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Clarus Ware Vase


'AH broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever! ... the last 15 years or so, to become a regular cottage industry in parts of South ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Clarus Ware Vase

(No Transcript)
Lets begin with a few definitions, idiosyncratic
though they may be.
Archaeology, at its most basic is simply digging
interesting things out of the ground. In some
cases, when certain constraints I mention later
are in effect, it may be limited to picking up
interesting things from the ground, although we
were all taught as children never to do that. As
an autobiographical aside, it occurs to me that
my interest in archaeology is entirely a reaction
to a childhood of being told, Dont pick that
up! In any case, I stress the word
interesting. To an archaeologist for an item
to be interesting it must have the potential to
provide information about the person or persons
who made it, used it, bought or sold it, broke,
it and through it away, as well as more abstract
information about why they did those things.
Artifacts are nothing more nor less than bits of
data. Because of this, the reasons for the
archaeologists inherent interest in ceramics
should be obvious.
Weller Dickensware II Vase Zanesville, Ohio, ca.
AH broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown
forever!-- Edgar Allan Poe, "Lenore," The Raven
and Other Poems, 1845
Arc-en-Ceil Pottery, Zanesville, Ohio, ca. 1905
The brutal truth is that archaeologists usually
prefer the broken bowl, not just so that they
have something to do gluing the sherds back
together but because pottery, though fragile when
whole, paradoxically becomes almost
indestructible once it is broken. It may be
broken in to smaller and smaller pieces, but
these pieces tend to be very resistant and inert.

  • Also, since pottery is entirely artificial and is
    formed to the creators
  • whim, it tends to vary greatly, within certain
    utilitarian limits. Because
  • it usually presents a plain surface ideal for
    decoration , it is often further
  • modified by painting or other means of
    decoration. So, while essentially
  • utilitarian in nature, pottery practically begs
    to be turned into art, and
  • we see through the course of even its brief
    history in Ohio an increasing
  • tendency for the artistic impulse to overtake the
    utilitarian. When that
  • actually happens and we can pinpoint it to about
  • art pottery is born.

It May be Pottery but is it Art?
A few examples of the variety of Ohio ceramics,
roughly in the chronological order in which the
dominated the Ohio ceramic scene
Utility Ware
T. Reed Stoneware Jar Tuscarawas Co. ca.1865
T.J. Wheatley Faience Windowbox
Cincinnati 1880
Art Pottery
  • Art China

Novelty China Ware
Grindley Ware Elephant Bank Sebring, Ohio,
ca. 1945
Clarus Ware Coshocton 1905
Why Ohio?
Ohio can be defined in many ways politically,
for example, as the home of the Taft familybut
in terms of pottery, it is definitely The
Pottery Center of the World, although
Zanesville and East Liverpool may continue to
argue about which city is the pottery center of
Ohio. Reasons for this dominance in ceramics
are geologic, geographic, and economic an
abundance of high-quality clays in the bedrock
of southeastern Ohio, cheap fuel in the form of
(initially) timber and (later) coal, natural
gas, and petroleum. The decline of ceramics
production in Ohio is also due to economic
factorscheap foreign importsdare we mention
Noritake?the introduction of plasticsa
material not only more plastic but cheaper than
clay-- and changes in taste or popularity.
Ohio Pottery Center of the World
  • Clay, Fuel, Market, Transportation

High grade fire clay along I-70 West of Zanesville
Now, a quick run-through of the major types of
ceramics produced in Ohio, leaving out some
economically important but esthetically marginal
commodities such as brick , sewer tile, and
bathroom fixtures, and filled with gross
generalizations and over- simplifications
redware, salt-glazed stoneware, yellow ware and
Early Ohio Utility Ware
  • Redware--In the beginning, say 1780, a crude,
    low fired pottery that burned to a red color and
    so known as redware was the standard material
    for utilitarian pottery, covered with a clear
    lead glaze to make the pots and plates
    water-proof. Redware is still made today, most
    obviously in the common unglazed flower pot.
    Unfortunately for the pioneers, the lead glaze
    proved to be poisonous, but by the time that was
    discovered redware was giving way, circa 1820, to
    a higher fired, sturdier stoneware, glazed with
    common rock salt.

