far surpassed any European ceramic product in technological achievement. Thus, originally (16th through 18th century) the use of the now very broad term "china" was limited to oriental porcelains (Olsen 1978:7). By the 16th century, porcelain was a common trade item, although it was still rare enough in Europe to be come a remarkably stable status marker (Honey 1946:3). These wares were distributed throughout the 18th century European trade network, particularly to the Spanish colonies along the Pacific and the English colonies along the Atlantic coast. The trade grew markedly under the reign of Kang Hsi (1662-1722) and during this time Japan also entered the trade through their licensed Dutch merchants (Honey 1946:3). Earlier, the Chinese had engaged in direct sea trade with eastern Africa; this trade included a primary exchange of porcelain for ivory. With the other European luxury imports, silk and tea, the European adoption of the use of porcelain, first in the tea service (cups, saucers, teapots, large bowls) and later in dinnerware (plates, vegetable dishes), became a significant status symbol and led to the series economic and social changes. The introduction of porcelain also, as has been described above, led to European technological advances resulting in faience, refined earthenwares, and new forms of porcelain.

These items, especially tea wares, found their way through the European trade networks to places as remote as the American colonial outposts where the silver and furs that paid for the silks, porcelain, and tea originated. Once introduced, porcelain became an integral part of American ceramic assemblages (Olsen 1978:6). Hume (1969:38) notes that Chinese porcelain was being brought to Virginia by the second quarter of the nineteenth century and that some of the earliest vessels found in America were heirlooms items already a half century old when their owners came to America. Various dates are cited for the decline in the importation of blue hand painted porcelain into England and the North American colonies: the early 19th century (Godden 1963:11). By the mid 19th century, the push of the unrest of the Tai-ping Rebellion, coupled with the pull of the 1848 discovery of gold in California led to large-scale immigration from Southern China to the Pacific coastal regions of the Americas. These immigrants brought with them porcelains of the mid and late 19th century, which due to the conservative nature of the industry closely resemble earlier products. With this immigration, Chinese-tradition porcelain factories were established in California.

Olsen (1978:5), in his study of Chinese ceramics from the western U.S., notes the presence of small quantities of Chinese porcelain on colonial and Revolutionary sites in the east, including taverns and private homes in Williamsburg and Rosewell Plantation, Virginia; French and Indian War sites such as the ca. 1758 Ft. Ligonier, Pennsylvannia; and the Revolutionary sites such as Ft. Stanwix, New York, Ft. Washington and camps on Staten Island, New York. Gums (1988:155) notes a few sherds of apparent Chinese export porcelain from the French colonial and British military site of Cahokia, Illinois. Abundant porcelain was recovered from the ca. 1715-1781 site of Ft. Michilimackinac, Michigan, where they are more often associated with the later, British, and earlier French component. At Ft. Southwest Point (Smith 1993:185) in east Tennessee, blue underglaze and gilted, polychrome floral porcelain teawares were recovered (teacups, saucers, teapot, plate, bowl). At Ft. Southwest Point, porcelain totaled 3% of the ceramic assemblage. Other 18th century military outpost throughout eastern North America also produce low frequencies of teawares, apparently all still made in China.

Early porcelain is also found in western North America, as in the Spanish Colonial and Native American sites of California, that include sherds dating as early as the Wan-Li period (1573-1619) of the Ming Dynasty (Olsen 1978:7). Porcelain has been recovered from Spanish Franciscan mission sites such as Awatovi (1630-1701) and Tubac Presidio (early 16th to late 19th century), both in Arizona (Olsen 1978:8-9). At Tubac Presidio, Blue-on-white porcelain was recovered from Early (1750-1800) and Middle (1800-1850) contexts; presumably this porcelain was imported via Mexico (Olsen 1978:9).

French and German glassy porcelains

Porcelain manufacture was first perfected in the West in France and Germany, and these countries remained the leading producers, although others such as England, Italy and Austria had substantial industries as well. The glass-making center or Venice was among the first European sites to witness experiments designed to duplicate the expensive, imported product of China and Japan; ca. 1470 milk glass was being produced as a substitute and by the late 1500s a soft-paste porcelain was produced in Florence by the addition of fluxes, powdered glass ("frit") to a white clay body (Honey 1946:6). In 1672, soft paste porcelain was re-invented in Rouen, France, and came to be manufactured at the royally-licensed factory at St. Cloud, near Paris (Honey 1946:7). The material was expensive, but in an age of great affluence among the elite, such elegance could be supported. Later French and English efforts were supported by the 1712 and 1722 publication of letters from the Jesuit missionary to China, D'Entrecolles, describing his visits to the Jingdezhen factory (Honey 1946:8).

German porcelain experiments began in 1694, when the German nobleman Tschirenhausen, seeking an industry to aid the economy of his state of Saxony, rightly guessed that the needed ingredient was a fusible white clay, stone, or earth. Tschirnhausen was a mercantilist and sought to halt the flow of Saxon silver to China (Honey 1946:25).The problem was solved in his Dresden laboratories by 1708 with the assistance of a prisoner of the king he purchased in 1707, the failed alchemist Johan Bottger who had been engaged in the early 1700s in the search for the "Philosopher's Stone" or the mythical means of turning base metals to gold (Honey 1946:7,8,26). By 1709 Tschirnhausen was dead, but Bottger had produced a suitable glaze for his ware and by 1710 a good china clay, called "Schnorr's earth" was discovered at Aue in the Erzegebirge. The first Saxon porcelain sales were in 1713 (Honey 1946:28, 32).

The ware arrived at was compounded from silicates of aluminum, from kaolin clays derived from the decay of granite, feldspathic rock, a similar but less weathered geological product, called "china stone" or petuntse, and was glazed with petuntse fused with lime and potash (Honey 1946:8,9). Bottger produced his wares with two firings, rather than the single firing of China, the first or Verglubbrand at 900degrees Centigrade, after which the ware was dipped in the glaze and returned for the Garbrand (full firing) or Glattbrand (smooth firing) at 1400-1450 degrees Centigrade (Honey 1946:9).

