Redware Cake Pot
Presented here, an absolutely outstanding Manganese decorated and incised Redware crock from Southeastern Pennsylvania as you are likely to find anywhere! Most likely this was a special order piece made for a well-to-do family. Incised and decorated Redware in and of itself is extremely rare and not commonly found. I have only seen one other piece of Redware with this type of decoration and it came from the York, Pennsylvania area as did this one.
It is glazed inside and out in a rich, high gloss, clear lead glaze that imparts a beautiful reddish-chocolate brown color to the piece. The Manganese decoration is symetrically applied around the circumference and is also uniformly applied to the inside in a deliberate pattern. It has an outstanding design motif with four incised lines around the bottom and, at the top, just under the Manganese decorated rim, can be seen 3 rows of raised beads of two sizes. Since it was glazed on the bottom would indicate that it most likely was used more for serving than baking though I'm sure it was used to heat foods from time to time.
Although most collectors refer to them simply as crocks, pottery price lists indicate that straight-sided cylindrical storage pieces like this one were called by different names according to size. Those with heights of 6" or less were called Cake Pots, while larger pieces were called Butter Pots but both were used for a multitude of uses.
The piece measures 10" in diameter and is 4-1/2" high. It is in absolutely high outstanding condition and is drop dead gorgeous! It has it all . . . color, condition, form and incised decoration.
The piece still retains the paper label indicating it's ex Samaha provenance . . . a high-end dealer from Milan, Ohio known for handling the best. If you are looking for the best . . . you can't go wrong here. Having been in a collection since the 1970's, the piece is fresh to the market and would be an important addition to any collection of redware.
Questions? Ask the Ferret!