Ohio Redware
Redware Crock H. T. Kellogg New London, Ohio ca.
Ohio Early Utility Ware

During pioneer days there was little impulse to
decorate or even to put the potters name on
redware. Stoneware more frequently bore the name
of the manufacturer, usually impressed, and it
was sometimes embellished with bright blue cobalt
designs,or more rarely with incised sgraffito
designs, primitive but decorative.
Around 1840, a refined earthenware that burned to
a yellow color and therefore was known as yellow
ware became quite popular, in large part because
unlike redware and stoneware it was not thrown
on the potters wheel but could be molded into a
much greater variety of shapes. Yellow ware,
often covered with a clear brown Rockingham
glaze was so cheap
D. Fisk Jug, Akron ca. 1850
Early Ohio Utility Ware
Yellow Ware
that manufacturers seldom bothered to mark with
with their name, although much of it was
virtually indistinguishable. As a case in point,
this yellow ware chamberpot about as
utilitarian as one can get-- could have been made
by any of several dozen different potteries, but
excavation at the Quaker Valley pottery in
Rogers, Ohio (near East Liverpool)recovered
distinctive sherds that let us identify this
particular example.
Decorated Yellow Ware
I digress a bit to show several rare examples of
decorated Ohio yellow ware and stoneware. The
only known piece of pottery from Salineville,
Ohios Eureka Pottery, ca. 1877, in business for
only a few years, possibly because it could not
possibly afford to hand-paint all of its ware
like this, probably because it could not compete
with larger yellow ware factories in nearby East
Liverpool, and also because yellow ware by this
time was losing its popularity in favor of white
ware. Diligent research in court house records
and every other possible docu- mentary source
fails to determine where in Salineville
this pottery stood. The sole historic reference
to it is a direct- ory entry that simply places
it somewhere on Main Street.

Eureka Pottery, Salineville ca. 1877
Quaker Valley Rebecca at the Well Rockingham
Decorated Teapot

The Quaker Valley Rebecca at the Well teapot is
an fine example of Rockingham yellow ware. The
Rebecca motif was very popular following the
Civil War because of the womans
social/religious/ self-improvement society, the
Daughters of Rebecca. Over 45 variants of this
design are know, although only about ten can be
identified to manufacturer. Test excavation at
the Quaker Valley Pottery had the serendipitous
result of identifying distinctive sherds of this
particular teapot style.
Quaker Valley Rebecca Teapot ca. 1885
Sgraffito Decorated StonewareStandard Pottery Co.
  • I mentioned incised sgraffito decoration rarely
    occurring on some stoneware. Here is the only
    known example of stoneware pottery from
    Salinevilles little Standard Pottery Co. and a
    fine example of serendipity. Possibly the first
    piece of pottery made in the kiln, it has been
    inscribed STANDARD POTTERY CO. and a picture of a
    round beehive kiln and the tall chimney that
    carried the noxious fumes away. We might wonder
    whether the Standard Pottery actually looked
    like thisthe site is now a car washbut
    fortunately a contemporary birdseye view of
    Salineville just barely managed to include the
    kiln and chimney. And the layout corresponds
    well with existing Sanborn fire insurance maps.

Sgraffito Decorated Stoneware
Standard Pottery Albany Slip Jug
Standard Pottery Salineville ca. 1900

Sgraffito Decorated StonewareRiley Bratton
  • One more example of sgraffito-decorated
    stoneware, from Riley Brattons small pottery in
    western Muskingum County. Twenty years ago this
    site was destroyed by amateur bottle collectors
    digging for relatively complete crocks. The did
    not find any whole pots or jugs but saved the
    decorated sherds on the theory that someday they
    might run across a complete example that could be
    identified by virtue of the decoration. The
    theory was a good one , but happily I was able to
    photograph the sherds and use them to identify
    this crock, as well as several others. In
    particular, the impressed numerical capacity
    marks include fine cross-hatching that perfectly
    matches that on the jug. The sad fact is that
    this is only one of several hundred similar
    stoneware pottery sites that have been destroyed
    by indiscriminate digging.