By 1713 several workers had deserted Bottger's works and the knowledge of the porcelain manufacturing process spread to neighboring states, despite the 1720-1733 royal monopoly held by the Meissen factory (Honey 1946:34, 48). Although each German state sought to establish its own porcelain industry, Saxony held the advantage in high luxury goods until around 1756, when the region was largely destroyed in the Seven Years War, after which time the lead passed to the French crown's Sevres factory (Honey 1946:7,8). Prussia attacked Saxony, and planned to haul the machinery, molds, materials, and captive workers to Berlin, but the Saxons destroyed the factory before it could be taken (Honey 1946:123). By the end of the war in 1763, the porcelain workers tried to return to work at "Saxony's greatest possession," but Sevres had already surpasses them and the original leader in European porcelain began to turn to the products of Paris, Wien (Vienna), and Ausburg for inspiration for patterns, molds, and painted designs (Honey 1946:131, 132). In the later 18th century, Russia and Turkey were the main export customer for Meissen wares, and the industry faced competition at home from the high-quality decorated creamwares of England (Honey 1946:133).

Meissen and Dresden remained leading European manufactures of porcelain even after the World War II destruction of the city by Anglo-American bombing. After 1850 France exported considerable amounts of their hard, white, less expensive porcelain to the U.S. (Wetherbee 1985:15).

English soft paste or bone porcelain

In England in 1671, John Dwight of Fulham, having learned the secrets of German salt-glazed stoneware manufacture, refined the techniques to produce small, delicate, pale grey, slightly translucent tea cups (Honey 1946:7, Barrett and Thorpe 1971:2). Early English wares that could past as a true porcelain were being manufactured by the 1740s. This was a soft-paste bone china inferior in degree of vitrification to the glassy French and German porcelains, however, it did achieve the desired translucence (Godden 1964:13.) By 1796, Cornish or Cornwall clay (a grade of kaolin or ball clay) was available for potter's experiments; this coupled with the 1794 increased tariff on imported porcelain increased the impetus of English porcelain manufacture (Wetherbee 1985:12).

While "bone china" was developed in England by 1800, the term is not used in manufacturer's marks until 1915 (Kovel 1986:230). Staffordshire produced very little porcelain, and that mostly after the early 20th century concentration of the ceramics industry into a few multinational conglomerates operating many scattered plants. Fine European porcelain is much more rare than Chinese porcelain in late 18th-early 19th century British North American contexts, even in those representing rich merchants or landowners (Austin 1977:6, 9). However, some North American contexts, such as the colonial capitol of Virginia, Williamsburg, have revealed the presence of the cheaper Liverpool blue-on-white porcelain (Austin 1977:9).

The preeminent English porcelain manufactory was located in Worcester, a small county cathedral city south of the Birmingham conurbanation, where the confluence of the Stour and Teme rivers forms the River Severn. Other leading English manufacturers included Chelsea, Coalport, Derby, Doulton, Copeland, Minton, and Spode (Wetherbee 1985:6).

The Chelsea porcelain pottery, on the Thames Rivers upstream from the London of the 1700s was established in 1745 by a refugee Huguenot silversmith, Nicholas Sprimont, who sold it in 1769 to the proprietor of the Derby works, William Duesbury. Duesbury closed the plant in 1784 and moved the molds and other gear to the Derby factory (Austin 1977:1).

The Derby factory (ca. 1744/45-1848) was among the longest lasting English porcelain manufactories. Porcelain may have been made in Derby as early as 1728; as early as 1671 John Dwight patented a salt-glazed stoneware with some degree of translucence (Barrett and Thorpe 1971:1). In 1756 John Heath, gentleman financier, Andrew Planche, china maker, and William Duesbury, enamel decorator, formed a partnership to produce these wares. The decorator did his work in London, so presumably the low-firing work was also done there (Barrett and Thorpe 1971:3). The firm produced thin, well-potted wares, many with molded straight and spiraling flutes (Barrett and Thorpe 1971:45, 46).

In 1769 the Derby ware was improved by the addition of bone ash, which rendered the vessels somewhat more resistant to cracking when immersed in or filled with hot water, but the product was still very glassy with more than 60% silica and warped easily (Barrett and Thorpe 1971:45). The ware still did not approach that of the Worcester works, the best in England, that used ground steatite rather than calcined bone ash, nor did the glazes fit as well. Into the 19th century the Derby works maintained a reputation for fine decoration, but the thin teacups retained their liability to break when filled with boiling water, and the firm included instructions for the proper use and care of the product (Barrett and Thorpe 1971:60). Around 1800, when the factory had 200 to 400 employees, Derby introduced the use of the "china stone" already used by Spode to temper their wares, and with this came a need for a harder glaze, which altered the decorating techniques as described below. The Napoleonic Wars took a toll on British luxury industries, and competition from other factories led to a noticeable decline in the quality of Derby porcelain in the 1828-1848 era (Barrett and Thorpe 1971:70).

American porcelains

The American whiteware industry developed later than that of Britain, and porcelain was also late to be manufactured in America. American porcelian has been predominantly coarser-grade porcelain and semi-porcelain, particularly the better examples of thick "hotel ware." Some fine thin ware comparable to Eurasian examples have also been made at various American localities.

Oriental porcelain decoration

As was noted to be the case with stoneware, the only color that can be used for painted decoration that can survive the high temperatures required for the fusion or vitrification of the porcelain body are blues derived from ores of the heavy metal cobalt, traditionally hand painted on the unfired piece prior to glazing. This blue hand painting is the characteristic Chinese decorative technique. It appears that the 13th century Mongol conquest of China, in uniting all of East and Central Eurasia in a single empire, allowed the introduction of the cobalt blue technique from Turkestan, Persia, and Mesopotamia, where it had been used since high antiquity (Honey 1946:2).

These handpainted porcelain wares are referred to as underglaze blue-and-white. The color ranges from pale to dark blue. Glossy, smooth glazes are typical of the 18th century, with later specimens tending to have a matte or "muslin" surface noticable to the eye and touch (Olsen 1978:45). Fine line treatments are considered earlier while the darker, smudged blue decoration is considered typical of early 19th century porcelains decorated in Canton specifically for the export market (Olsen 1978:7). Motifs of the earlier style, made for domestic use but entering the international market, include spotted deer, floral designs, birds, ponds, insects, foliage, fungi, clouds, and mythical creatures (Olsen 1978:8), in short the general repertoire of "river-and-mountain" (landscape) and "bird-and-flower" (wildlife) painting. Carp, cormorant, willow, fruit blossom, phoenix and dragon are particularly common motifs later in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Teapots are among the most highly decorated vessels in the traditional Chinese vessel assemblage. Olsem (1978:29) states that many export teapots were produced in the large pottery kilns at Ching Te Chen (Jingdezhen), Kiangsi (Jiangxi). After the porcelain firing, they were shipped to Canton, where there was abundant, cheap labor for hand decorating them. After the light enamel firing, vessels were packed for export from Canton, the main port trading with the West, as well of one of the main points-of-departure for American and other overseas Chinese of the 19th century.

