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Ovoid Redware Jug with a Dark Chocolate Brown Glaze and Manganese Splotches

Jugs like the one above were the most common items made by the early potters.  They were not easy to make, and a finely shaped example is the mark of a master.  As a general rule, the earlier the jug, the more elongated the ovoid body.  In this example we see the ovoid shape starting to become more squat, thus indicating a manufacturing date circa 1820-30.  The jug is wheel thrown and the ear-shaped handle is attached high on the shoulder.

New England Redware is unique unto itself.  When the German potters came to Pennsylvania, the country had been occupied for more than one hundred years.  They brought with them a long tradition of decoration that was fully developed in their homeland.  In contrast, in New England, the potters worked out of necessity and their time was occupied in making utilitarian vessels.  They had little opportunity or desire to decorate their wares as the need for useful objects was greater than the urge to decorate them.  The inherent beauty in New England redware is in its simplicity, functionality, lustrous glazes, soft colors and shapes of good proportion.  As Watkins states in Early New England Potters and Their Wares, New England Redware, "Earthy by its very nature, with its suggestion of soil, leaves, and trees, it captures the essence of the early potter's environment.  That its beauty is largely accidental makes it no less lovable:  its variations are like the changes of Nature herself, never ending, ever yielding fresh enjoyment.  It is truly an expression  of simple people . . . men almost without conscious thought of art.  Like them their pottery is strong, direct, stripped of pretense and foolish ornamentation. It was created to fill a demand, and, incidently, to please those who came to buy."  That about says it all, I think.

This is a wonderful example of the potter's art and the glaze is stunning . . . The color, a rich dark chocolate brown that reminds me of a Hershey's Kiss. There are three broad swathes of manganese on the body of the jug that further intensifies the color and if you look into the glaze you can see that it is flecked with tiny bits of yellow. The condition very fine with the only apology being a small flake on the bottom and one on the neck  Because of the porosity of the ware due to the low firing temperature, we rarely find them perfect.  There are also some minor scratches to the glaze due to age and intended use.  It stands 7" tall and is a fine example of it's genre`

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