Sgraffito Decorated Stoneware
  • Riley Bratton Jug ca. 1850
    Sherds from Riley Bratton Pottery
  • Muskingum County, Ohio

Later Ohio Utility ware
  • Following the Civil War, yellow ware and
    Rockingham gave way to more popular white
    ironstone and finer semi-vitreous china or
    semi-porcelainnot quite translucent or hard
    enough to be called true porcelain, but providing
    much more attractive table ware and toilet ware
    (wash pitchers, etc.) than did yellow ware. Both
    the heavy duty ironstone and lighter weight
    semi-porcelain provided excellent surfaces for
    first transfer printing and later decal
    decoration of colored designsand this lead to
    the huge china dinnerware industry that provided
    tableware for most of us in our youth and
    childhood. It also lead to a large variety of
    advertising and commemorative china, as well as
    novelty pottery and later, innumerable ash trays
    and salt and pepper shakers.

Later Ohio Utility Ware
  • White Ironstone Vitreous Semi-Porcelain

D. McNicol East Liverpool Star Players Plate ca.
Brockmann Pottery Cincinnati Tea Leaf Ironstone
ca. 1890
Ohio Art Pottery
  • Finally we get to Art Pottery, almost entirely a
    child of the the Philadelphia Centennial
    Exposition of 1876, when a French Limoges
    technique of hand-painting glazed earthenware was
    introduced and became extremely popular in the
    United States, particularly in Cincinnati-- need
    I mention, the home of the Taft family? A
    wealthy young woman named Maria Longworth Nichols
    Storer organized a group of her friends into the
    Cincinnati Pottery Club, and this eventually lead
    to the Rookwood Pottery, probably the best know
    art pottery in the world. One of Mrs. Storers
    friends, Laura Fry, developed the atomizer
    technique for applying decoration, left Rookwood
    for a Steubenville pottery, and patented the
    process. At what point any friendship with Mrs.
    Storer ended is not known, but it had definitely
    chilled by the time Fry tried to enjoin the
    Rookwood Pottery from using her decorating
    technique. At this point, Judge William Howard
    Taft declared that Frys process was not a new
    one and anyone could use it to decorate pottery.
    Andy everyone did.

Ohio Art Pottery
Zanesville Art Pottery LaMoro Ware

Marco Pottery 1946 Zanesville, Ohio
Weller Pottery, Zanesville ca. 1915
Art China
  • The dinner ware manufacturers were quick to
    sense a good thing and tried to compete by
    developing their own lines of art chinaoften
    just a designation for their fancier dinnerware.
    Art china proved popular for a number of years
    immediately before and after the turn of the last
    century but was not sufficient to be anything
    more than a sideline. It gradually devolved into
    the production of souvenir and commemorative
    ware, including give-aways and novelty items such
    as calendar plates and advertising novelties.

Ohio Art China
Laughlin Art China ca. 1905 East Liverpool,

Harker Calendar Plate

East Liverpool, Ohio 1907
Novelty Ware

Chic and Grindley Pottery Zanesville and Sebring
Cordelia China Dalton Ohio 1948
Ford Ceramic Arts ca. 1940 Columbus
Juanita Ware Dalton Ohio ca. 1950 Cow Creamer
Four Calla Lily Vase from Four Different Ohio
Nicodemus Lion Columbus 1950
Art Pottery Archaeology
  • So what does all this have to do with
    archaeology? or vice-versa?
  • I will give one example of how our knowledge of
    archaeology can contribute to the understanding
    of an archaeological site, but frankly this does
    not happen often, because archaeologists
    understand-ably are not particularly interested
    in such recent sites. And art pottery, while it
    was not all especially expensive when it was
    made, is not often found even on 20th Century

Art Pottery ArchaeologyCrabapple Creek Farmstead
  • Farmhouse Foundations
    Pottery from Dump

