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Wonderful American Pottery

Updated on April 27, 2017

Earliest Pottery In America

It's true to say, in America's earliest years hardly a single home would have been without one or more pieces stoneware pottery. Pottery that would have been utilitarian in nature, and put to practical use. Stoneware pottery is one of America's earliest potteries."In the 18th century the decorations on stoneware pottery took the shape of formalized loops, flowers, animals, fish, birds, and butterflies. " Stoneware pottery such as: crocks, jugs, jars, wine-vats, churns, water-coolers, flasks, bottles, pudding dishes, milk pans, mugs, and so on. However, stoneware makers strove toward, and its buyers demanded, work that was not only utilitarian, but decorative in form as well as in surface ornamentation. The pottery itself was as a rule colored in shades of grey or tan, and finished off in a transparent salt-glaze. The ornamentation was most often a cobalt blue slip, and could leave a bluish tint in any given area on the piece, due to the method used to fire the piece. In the earlier work, this is incised on the body of the stoneware, but later it was merely applied by means of a stencil or brush. Such as in well known Flow blue porcelain, the cobalt slip would bleed, and flow over the pottery.

Example Of Daniel Coxe Pottery


New Jersey, Burlington 1684

Daniel Coxe,

In 1684 a large pottery was founded by one Daniel Coxe, near Burlington, New Jersey. Coxe himself is one of our early potters, however. So far as we know he may never have visited America. He lived in London and was one of the court physician. He was a well known "proprietors" of West New Jersey and organized his enterprise, strictly as a business proposition, from his London home.

The 18 century and American Pottery Design

In the 18th century the decorations on stoneware pottery took the shape of formalized loops, flowers, animals, fish, birds, and butterflies. Gradually the designs became more naturalistic and more elaborate. They began to include domestic items, such as chickens, and also various political symbols, such as the American Eagle, bearing the national shield. In the early years of production American stoneware designs were incised into the clay. Then in 1860 stencils were used rather than the crude freehand manner of the 18th century.

Remmey Pottery


John Remmey and William Crolius Pottery

New York 1742

John Remmey and William Crolius

New York was naturally a center of manufacture. Two of the earliest names in the records are those of John Remmey and William Crolius. These men are believed, by some, to have been partners. In any case a map was drawn by David Grim in 1813, purporting to show New York City as it was between 1742 and 1744. On this map, a group of buildings on Potter's Hill is labeled "Remmey and Crolius Pottery." Whether or not these buildings represented separate manufactories and Grim's notation was meant to imply that both the Remmey and Crolius potteries were here located is of little concern to us. Evidence clearly reveals a link, formal or otherwise.

Other New York potters were Dirick Benson, John Eutatse, Henry Bensing, Jonathan Durrell, and Thomas Campbell.

Goussin Bonnin and George Anthony Morris Pottery

Philadelphia 1769

Goussin Bonnin and George Anthony Morris

By 1750 there was such recognition of the necessity for domestic manufactures for the general welfare of the colonies that public subsidy was not uncommon. Yet, as always, it was more often sought than granted. Two partners, Goussin Bonnin and George Anthony Morris, started a pottery in Philadelphia in 1769. In 1771 they hopefully sent specimens of their work to the Legislature observing that they "would not wish to aspire to the Presumption of dictating the Measure" of the Legislature's encouragement, "but with all Humility hint at the Manner." Unfortunately the hint was futile and the Philadelphia pottery failed in 1774.

Isaac Stahl Redware Pottery

Pennsylvania 1850

Isaac Stahl

The potters of Pennsylvania were the most prolific and artistic of all American Redware potters. Their forms were thrown, slabbed, coiled and hand built. Their decoration consisted of simple solid color glazes, to the multicolored, very detailed slip trailed and sgraffito ware highly prized by collectors today. The simple red slab plate with the yellow, wavy slip lines is also a classic Pennsylvania pottery form.

Stahl redware, a traditional Pennsylvania German style of pottery, was first produced by Charles Stahl from approximately 1850, until his death in 1896. Upon his death, his sons Thomas and Isaac took over the family business. The brothers continued making pottery until 1902, when the small family-run business found that it could not compete with mass-production pottery manufacturers.

James Taylor & Henry Speeler Pottery

Trenton New Jersey 1852

James Taylor & Henry Speeler

In 1852 James Taylor & Henry Speeler from East Liverpool, Ohio, were in business in Trenton, New Jersey, and in 1846 Taylor, Speeler & Bloor, Trenton, New Jersey, exhibited Rockingham ware at the Franklin Institute Fair. They also made a hound-handled pitcher. A. Cadmus of South Amboy made a hound-handled pitcher with a relief of a volunteer fire company. It has a grape design on the neck and the hound's head rests on the rim of the pitcher in the manner of the handles of the Greatbach design at Jersey City. A hunting pitcher with an oak border and rustic handle and a frog in the bottom was also made by Cadmus at Congress Hill Pottery, New Jersey.

Antique Pottery Guide

Visit Old And Sold Antique Digest to learn more about Early American Stoneware Pottery.

If you can't get enough on antique pottery, and really want to do some research on the subject? Visit The Antique Digest. It's a great reference site, with loads of info on not only antique pottery, but so much more.


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      cherricopottery 5 years ago

      very nice lens! have you ever heard of George Ohr "The Mad Potter of Biloxi Mississippi" ?? Isaac Button is another one of my favorites.

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      Keaka77 9 years ago

      I showed my mother this lens and she ended up buying a piece of pottery. Thanks for the links...

      Fun Games

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      by_the_sea 10 years ago

      Hello. Great lens about American Stoneware pottery. My British Pottery Marks lens might be of interest to you!