Among the most common simple hemispherical rice or tea bowl forms, in overseas Chinese as well as Euro-American contexts, are those known as Swatow (modern Shantou) or Blue Flower ware. Swatow is located in southern China and its products were shipped from Canton (modern Guangzhou). The name "blue flower bowl" is a direct translation of qing hua wan, which describes the underglaze blue (or more rarely jade green) floral monochrome hand painted decoration. The ware dates to at least the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), with very little change throughout its long centuries of manufacture. It continues to be widely produced in factories of southern China today. The glaze is greyish blue, often imperfect, with abstract flowers hand-painted around the exterior and a few rings encircling the interior (Olsen 1978:16).

Porcelain can also be decorated by an over-glaze hand painting or transfer printing (decal), which are then re-fired at a lower temperature to enamel the colors. The archaeological study of this particular form of decoration is particularly troublesome as the enamel wears off easily. The Chinese ceramics imported in the 18th century have this treatment as a minority type, with the commonest overglaze enamel colors being red, followed by brown, green and gold (Olsen 1978:6,9). Pink, orange, yellow, black, purple and blue-green variants are also common, with a wide range of vivid colors being characteristic of the period after 1920 (Olsen 1978:45, 49). Enameled Flower ware, common in mid-to-late 19th century overseas Chinese contexts, has thick overglaze enamel on a white, granular-bodied utilitarian vessels (rice and soup bowls, plates, spoons, etc.). A floral medallion in the vessel interior center is also typical (Olsen 1978:19-20).

Celadon (pale green) glazes are highly distinctive of Oriental (Chinese, Korean, and Japanese) porcelains. In northern China they are called qing bai ("green-white") and in southern China, dong qing ("winter-white," but probably originally "eastern-white;" Olsen 1978:18). This overall color has long been extensively used and is still widely manufactured. Feldspathic glazes were in use by the Tang dynasty, ca. A.D. 600-900; these pre-celadon browish and olive glazes were probably based on the discovery of light natural glazes arrived at from the settling of wood ash on kilns of firing ware (Gompertz 1980:29,30). The hight of perfection in celadon glazing was reached in the blue-green glazes of the Sung dynasty (960-1279) and the sea-green glazes of the Yuan and early Ming dynsties (Gompertz 1980:30). The center of production appears to have been the region of Hang-chou Bay, but the Chendezhen kilns produced the finest celadons during the archaizing influences on form and decoration seen during the Qing dynasty, when rule was returned to native Chinese after the overthrow of the Mongol Ming dynasty (Gompertz 1980:202). The junk trade of the 13th through 15th centuries carried celadon wares to the Malay principalities, India, and as far as East Africa (Honey 1946:2). A French visitor to China in the early 18th century noted that the mandarin of "King-te-chen" had discovered the art of imitating ancient porcelain. He described a yellowish clay used to manufacture a thick ware and a yellowish stone, mixed with ordinary glaze, to give a sea-green tint. After the firing, the vessels were stewed in a thick meat broth, then buried some months in a privy or sewer; when removed they appeared to be several hunderd years old, except that they did not ring or hum as true ancient celadon (Gompertz 1980:204-207).

The color of celadon varies from faintly green tinted clear glazes to deep, mossy greens. The most typical is a slightly blue, transparent, pale green. Often the shade varies between the interior and the exterior, with the interior being nearly white (Olsen 1978:28, 30). This single-colored porcelain is quite often embellished with incised or molded decoration to complement the lightly tinted glaze, although some underglaze blue painting has also been used (Gompertz 1980:202). Export celadon wares appear to have been produced largely in Swatow and exported via Gaungdong (Canton). The vessels these glazes are applied to are often thicker and less translucent. Celadon may be used either on the exterior in combination with a white interior glaze or as an over-all interior and exterior glaze. Makers marks on these pieces are generally in cobalt blue hand painted signs (bamboo leaves, small flowers, geometric shapes) on the exterior base (Olsen 1978:17, 30).

From at least the second half of the 18th century, bowls and saucers with a thick, dark or moss green interior glaze were made with floral and figurative exterior decoration in overglaze polychrome enamel (Olsen 1978:23-24). There are also pinkish (fen cai or famille rose) and greenish (famille verte) glazes used as underglaze or overglaze accents, particularly as filler of geometric patterns. Fen cai glaze was developed during the early Qing dynasty (ca. 1720; Olsen 1978:12). A modern overall or high-light glaze is called "coral ground" (Olsen 1978:19). It occurs with the likewise recent gilt and/or polychrome figurative patterns (bright blue, green, other orange and pink tones).

Other Oriental porcelains

Japanese ceramics available in Europe were much more limited than those of China, but the designs originated the Kakiemon family, using brilliant enamels (iron red, blue-green, light blue, violet, and yellow) influenced some of the German decoration (Austin 1977:5). Imari-influenced designs also were used by English factories, often with great success, in part due to the use of imitation Chinese-character seals as backmarks (Barrett and Thorpe 1971:47).

European porcelain decoration

The blue transfer printing process was developed for the porcelain and tile industry, but as noted above also came to dominate the refined earthenware market. The details of the process are described above under the section on refined earthenwares. The Coalport porcelain works in Stropeshire was established by John Rose in 1796. In 1799 he took over the nearby Caughley works and continued to produce the blue underglaze transfer printed porcelain they had perfected until around 1815 (Coysh 1971:24). Much blue transfer printed porcelain was produced in Liverpool.

Bottger, the Meissen-Dresden porcelain manufacturer of the 18th century, originated the muffle kiln firing of enamels in the West. The various colors required different temperatures and environments, so multiple glost firings were required at the 800-900 degrees Centigrade range, with each firing increasing the likelihood of failure, but adding commensurately to the ultimate value of the finished piece (Honey 1946:10). The designs favored by German and French porcelain designers were in the full Baroque and Rococo style of the old order of the 17th and 18th centuries; Honey (1946:131) distinguishes between a "masculine" German style and a "feminine" French mode, but both were highly ornate with many colors and abundant gilt. The Classicism and restraint of the English porcelain and refined earthenware designers such as Wedgwood can be seen as a reaction of the constitutionally-limited English nobility and the rising bourgeoisie who financed them and intermarried with them against this "orientalism" and frivolity, particularly during the Age of Revolution.

Handpainted patterns of the Derby and Chelsea works were designated by a painted number on the base corresponding to that accompanying the ink and watercolor illustration in the pattern books used by salesmen and decorators (Austin 1977:2). Engraved art prints and illustrated books were the main source of inspiration for porcelain decorators (Austin 1977:4); these included illustrated versions of "Aesop's Fables." At first the factory copied French porcelains, and Austin (1977:3) notes "as in every decorative medium of this period, oriental influence can also be seen;" there was also a Japanese influence through the Meissen (Dresden) porcelain as well as a more purely European influence in the "botanical" style also derived from the German factories.