Here are the stone foundations of a small
farmhouse in eastern Ohio, near Flushing, Belmont
County, since strip mined away for coal. Before
the coal company could begin mining, it had to
demonstrate that no structures or sites eligible
to the National Register of Historic Places would
be impacted. One criterion used is whether the
site is younger than 50 years (i.e., 1950), and
this can sometimes be determined by examining the
refuse dump associated with such farmhouses
Crabapple Creek Farmstead
  • In this case, along with numerous broken
    and complete canning jars, Clorox jars, milk
    bottles, etc., some fragments of pottery
    occurred, including the tail end of a blue swan
    planter made by the American Bisque pottery of
    Marietta, Ohio, ca. 1930-1980, a plain coffee cup
    identifiable as having been made by the Scio
    Pottery (1934-1982), only about 15 miles north
    of the farm site, and a broken art pottery vase
    marked Hull, with embossed water lily.
  •   Throughout the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, major
    industrial art potteries, including Roseville
    Pottery , of Zanesville, Ohio, and Hull Pottery
    of Crooksville, Ohio, produced a new floral line
    every year or so. In the case of Hull, which,
    incidentally, began as a manufacturer of standard
    stoneware crocks and jugs, their Waterlily line
    was made for only two years, 1948-1949, though
    its demise may have been due partly to the total
    destruction of the Hull Pottery by flood and fire
    in June, 1950. Archaeologically, the point is
    that, allowing a year or two for this Hull Water
    Lily vase to be broken and discarded, the farm
    dump clearly dates later than 1950.

Hull Art China
  • Hull Water Lily
  • ca. 1948

Hull Pottery, Crooksville, ca. 1915
Art Pottery Archaeology Considerations
  • Of more interest to me is the ability to use
    archaeological concepts and techniques to
    determine new information about art pottery.
    This involves some obvious question such as
  • Where to dig? As mentioned in the case of
    the Eureka yellow ware pottery, some simply
    cannot be located precisely.
  • More importantly, there should be a
    specific reason and rationale for excavation.
    Archaeologists dont just dig randomly, they
    excavate in order to test hypotheses and obtain
    new knowledge. 
  • In some cases, Serendipity occurs and we
    find more than we are looking for or something
    entirely different than what we were looking for.
  • But in almost all cases there are a number of
  • There may be nothing significant to excavate.
    Perhaps the site has been completely removed or
    destroyed, by subsequent industrial activity or ,
    as in the case of Riley Brattons stoneware
    pottery, by over-enthusiastic amateurs.
  • Any archaeological activity involves time and
    labor, which is to say money. There are few
    institutions sufficiently interested in the
    history of art pottery as to sponsor expensive
  • Art pottery archaeology can involve redundancy in
    two ways. Most pottery sites yield an incredible
    amount of ceramic material that is essentially
    the same. Thousands of sherds provide no
    additional data but must be excavated and
    processed, if not curated.

and Constraints
  • Constraints
  • Permission of the land owner is essential.
  • There may be nothing significant to
    excavatethere may be no ware there. Perhaps the
    site has been completely removed or destroyed, by
    subsequent industrial activity or , as in the
    case of Riley Brattons stoneware pottery, by
    over-enthusiastic amateurs.
  • Any archaeological activity involves time and
    labor, which is to say money. There are few
    institutions sufficiently interested in the
    history of art pottery as to sponsor expensive
  • Art pottery archaeology can involve redundancy in
    two ways. Most pottery sites yield an incredible
    amount of ceramic material that is essentially
    the same. Thousands of sherds provide no
    additional data but must be excavated and
    processed, if not curated.

Archaeological work on historic pottery sites may
also be quickly made redundant or passé with the
discovery of a previously unknown company
catalog. Here, librarianship has proven useful,
although newly discovered catalogs, regardless of
condition, usually command prices comparable to
the pottery they describe and consequently dont
end up in library collections . The few
surviving trade catalogs are rapidly snapped up
by art pottery collectors when they occasionally
come on the market.
  • J. B. Owens Catalog, Zanesville, Ohio. 1895

Archaeological Contributions
  • Finally, I would like to present some
    examples of how archaeology can contribute to our
    knowledge of the history of art pottery. In the
    mid 1990s, a group of high school students from
    Rocky River, on Clevelands west side, decided to
    excavate at the nearby site of the Cowan Pottery,
    much of which is still standing. During the
    1920s and early 30s, before succumbing to the
    Great Depression, Cowan was world famous for its
    art deco ceramics. Cowan was even asked to head
    OSUs new ceramics department, but recommended
    Arthur E. Baggs instead. And Cowan artist Paul
    Bogatay taught at OSU for many years.

