Monday, January 7, 2008

Buckley Ware

(Jefferson Patterson Park Museum website )

Hello everyone! Time for another ceramic blog. Today we are going to go over the basics of a rare piece of pottery in the Chesapeake region. While it's use in England was seen over a span of about 200 years from the 17th to 19th Centuries, in the Chesapeake area it is only seen from about the 1720's to around the revolutionary war when it was heavily imported.

The Buckley ware is a lead glazed ware made of mixed red and yellow/white clay from the northwest region of England mainly near Wales and of course Buckley. The use of two clays tends to be more obvious on utilitarian pieces than on tablewares, which are more finely and completely mixed. The two different colored clays tend to give the paste a purplish look with swirling seen in the cross section. The Buckley wares are usually undecorated with a dark brown or black lead glaze. Some ribbing from manufacture can be seen on the exterior of the vessels. A red slip can usually be seen under the glaze. Most of the large utilitarian vessels also had very thick rims.

The forms of buckley ware were a wide variety but was mostly utilitarian ware in the form of large bowls and storage jars. Other forms of table ware were also made but most of the pieces found in the Chesapeake region are those of the large utilitarian types.
At Port Tobacco we have seen ceramics from different time periods including 18th and 19th Century pottery and Native American pottery as well. Buckley ware is one of those 18th Century types that we have found during our shovel testing. Several pieces of buckley ware have made their way into our collection. As with most of our artifacts, the pieces are small and don't show us enough to define the vessel it came from but with further excavations we might find some larger pieces.
The website at Jefferson Patterson Park Museum is a great tool for identifying and learning about many of the ceramics I have discussed on the blog. It is in fact where I get some of the information I use when I compose these blogs. Here is the website address:
Tomorrow I head to the Maryland Law Library to do some research and Jim and April will be headed to New Mexico. I will post some news this week on the research I am doing as well as an updated map of Port Tobacco!

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