The soft glazes used by the Derby works prior to 1800, while they did not fit the ware well, leading to crazing and chipping, did absorb some of the color used in enamel work, rendering a particularly pleasing effect that resembles the English style of watercolor landscape painting of the era (Barrett and Thorpe 1971:56, 63). This thin wash of color, with softened lines and colors is in strong contrast to the opaque, oil-painting-like enamels used by the French and Germans. After the 1800 introduction of harder glazes, English porcelain came to more closely resemble that of the Continent.

Lead was used in all 18th century glazes, and despite the introduction of lead-free glazes, it continued in use into the 19th century. A 1837 glaze recipe from the Derby porcelain manufactory called for a pounded and sieved frit of ground Cornwall stone (100 pounds), borax (70 pounds), soda (30 pounds), dry flint (5 pounds), and china clay (25 pounds), rendering in all 140 pounds of frit, to be mixed with Cornwall stone (28 pounds), dry flint (28 pounds), pearl ash (5 pounds) and white lead (30 pounds). The grinding and watering of such quantities of lead was known to be harmful to the glaze workers as well as the local environment, and in 1820 John Rose of Coalport was awarded a gold medal from the Society for Arts for the development of a non-lead glaze composed of a frit of feldspar (27 pounds), Lynn sand (4 pounds), borax (10 pounds), soda (3 pounds), nitre (3 pounds), and Cornwall clay (3 pounds), to be baked until the fluxes were expelled and the material became granular and easily crumbled (fritted) in the bisque ("biscuit") kiln and then combined with a further 31 pounds of borax before re-grinding and mixing with water. However, the product was not as shiny, and so was not widely adopted, despite the well-known neurological damage that was widely observed in workers in many industries using lead (Barrett and Thorpe 1971:123).

By the 1750s English porcelain was decorated with handpainting with gilt overlays. Gilding was always important in porcelain manufacture, as porcelain, intended largely for elite consumption, could be made to bear the great expense of this technique. The initial English gilding, inferior to that used in France and Germany was "honey gilding" where gold leaf was ground in honey and painted on. It could be fixed with a low-temperature firing and adhered well, but could not be burnished to the high gloss typical of Continental work (Barrett and Thorpe 1971:68) With the ca. 1800 introduction of the mercury gilding technique to England, gold trim came into greater use, as the method was easy, cheap, wore better, and could be polished (Barrett and Thorpe 1971:69). Like lead glazes, these mercury-based gold decorations had a harmful effect on workers.

Porcelain makers marks

Porcelain marks may be impressed stamps, colored stamps, or more rarely, handpainted. The Derby porcelain works, where lists of decorators were maintained, assigned each worker a number and instructions that "every painter [is] to mark underneath each Article he may finish the number corresponding to his name…;" these lists are still available (Barrett and Thorpe 1971:115).

There are also abundant Chinese manufacturers marks. Many are simple patterns of a few brushstrokes rather than Chinese characters; they are often handpainted on the interior or exterior base. These resemble the small, simple marks noted as possible indications of the work of individual New Hall pottery painters in the Staffordshire industry and are, like them, considered non-diagnostic. As noted above, porcelain for use by overseas Chinese households and restaurants was manufactured in California; these items often are marked in Chinese characters with "luo sen jian zhi," "made in Los Angeles (Olsen 1978:19);" the characters with the sounds luo sen being used for the phonetic approximation of "Los An." Late 19th and 20th century specimens often bear a green underglaze transfer mark "CHINA."

Chinese export porcelains of the 18th and 19th century were often marked by their manufacturer, however, the interpretation of these marks is fraught with the same difficulties encountered with the 19th century American practice of imitating Staffordshire backmarks: the marks generally incorporate an imperial reign period (somewhat analogous to the to the "AR" [Anne Regina]and "GR" [George Rex] designs on Westerwald stoneware) but these were often selected for their evocation of prosperous and artistic times rather than indicating the actual reigning emperor (Olsen 1978:17). Olsen (1978:21) notes several markers marks, often poorly stamped in red, incorporating the T'ung Chih (1862-1873) reign title from early Tucson, Arizona, Chinese deposits. Reign period seals are generally enclosed in square or oval cartouches and are found the interior or exterior base of the vessel (Table).

Porcelain vessel forms

Traditional Chinese vessel forms include teapots; small, handle-less cups for tea and wine; small sauce dishes, dinner plates, platters and serving dishes in a wide variety of forms; spoons; and large soup and small rice bowls in simple hemispherical forms. The assemblage indicated differs significantly from that expected at EuroAmerican sites, where larger handled cups and mugs, few large or individual bowls; cylindrical teapots with bails, and few or no small saucers are to be expected. Footrings, often high and rectangular in cross-section, are highly characteristic of Chinese porcelains and were widely imitated by European potters.

The forms developed in China for export to the West do not exactly correspond to those created for domestic consumption. With the development of an extensive ceramic export industry, many shops came to take commissions from European importers for specific non-Chinese shapes.

Ceramics imitating natural (especially vegetable) forms were popular on the Continent and in Europe in the last half of the 18th century; pre-1800 English porcelain included teapots shaped as cabbages and cauliflower and sweetmeat and fruit dishes shaped as ivy and other leaves (Austin 1977:6). Such vessels were made at the Worcester and Longton Hall porcelain factories, as well as at factories specializing in earthenwares and salt-glazed white stonewares.

As a 17th and 18th century elite item, porcelain was often shaped into non-useful forms. Statuary figurines and flower vases were among the more important of these non-utilitarian wares. Bisque porcelain figurines became widely popular in the late 19th century and continue to be produced today.


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The primary sources to be used are 1) census returns, 2) probate inventories and sales, and 3) mercantile records. Federal census returns aggregate population and production of agricultural products which required stoneware to process. These returns vary from decade to decade, but general classes can be useful on the decadal level.