Example 1 Cowan Pottery
  • The Crew The Site

While these students field technique was perhaps
not the best, they did screen and they did find
sherds of Cowan art pottery.
Cowan Archaeology
  • Cowan Decanters

Cowan Dig
From Bassett Naumann 1997
You will note the bright red fragment matches the
top of the Cowan King of Hearts decanter. And
Cowan Pottery
there is a fragment of one of Cowans Sunbonnet
Girl bookends. But as interesting as this
endeavor was as a high school project, it did not
contribute or discover any new knowledge about
Cowan, for the simple reason that this pottery
has been so thoroughly studied that there is not
much left to discover.
Example 2 Pope-Gosser Pottery
  • or, Why Bother?

Clarus Ware, Pope-Gosser Pottery, ca. 1905
Pope-Gosser Today
  • Pope-Gosser Plant
    Pope-Gosser Waster Dump

Similarly, Clarus Ware is a very nice Edwardian
art china produced by the Pope Gosser Pottery of
Coshocton, Ohio, for a few years around 1903.
And one can got to Coshocton, where some of the
Pope-Gosser buildings still standit produced
good quality dinnerware until 1958, though not of
the quality of their early Clarus Ware, which has
been confused by experts with R.S. Prussia china.
If you cross the railroad tracks and slide down
the creek bank, you will find Pope-Gossers
waster pile, tons of discarded broken dinnerware,
mostly unglazed. But there is no reason to
excavate here. Their Clarus Ware shapes as well
as all of their dinner ware is not only well
documented but commonly available. Here is an
excellent example of redundancy what could
anyone possibly learn from all these sherds?
Example 3 Florentine Pottery
  • Ohio Centennial Vase and Look-alike

With our third example we will have better luck.
The Florentine Pottery was found in Chillicothe,
Ohio, in 1900 by a wealthy furniture store owner
who hired a potter away from the Owens Pottery of
Zanesville. Although it was claimed that George
Bradshaw accidentally discovered an unusual
metallic glaze shortly before his death, it is so
like Owens Feroza glaze that he undoubtedly had
simply taken the Owens formula along with him.
In any case, Florentines EFFECO glaze won a
prize at the 1904 St. Louis World Fair.
Florentine pottery was seldom if ever marked.
The one tripodal vessel was made to commemorate
the Ohio centennial in 1903 and is know to have
been made by the company the very
similarly-shaped pot so closely resembles it that
it can be comfortably attributed to the pottery
as well.
Florentine Pottery
  • Effeco or Efpeco?

  Several years ago I found a matt green vase
marked, unfortunately above the glaze, so that
anyone might have written it, Florentine Pottery
EFPECO ware 1903. Whoever wrote it knew what
they were talking about, because a letter was
eventually discovered in the Ohio Historical
Societys collection, in which the company
mentions their EFPCO ware. Effeco was simply
based upon a typographical error in the Brick and
Clay Record, a weekly trade publication that OSU
Libraries happens to have it in its collections.

Florentine Pottery ca. 1905
But wouldnt it be nice to confirm this
identification by being able to go to Chillicothe
and find some sherds of EFPECO ware? Here is a
contemporary view of the Florentine Pottery and
what it looks like today. The additional
buildings were added after the Florentine Pottery
turned from artware to sanitary ware in 1905.
Fragments of bathroom sinks and toilet bowls are
the most common sherds found at the site today.
But if you look to the upper end of the pottery
buildings in the postcard view, you will see
mounds of white waster material along the
Florentine Pottery
  • Sherds from site and matching jardiniere

If we go there today and excavate a bit, we find
both glazed and unglazed sherds of Florentine
jardinières and pedestals and umbrella stand, the
chief forms of artware that the pottery made
during its brief existence. Haunting antique
shops and auctions has produced matching examples
of some of Florentines blended glaze ware, and
before this research
Florentine Pottery
  • Sherds and matching jardiniere pedestal

