Monday, October 8, 2007

White Salt Glazed Stoneware

The earliest example of a white salt glazed stoneware comes from a two handled cup with the date 1720 incised on it. This started a new trend in stonewares coming out of England in the early 18th Century. Twenty years later, white salt glaze was the typical English tableware, damaging the business of delftware potters. These stonewares were being made for many different uses including plates, mugs, cups, chamber pots and wash basins.

The use of block molds gave potters the ability to decorate these wares with more elaborate decorations. The most popular designs were those of the “basket” or “barley” patterns. New floral reliefs were showing up in the mid 18th Century as well as the “scratch blue” designs. These were decorations with incising filled with cobalt before firing to reveal patterns of thin blue lines.

Salt-glazed wares are very popular on early Colonial sites. Several of the STP’s at Port Tobacco have yielded all three of the types mentioned here. Below is a chart showing salt glazed stoneware plates with a variety of rim decorations. Enjoy and of course there is more to come next week about the ceramics of Port Tobacco!


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