Adams County Probate Records

Abram Buckels: 43 slaves ($33,500), 17 mules, 6 horses, 7 ½ yokes of oxen, 8 axes. Value of farm, $37,994, household $264, dower $156. 4 tables, 9 chairs, 1 sideboard (10.00), 3 fireplaces, washstand and pitcher (4.00), bowl and pitcher (1.00) tableware (silver) 33.00 1 lot crockery ware, castors, etc. 5.00 1 lot of glassware 6.00 2 waterbuckets 1.00 1 lot milk vessels 3.00 (11 cows and calves) 1 lot pot ware & kitchen utensils 13.00

Mathias Gilbert: 8 slaves, 3 mules, 8 horses, 18 hoes. Steam engine and boiler ($1,500), 175 cords of wood ($350). Household and kitchen furnishings 100.00

Hercules Hamilton, June 1853: 14 slaves, total value $6,732. 4 tables, 12 chairs, 1 sideboard 1 lot table ware 10.00 1 lot kitchen ware 5.00

Joseph Robards, June 1853: 84 slaves, 24 axes, 14 oxen, 12 horses, 18 mules. Gin (100.00), corn mill (20.00), 70,000 bricks, 2 grindstones (1.00), 2 hogsheads of salt (10.00), ½ barrel sugar (3.00) 4 tables, 13 chairs, 1 safe (1.00), 2 fireplaces 1 lot tableware 5.00 5 water buckets .50 4 kettles 4.00 6 ovens 3.00 5 pots 2.50 1 tea kettle .50 1 coffee pot .20 1 gridiron .20

Michael Johnson. 1 table, 6 chairs???, 1 safe (1.50) cookstove 6.50 13 decanters 5.20 4 dozen tumblers 5.00 2 dozen wine glasses 2.00 2 pitchers 1.50 sugar bowl .75 3 barrels, 3 half-barrels 3.00 4 demijohns 1.20

John Griffith, January 1854: 80 slaves, 17 oxen, 16 mules, 8 horses, and other livestock (54,402), 21 plows, 30 hoes, 8 axes, 156 bales of cotton. Total value $64,446; $500 widow's dower. Over $500 in silverwares, 14 tables, 38 chairs, 1 sideboard (75.00), 2 wine safes (10.00), 5 washsets, 3 fireplaces lot kitchen utensils 20.00 1 white dinner set 35.00 1 china tea set 15.00 2 water pitchers 10.00

Anthony Hoggart, January 1854: 60 slaves (46,000), 12 mules, 21 horses, 7 yokes ox oxen, 15 plows. Total value $50,005.

silverware 80.00 household furnishings 120.00 (9 cows) kitchen furnishings 10.00

William Sessions, January 1854: 70 slaves ($20,750), 16 mules, 20 horses, 5 yokes of oxen, 17 plows, $700 steam engine. Total value, $66,322. 4 tables, 1 sideboard, 2 fireplaces, marble top washstands, icebox 1 lot kitchen furniture 35.00 (12 milch cows and calves) 1 lot crockery and glassware 10.00 1 lot silver 30.00

Thomas Ford, April 1854: 10 slaves ($8,100), 6 horses, 4 yokes of oxen, 6 axes, 5 hoes, 4 plows. Total value, $9,326. (After dower?) 2 tables, 16 chairs

silver 31.00 wash basin and pitcher, pair brass andirons and 2 candlesticks 6.25 castors and waiters 3.50 1 lot glass tumblers, 1 preserve dish & teapot 5.00 1 tin safe and small lot of crockery 7.00 1 soup tureen, 1 dozen dinner plates, 1 ½ dozen breakfast plates, 2 steak dishes, 2 sugar bowls, 2 pickle dishes, 4 shallow dishes, 1 dozen cups and saucers 5.00

Frederick Meacrery, May 1854: 49 slaves, 10 plows, 12 axes, 24 hoes, 5 ½ yokes of oxen, 15 old mules, 6 horses. 78 bales of cotton; poplar and cypress lumber, bicks and set of brick molds. Total value $39,962. (After dower?) 3 tables, 2 dozen bottles of claret, 2 washstands and bowls (3.00), 4 demijohns (2.00) silver (32.00), fiddle (1.00), flutes (20.00), Indian Portrait gallery (5.00)

Robert Stanton, June 1854: 21 slaves, 14 axes, 46 hoes, 21 plows, 27 old plows, 6 yokes of oxen, 6 mules, 23 horses, 36 bales of cotton. Total value $27,951 (After widow's dower?) 2 tables and 6 chairs 1 Yankee alarm clock 5.00 2 china toilet sets 30.00

John M'Dowell: Total value $45.95, all to widow. 1 bed, 1 crib, 1 bureau, 2 tables, 6 chairs, 1 rocking chair, washstand, safe (4.00) stove (5.00), 2 pails (.25), 2 lamps and a candlestick 1 wood saw, 1 shovel

John Clark, August 1854: 2 slaves ($1450), Total value $2424. Large stock liquor and wine in barrels and bottles (brandy, champane, absinthe, cherry brandy, rum, whiskey, Madeira wine, gin, claret), jug of bitters (1.00), 3 bottles of bitters (.75), oil of peppermint, aniseed, 1 jar nutmegs (.50), fancy Chinese bottle (.50), case of stuffed birds, 54 packs of cards, cigars, 4 spittoons, 17 gallons lamp oil (14.75) and oil can (6.00), 21 lamp chimneys (2.10), ice box, safe, lemon squeezer and other bar fixtures. 2 molasses pitchers (1.00), Brittania coffepot (1.25), 2 butter dishes (1.00), 10 punch pitchers 91.50), 2 pitchers (1.00), pair glass celery dishes (1.00), 1 glass pitcher (.50), glass sugar bowl and 2 large tumblers (1.00), pair small pitchers (.25), 9 ½ dozen tumblers (11.88), 6 ale glasses (3.00)17 wine glasses (2.56), knives and forks (5.00), 4 common chambers (.40), 3 washstands, bowls and pitchers (4.00), pair large glass sugar bowls with covers (2.00), tin creamer (.50), 1 pair of pitchers (1.00) 1 small water jar 1.00 1 large jug .50 lot of measures and funnels .60 4 wash tubs 1.00 3 water pails 1.50 1 cooking stove and utensils 6.00 17 empty jars at .20 3.40 1 set crockery 8.00 1 stone keg with stand 2.00

Nat. Hoggart, September 1854: 147 slaves ($110,725), 44 horses, 28 mules, 17 yokes of oxen, 35 plows Total value Cedar Grove Plantation $120,465 bedroom 75.00 parlor 200.00 dining room 20.00 office 50.00 silver spoons and silver ware 50.00 4 rifles and 2 shotguns 70.00 clock 25.00 kitchen 10.00

Edward Templeton, October 1854: 4 slaves ($3800), total value $6,071 melodion, broadsword, bedstead, 2 moss mattresses, mosquito bar 1 decanter and 5 goblets 5.00 1 pitcher and tea bell 1.00 1 mahogany card table, 8 chairs, books Uncle Tom's Cabin and "Fletcher on Slavery."

