Tuesday, June 10, 2008

British Brown Stoneware

Another of the very distinct 17th and 18th century artifacts we find at Port Tobacco is British Brown salt glazed stoneware. These vessels came in a variety of forms, most often as drinking mugs. In our shovel testing from last year, we found several sherds of this type, clearly indicating 18th century occupation. Nearly all Fulham-type stoneware found on American sites will date between ca. 1690 and 1775, except perhaps for areas occupied by the British during the Revolutionary War.

Drinking vessels and bottles were by far the most common Fulham-type stoneware forms. Mugs and tankards ranged in capacity from 0.25 pints to 2.5 quarts. Mugs could be globular, waisted, or straight sided, and some tankards had pouring lips. Jugs, puzzle jugs, jars, drug jars, bowls, and tea and coffee services were among the other forms produced. Early Fulham-type vessels copied German forms, but had moved away from this by the 18th century. These included the Bartmann-type bottles, which were made for only for a few years. In the 19th century, a wide variety of specialized forms were produced.

Older versions of this stoneware are evidenced by the Bellarmine or Bartmann jugs, one of which was recovered in excavations at Port Tobacco in the 1970’s. This mostly intact jug can be seen in the upstairs museum portion at the courthouse. The jugs can be characterized by the grotesque, bearded face, often confused with being Cardinal Bellarmine. The brown salt glazed pattern is also referred to as Tiger ware.

Like me, I imagine the EVERYONE has a favorite type of pottery or an artifact that is dear to them. I just love stoneware! I am also really excited about the upcoming field session at Port Tobacco. Since this is how I am spending my summer vacation, I look forward to lots of stoneware!


Dancing Willow said...

Yet another awesome deal on stoneware.

The fulham type link is not working. :(

Scott said...

Sorry! Link is now fixed!