Much of this warethis green and gold glazed jard
and ped in particularwould have been ascribed
to a Zanesville art pottery. This undoubtedly
was another glaze formula that Bradshaw brought
with him from Zanesville.
From the Ceramic Sublime to the Ceramic Ridiculous
We now move from the ceramic sublime to the
ceramic ridiculuousfrom art pottery to novelty
pottery. This is a Sanborn fire insurance map of
the U.S. Novelty Pottery (a.k.a Chic Pottery)
along the west bank of the Muskingum River in
South Zanesville, ca. 1950. This is one method
of determining precisely where to excavate.
Example 4 Chic Pottery, Zanesville
  • For years the site has been dug through by
    local citizens intent on finding ceramic
    figurines and such that are relatively undamaged
    and can be sold in local shops. That effort has
    been only moderately successful and any
    archaeological integrity that this portion of the
    site may have had has been destroyed in the
    process. The digging has, however allowed me to
    collect examples of virtually every shape that
    the Chic Pottery produced, along with the actual
    plaster molds in which the pottery was formed.
    Since Chic Pottery is often unmarked and confused
    with the similar products of other local novelty
    potteries, this work is of some value. I have
    even been able to locate the daughter of the Hugh
    Garee, the artist who designed many of these

Chic Pottery Hound Dog Figurines and Treed Opossum
Of more interest archaeologically is the fact
that beneath the several feet of Chic pottery
debris, at least in the small area of hillside
exposed by the outlet of Goose Creek, there is a
thin layer containing redware sherds undoubtedly
produced by the Sam Weller pottery, which used
this site for storage during the 1870s. Here you
may be able to see a few redware sherds below
about 4 feet of blast furnace slag used to
stabilize the railroad spur, above which are
light-colored sherds of Chic pottery. In terms
of stratigraphythe preservation of superimposed
layers of different agethis is as good as it
gets in archaeological terms. The sign, put up
only recently does not say No Trespassing, it
warns that during high water Goose Creek delivers
raw sewage into the Muskingum. It is not a
pleasant place to work under the driest of
conditions. But these redware sherds can be used
to identify Wellers earliest pottery, which
consisted mostly of decorated flowerpots and
Chic Pottery, Zanesville
Mouth of Goose Creek
Chic PotteryNovelties
  • A sample of Chic novelties speaks volumes and
    suggests why the pottery did not survive beyond
    1955. There simply was not enough demand for
    novelty ashtrays, salt and pepper shakers and
    florists ware, despite fairly ingenious
    marketing, such as

Chic Pottery Novelties
Aladdin Camel and Original Hugh Garee Model for it
this camel figurine, one of which you can see on
display in the Aladdin Temple on Stelzer Road.
Shown with it is the original model, from which
designer Hugh Garee made the plaster molds from
which the ceramic figurines were made. Also a
Father Knickerbocker shoe souvenir of the 1939
New York Worlds Fair, though made for many years
Father Knickerbocker Shoe 1939 Mold from
Standard Glaze Ware
  • Example 5 Peters and Reed Pottery

Briefly, back to art pottery. Some experts
attribute this standard glaze ware with
sprigged-on cameos, much like Wedgwood in concept
though entirely different redware body, is
attributed to the Peters and Reed Pottery of
South Zanesville. Others note that identical
shapes were used by the Samuel Weller Pottery and
think that the line was made by Weller. No one
has found any documentation, despite the fact
that catalogs and other printed materials are
available for both potteries.
From M. S. Sanford 2000
Peters and Reed
  • Site Today
    Ground Surface

At the Peters and Reed factory site, now a
parking lot, the ground is littered with bits of
redware flower pot and art pottery, and about ten
years ago the O.K. Concrete Co. excavated two
huge holes to dump their concrete mixer
wastewater into. This uncovered mountains of
Peters and Reed sherds, 90 of which were plain
flower pots. I avidly collected the fancier
sherdsjust like the guys at the Riley Bratton
potteryand found most of the known Peters and
Reed art pottery lines represented, but none of
this standard glaze sprigware. I am fairly well
convinced that it wasnt made here.
Owens/Brush Pottery
  • Brush Pottery Building
    Waster Material

Another art pottery historian believes that this
ware was made by the J. B. Owens Pottery of
Zanesville prior to its destruction by fire in
1905. The Brush Pottery, which took over the
Owens site, burned in 1918, although the building
is still used today by the Hartstone Pottery.
Considerable pottery debris litters the
surroundings, and we are attempting to get
permission to test excavated for Peters and Reed
Example 6 Roycroft
  • Roycroft Bookstand Copper Bud