Robert Lowe, December 1854. Total value $130. 5 tables, 6 chairs, 1 sideboard, 1 fireplace cooking stove and furniture 5.50 3 washtubs and washboard 1.50 lot of crockery and glassware 5.00 24 knives 3.00

Isaac Macmichael, December 1854: large amount of jewelry and musical instruments, piano worth $250, with $200 owed on it. Total value, $3,716 24 chairs, 1 sideboard, 4 washstands (4.00) stove and cooking utensils (4.00) tubs, buckets, etc. (2.50)

George Shaw in partnership with Alz. Griffin. Total value $2,588 large quantities absinthe, Trinidad wine, sherry, brandy, whiskey, port wine, gin, champagne, rum, apple brandy, claret wine. Ice boxes in bar and entry, fancy liqueurs in bar bottles, 4 dozen packs of cards, reading room with 12 chairs, billiard room with 24 chairs, 24 chairs in bar and side room, 17 spittoons, 20 oil lamps 1 lot pepper, lemons, 9 jars pickles (3.00), 17 bottles catsup, 3 boxes mustard, 3 ½ dozen ale pints (21.00) 12 spoons (6.00), 11 punch pitchers (5.00), 7 water pitchers (3.50), 2 sugar bowls and 2 pitchers (4.50), 2 ½ dozen tumblers (3.12) washstand, jars, watercooler and stand, bowls, soap trays, and towels (25.00) kitchen stove, cooking pots, pans, crockery, basket, 2 old tables (25.00)

"Stock of Crockery and Personel Effects, Pat. Leahy, December 1854": 5 slaves ($2,800), total value $11,019, store contents, $8,152 (7 itemized pages contents of store, including tin ware, japanned ware, lamps, castings, and glass) Household: pair of card tables, table, 6 chairs, 1 washstand, 1 sideboard lot of crockery ware ($4.00) Schedule A: 10 ewers 7.50 33 stone pitchers 20.00 7 pitchers 6.25 33 pitchers 20.75 8 stone--- 3.00 26 1 doz. -jars 5.00 14 stone jars 6.50 3 large stone pitchers 3.75 9 C.C. pitchers 11 rock mugs 1.50 43 C.C. basins 16.00 40 gallons stoneware 4.00 34-stone jugs 17.00 10--stone jugs 2.50 222 gallons stoneware 22.20

Francis Ketteringham, March 1853: Garden seed ($97.37), horticultural tools ($100), house plants ($150), buggy and harness. Total value $659. 3 beds, 24 chairs 1 lot kitchen utensils $20.00

Joseph Roberts, May 1853: 235 slaves including 80 year-old Guinea John, 3 house girls, seamstress, cook, and carpenter ($75,750), 20 mules, 30 horses, 25 oxen, 35 plows, 50 hoes. Total value: $84,414.25, contested and reappraised May 1855 at $58,323 (108 slaves ($52,500), 26 mules, 15 horses and ponies, 41 plows, 9 oxen). Widow's dower apparently not included. Household: 10 tables, 44 chairs, 11 fireplaces, 5 washstands with basins and pitchers, silver to around $248. 105 bottles of liquor, 2000 empty bottles $15, lot of wine $15. 3 teapots and stariners (15), cake basket (10), bread tray (5), sideboard, breakfast set, and glasses (50).

1 jar for cooling water $5.00 1 lot crockery $75.00 1 lot glassware $30.00 1 lot preserves, pickles, sauces, etc. $60.00

Overseer's house: furniture 10.00, sugar tongs and ladle $8.00, sugar $18.00, bacon $80.00, Negro clothing, hats, shoes, blankets $242.00 Kitchen furnishings: $40

John Scholtz, April 1853: 2 slaves, total value $1945.20 Household: 2 tables, 3 chairs 1 slop bucket (.25), 1 washstand, 1 washbasin and pitcher (1.50) poker, coal scuttle, and coal sifter 2 spittoons (.50), 1 decanter, 6 tumblers

Abner Mardis, April 1855: 37 slaves ($24,350), 4 yokes oxen, 4 horses, 9 plows, 14 hoes, total value $35,470, kitchen presumably included in widow's dower 3 cows with calves 3 bedrooms: 1 washstand, bowl and pitcher parlor: 9 chairs, 1 sofa dining room: table, 13 chairs

Edward Chaplin, June 1855: at Major Chotard's place, 1 kiln of bricks, 3 horses, 6 wheelbarrows, 261 books; total value $2,359 (dower for widow and orphans set aside, presumably includes kitchen) 1 set china $90.00 2 dozen tumblers $6.00 2 dozen wine glasses $5.00 3 demijohns Maderira wine $70.00

William St. Joseph Elliot, July 1855: 10 slaves, 10 horses and mules, total value $21,207 Dairy and wine cellar contents 10.00 Kitchen 50.00 3 washstands and chamber sets (15, 20, 25) Pantry: fine green and gold tea set $150.00 white and gold dinner set $150.00 broken green and gold dinner set $50.00 cut glass $50.00 18 white and gold cups and saucers $15.00 Misc. $50.00 Dining room: 14 chairs, guncase, stools and brushes silver $793 3 pitchers $37 decanters $50 Kitchen $50

Phillip Hoggart, date?: Homeplace, Sandy Creek Place, Selser Town Plantation, 489 slaves, 105 mules, 59 plows, 9 saddles, gin, etc. Total value: $378,694 Homeplace:8 tables, 5 fireplaces, 4 washstands, $145 silverware 1 lot crockery ware ($5) Sandy Creek overseer's house:2 tables, 7 chairs, kitchen ($5) Selser Town:2 tables, 5 chairs

Peter Boyle, April 1858: store, home, slave and indentured servant ($500), total value $2045. Preservatives: salt, brown sugar, yeast powders in boxes, vinegar, allspice, soda, mustard, cloves, loaf of white sugar, clarified sugar, 2 ½ kegs butter, 4 ½ gallon jars of pickles (1.40) 1 lot crockery ware 15.00 1 lot empty 1 gallon jugs 4.50 at 45 cents kitchen (stove, table, safe, chairs) 20.00

Benjamin Wade, May 1858: Residence, place of business, Wilford and Woodyard Plantations, 90 slaves Total value: $96,768 (pages 404-418). Preservatives: saltpeter, soda, sugar, vinegar, nutmeg, pepper, spice, lard, molasses Table ware: 8 dishes, 32 plates, 2 dozen tumblers Dairy goods: 6 churns (3.00), ½ dozen cedar buckets (2.25) 3934 pounds "pot ware" ($117), 1 lot stoneware ($25) Wilford Place: household furniture ($150), Kitchen furnishings ($15)-overseer's house? Woodyard Place: 41 chairs, 8 tables, 4 washstands, over $50 in silverware, set of china plates ($25) 1 lot crockery plates ($5), cooking stove and kitchen furnishings ($30)

David Earnhart estate, January 1860 (p. 493), merchant, value of estate excluding 3 slaves, $12,728 2 milk crocks .18 15 gallons of stoneware 1.20 19 gallons of stoneware 1.14 46 1-gallon milk crocks 2.30 108 gallon jars 5.40 1355 gallons stoneware 67.75 21 gallons of crocks 1.05 1 lot broken crockery 3.50 Total value stoneware 2 gallons of honey & jug (1.50), 5 gallon demijohn of honey (1.00), 7 gallons of honey and jug (4.00), 2 boxes ½ gallons of pickles (6.00) 3 churns and 1 cedar bucket (2.50), 3 butter buckets and 1 churn (1.00)-these churns are probably wooden

The Earhart inventory is also valuable in that it shows the range of goods available for food preservation, as well as the range of ready-preserved consumer goods available by that time. In addition to sales of whiteware and/or porcelain for the table (pitchers, cups and saucers, bowls, dishes, plates, ewers and basins, teapots, preserve dishes), the firm carried much tinware (totaling above $40)

Salt, sugar, soda, saltpeter (glass jar), yeast powder (box), vinegar, molasses Mustard (tins), pepper, cinnamon, cloves, mace, allspice, ginger (cans) Wine, muscat wine, gin, brandy, whiskey Lemon syrup (bottles), pepper sauce (bottles), ketsup (bottles) Rasins (boxes), lemons, almonds, butter, dried apples


The Archaeological Sites

This large project included the banklines of the Big and Little Sunflower, the Quiver River, and the Bogue Phalia. The vast majority of the sites were subjected to surface collection only. Surface visibility is generally described as "good" or "excellent", even when survey conditions are reported as "meter high cotton", "defoliated cotton" or "turned under corn and rice", conditions I myself find to be less than ideal for surface collecting.

The vast majority of the sites recorded in the Sunflower project reports are 19th and 20th century tenant houses. There are a few landowners' houses, a very few early 19th century sites, and a few stores, landings, post offices and such, including two extinct towns. Almost no historic sites were considered significant or accorded protection based on their historic components, although a few historic housesites, of varying integrity, will be preserved through their physical association with major prehistoric centers.

The Classification of Stoneware

The quality of site reporting and artifact analysis has varied throughout this project. All Panamerican Consultants historic materials analysis has been done by Terry Lolley. Although this section may seem unduly harsh towards Panamerican, much of the fault lies in the refusal of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History to consider tenant houses and other late 19th and 20th century sites as "legitimate" or "real" archaeological resources.

The quality of reporting has declined throughout the Sunflower project unto the point where in Volume V, all stoneware is referred to simply as "stoneware." The inconsistency in terms used makes it impossible to use the information provided in the individual volumes as a single region-wide database.

General Comments on Analytic Methods. As the sections on analysis are so short, I will typically cite them in full. The Volume I historic materials analytic section reads:

"Historic artifacts collected are summarized, along with an artifact count provided in the report's text, on a site by site basis. In addition, summary tables are offered for more detailing of the time-diagnostic items. We considered this especially important because of MDAH guidelines to provide trinomials only for historic archaeological sites clearly pre-dating 1900."

The Mean Ceramic Dates obtained for the historic ceramics were computed using the South mean Ceramic Date Formula. This formula involves calculating a median date for each type based on its date range. The median date for each type is then multiplies by the sherd count for each type, resulting in a product. The sum of all the products from a site is then divided by the total sherd count at the site. The result is a Mean Ceramic Date for each site, which may equate fairly well with the occupation date represented by the ceramic samples (Walling and Roemer 1993:54).

There is no definition or even listing of the types used in calculating the Mean Ceramic Date nor date ranges used and no citation. As explained above, in Volume I (Walling and Roemer 1993), the worthwhile effort to tabulate all materials recovered in single summary tables (cf. Table 5, Coarse Stoneware Ceramics, Occurrence By Site) as well as mentioning the classes represented in the individual site descriptions. Unfortunately, this summary format was dropped in the later volumes. Two Table 5 sites, 22SH566 and 22YZ743, listed as having stoneware prove to have no historic component when the text is examined (Walling and Roemer 1993:165, 213). On the other hand, 22YZ741 (Walling and Roemer 1993:183) and 22YZ746 (Walling and Roemer 1993:184), which are not listed in Table 5, do have stoneware sherds.

The analytic sections in Volumes II and III are significantly different. In Volume II (Chapman et al. 1994a:22)

"Historic materials were separated into three categories: ceramic, glass, and miscellaneous. The historic ceramic materials were analyzed with the purpose of identifying chronologically significant types. Glass was sorted by color and, if possible, bottle morphology. The miscellaneous category included metal, brick, and artifacts that were not assignable to the other categories."

Production ranges and median dates for the historic ceramics were taken from Noel Hume (1969), Price (1979), and South (1972). South's Mean Ceramic Date Formula was not used, since there was a limited variety of ceramic types and counts within the samples capable of producing valid dates. Whiteware plain made up the largest single ceramic type, but its long production range prohibits it from being a lone chronological indicator. Possible occupation date ranges for the sites are based solely on the production ranges.

Since the general variety of historic material was small on a site-by-site basis, and little in the way of site-specific interpretations were possible, Miller's Index of Values was examined to obtain some information on the general socioeconomic status of the site's occupants. These values emphasize the relative prices of various decorative types of ceramics (Miller 1980).

During the nineteenth century, pottery was available to American consumers through an intricate market system. Prices were determined, for the most part, according to surface decoration, and price categories were established on that criterion. These price categories had ceramics classified into four decorative groups: (1) undecorated wares: (2) minimally decorated wares; (3) hand-painted wares; and (4) transfer-printed wares (Miller 1980). Little price information is available for porcelain. It is evident, however, that it was more expensive than transfer prints [the four refined earthenware classes are then described] (Chapman et al. 1994a:22).