From D. Rago 2002
A final example of the potential of an
archaeological approach to art pottery involves
the famous Roycroft industry of East Aurora, New
York, founded by Elbert Hubbard in 1895, best
known for its furniture and copper arts and
crafts objects. The copper bud vase,
incidentally was designed by Dard Hunter,
papermaker and artist from Chillicothe, Ohio
We now know of another Roycroft Ohio connection.
Following the death of Elbert and Mrs. Hubbard on
the Lusitania in 1915, their son continued the
Roycroft project but with dwindling success.
Some money was raised by selling small souvenir
jugs of honeythe honey bee, noted for its
industry, was a sort of icon for the Roycrofters.
Many Roycroft collectors assume these little
brown jugs were made at East Aurora by the
Roycrofters, but in fact they were bought
wholesale from a previously unknown pottery that
simply used the Roycroft insignia.
Hold this thought while I shift to an unusual
ceramic tradition common in the Southern United
States, that of the grotesque effigy jug., a
tradition that may be traced back to African
slaves but in any case has seen an incredible
renaissance during the last 15 years or so, to
become a regular cottage industry in parts of
South Carolina and Georgia.
Example 6 Face Jugs
  • A Variety of Contemporary Southern Face

From Southern Folk Pottery Collectors Society 2001
  • Ed Hicks Face Jug
  • Star Pottery 1930

John Dollings Face Jug White Cottage ca. 1870
Ohio, too, had a small effigy jug tradition
centering around the town of White Cottage,
southwest of Zanesville. Here around 1870 John
Dollings produced several effigy jugs These are
very collectible and now sell for in excess of
10,000 each. The tradition continued as late as
1930 when Ed Hicks, working at the Star Stoneware
pottery in Crooksville, Ohio, south of Roseville,
made and signed and dated one distinctly like the
earlier Dollings jugs.
Roycroft Honey Jugs
About 15 years ago, I saw but did not acquire a
miniature effigy jug identical in style to Ed
Hicks but bearing the impressed Roycroft logo,
convincing me that the Roycroft honey jugs were
made at the Star Pottery. Just two years ago I
was able to acquire what I think is the same
miniature jug and discovered that it, too, is
dated 1930.
  • Roycroft Miniature Face Jug and Base

So, I repeat myself, just as with Chillicothes
Florentine Pottery, wouldnt it be great to be
able to go to the site of the Star pottery and
find some Roycroft-marked sherds?
Crooksville Star China
  • Star Stoneware Co.
    Site Today

Here is what the pottery looked like when it was
in operation and what the site looks like today.
Serendipitously, I visited the site while the
footers for this new building were being
excavated and found lots of Star Stoneware
sherds, but no little brown jug
fragments.   Subsequently, however, a Crooksville
pottery collector asked me about the Roycroft
mark. He was unfamiliar with it but reported
that his father had found broken sherds with the
mark along the old Star Stoneware pottery
railroad siding. Independent confirmation, I
think, that Star Stoneware employees were
unwitting Roycrofters.
Find the Roycroft Jug in This Picture
  • Star Stoneware Railroad Siding Today

But wouldnt it be great to be able to go back
to that railroad siding and find a Roycroft jug?
This is what it looks like today and back in
that brush the ground is littered with stoneware
sherds waiting to be excavated.
The Unanswered Question
In conclusion, I hope Ive demonstrated how
useful archaeology can be in learning more about
the history of Ohio art pottery. There is one
question, however that archaeology cannot answer,
in fact would not even consider appropriate.
Only each of you can answer it, and I will leave
you with that question
Would I Want This Pottery on My Mantle?
Alfred E. Neuman Bust Nouvelle Pottery,
Zanesville ca. 1950
Meric Art Ware ca. 1930 Wellsville, Ohio
KTK Lotus Ware East Liverpool 1897
References and Further Reading
Sanford, Martha and Steve Sanfords Guide
to Peters and Reed. Atglen, Pa. Schiffer
2000 Southern Folk Pottery Collectors
Society Absentee Auction Sale Event 17.
Bennett, NC The Society, 2001
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