Stonewares are not mentioned, although in the "Summary and Conclusions" Table 44 ("Historic Ceramic Popularity and Production Ranges"; Chapman et al. 1994a:117) "alkaline stoneware 1820-s" is listed, although I am unsure what "1820-s" signifies; the other types have ranges, as "1840-twentieth century+". The summary comment "The largest category [excluding whiteware plain] is Albany/Bristol stoneware, which totals 69 sherds or 11% of the total ceramic collection. In general stoneware has too many geographical variants due to local manufacturing to be used as a precise chronological marker (Chapman et al. 1994a:117)" completes Lolley's consideration of stoneware.

Volume III (Chapman et al 1995a:22,364-365) repeats the preceding section almost verbatim; the date range for alkaline is corrected to "1820-1890's". In this section of the Big Sunflower, "The greatest number of these [non-whiteware plain] wares is Albany/Bristol stoneware, which totals 1,093 sherds, or 15.7 percent of the total ceramic collection." The affirmation of stoneware being locally manufactured in many variants is repeated, with out any supporting evidence being offered.

With Volume IV, the analytic section changes somewhat. Glazes and decorative treatments on refined earthenwares are explained in adequate detail, and two sentences are devoted to porcelain. Two classes of interest are also described. Rather than being definitions used in tabulating material, these are post-analysis commentary.

"Stoneware. A portion of the ceramic sample from the present investigation consisted of locally manufactured utilitarian stonewares. While the stonewares were not sorted by glaze, observations were made of the collection. The majority of the stonewares possessed Albany glazed interiors and Bristol glazed exteriors.

Coarse Earthenware. Ceramics belonging to this category are comprised of a ceramic type related to the early historic period of the area (Chapman et al. 1995b:36)."

Lolley doesn't make good on this threat to discontinue any consideration of stoneware-yet. As the classes listed below shows, some minimal analysis of stoneware is continued in Volume IV. Volume V will see them all listed in the artifact tabulations merely as "stoneware."

The statement that stonewares are "locally" manufactured is unsupported; as yet I have found no mention of a Delta ceramic industry, or even one in the adjacent Bluff counties. Perhaps by "locally" he means "handmade", although there is no evidence given in the Sunflower reports to support even this broad a contention. On the contrary, the economic history (Duncan 1995) makes it evident that much, if not most, of the consumer goods sold in the Sunflower watershed arrived by steamboats plying the Ohio-New Orleans route, indicating that the products of Northern steam potteries should dominate the assemblages. The dominance of combined Albany and Bristol slips may be an indication of this, but it is impossible to say without descriptions of the ceramics that detail method of manufacture (hand vs. machine).

The descriptions of the classes change somewhat in Volume V

"Earthenware. Within the present collection, this category is comprised of undecorated earthenware sherds. These can be described as low-fired, crude, red-bodied ware for house or kitchen use….

Stoneware. A portion of the ceramic sample consisted of locally manufactured utilitarian stonewares. Although the stonewares were not sorted by glaze, observations were made of the collection. The majority of the stonewares possessed Albany glazed interiors and Bristol glazed exteriors. One sherd described as "orange peel" stoneware is most likely salt glazed. It has the characteristic shiny, bumpy, or pitted surface of salt-glazed ceramics. Due to local manufacture of stonewares and their long production ranges, stonewares alone do not generally serve as good chronological markers (Buchner et al.1996:25,26)."

So, after three volumes where the terms are used ("redware" and "salt glazed" was used in Volume I), a little information on the typology is forthcoming: earthenware is red-bodied material and "orange peel" does indeed refer to salt glazed.

Stoneware Categories. For Volume I, the categories can be abstracted from Table 5 as:

Albany or light brown Albany and Bristol (1820-1890) Albany and Alkaline annular Albany and Bristol with lettering Albany and blue Albany and incised Bristol (1884-1920) Bristol and orange peel (<1900) Alkaline Alkaline and red salt glazed yellow, yellow and red ginger beer bottle fragment Rockingham/Bennington (ca. 1940) blue glaze embossed or incised blue (poss. chamber pot fragment) redware

Again, these categories are never defined, and some may appear opaque even to readers familiar with stoneware. For instance, what is the difference between "orange peel" and "salt glaze"? How is an ending date for combined white and brown slipped in 1890 or of white slip alone in 1920 arrived at? (Both are still made today, and the Albany/Bristol interior/exterior or top/bottom has been a popular combination throughout this century.) It was a good effort, compared to the treatment of stoneware that follows.

For Volume II, the classes used must be extracted from the text.

Albany stoneware Albany-Bristol stoneware Alkaline stoneware blue glaze stoneware Bristol stoneware salt glaze stoneware

An undefined class "earthenware" is also used.

In Volume III, the classes are

Albany stoneware Albany/Bristol stoneware alkaline stoneware annular stoneware blue stoneware Bristol stoneware Bristol sponged [stoneware?] green stoneware olive green stoneware "orange peel" stoneware salt glaze stoneware splatter stoneware sponged stoneware yellow stoneware yellow glaze stoneware

"Earthenware" is again used, and a single ceramic pipe bowl (22WS563, pages 25, 85) is reported.

In Volume IV, the classes are restricted to

Albany stoneware Albany/Bristol stoneware blue stoneware Bristol stoneware "orange peel" stoneware sponged stoneware stenciled stoneware stoneware

"Earthenware" is used, presumably in reference to the "coarse earthenware" class mentioned above as an early historic type. Possibly these are tin and lead glazed porous redwares, such as milk pans. On the other hand, they could be flowerpots or tile. It is, after all, highly surprising that no flue or drainage tile is reported in a land of swamps and cabins.

Sadly, with the exception of a single site, 22WS521, Hebe, (Buchner et al. 1996:71) all stoneware in Volume V is tabulated simply as "stoneware." That this was allowed is again typical of the low status many archaeologists accord historic sites. Had all of the Woodland ceramics simply been tabulated as "grog tempered" the report would probably been deemed unacceptable. The treatment of the Hebe materials, while not explained, is superior to any other artifact table in the Sunflower project. I suspect that Buchner, who had recently left Garrow & Associates for Panamerican Consultants, inserted this table, as it is in the style typical of Garrow reports. The materials in question are tabulated as

3 earthenware, blue sponged/light gray glazed 1 earthenware, annular glazed 1 stoneware, buff paste, Albany/Albany 1 stoneware, buff paste, unidentified brown interior/exterior rim

As a rather important aside, this site is the only one where a "Mason jar rim" is noted. Throughout, Lolley tabulated white and aqua glass, but it is never noted in the tables or text if these are canning jars or jar seals, although I suspect much of the "milk" glass was jar seals. The transition from storage crocks to home canning to tin cans is an important issue in the study of domestic economy. The iregular reporting of materials presented in the Sunflower project reports does not allow this large sample of sites to be introduced into such arguments.



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