Thursday, February 23, 2012

Color Variation in British China Glaze Plates

Please note that on the middle shelf are three examples of William Greatbatch's China glaze production which can be tightly dated to the 1775-1782 period. This a period of innovation and experimentation with glaze formulae; each plate reflects significant glazing differences.

Above the Greatbatch examples are other China glaze examples that date to 1800 - 1820.

A selection of China glaze plates, dishes and a few punch bowls and jugs.
These range in date from circa 1775 to the 1820s.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

John Poole Schermerhorn Home Site and Pottery Uncovered

Located in Henrico County, Virginia, the homesite and pottery of 19th century stoneware potter John Poole Schermerhorn is being developed for a Jehovah Witness Church. The property located on Route 360 just east of the I-95

The Schermerhorn Site Looking East

Montezumo in rubble

The remains of the family cemetery on the property. Schermerhorn and many of his family are buried in the cemetery on the grounds. All of the graves are unmarked with the exception of Schermerhorn's grandson, John S. Austin, and his wife, Sallie B. Austin. The cemetery is being preserved by the developer.

The construction was first noted Oliver Mueller-Heubach who is undertaking fieldwork on the Richmond area potters as part of his Ph.D dissertation research. With cooperation from the property's owner Oliver and several volunteers are trying to recover as much information from the site as possible. Here Oliver and Richmond stoneware expert Marshall Goodman are sorting out the day's finds.

Blue Decorated Sherds Decorations include unique brushed cobalt blue blossoms or circular peach-shaped blooms.

Cobalt brushed Capacity Marks

Previously Undocumented Domed Lid

Located in Henrico County, Virginia


MontezumaParkinson Memorial Obelisk

Local Nineteenth Century Stoneware

Sources: Ceramics in America, robert Hunter, ed. (2005) and "Stoneware of Eastern Virginia," Antique, 1 April 2005.

Among the early industries of Henrico County was stoneware manufacture, which apparently expanded from Richmond in the first or second decade of the nineteenth century. Pharmacist Benjamin DuVal was manufacturing salt-glazed stoneware vessels to supply pharmacies, distilleries, dairies and mercantile operations. It appears that he hired New York potter John Poole Schermerhorn around 1813, and by 1820 Schermerhorn had established his own manufactory at Rocketts Landing by the James River.

It was a sizable operation. The 1820 Manufacturers Census for Henrico County shows that he had made use of 50 tons of clay, 80 cords of wood and 18 sacks of salt (for glazing). He employed three men and no boys, ran one kiln and three wheels and paid $300 in wages and $500 in other expenses to produce "stoneware of all kinds".

Only six marked examples of Schermerhorn's work are known, but other examples can be identified by thick walls, even glazing and ovoid forms with handles. Decorations include unique brushed cobalt blue blossoms or circular peach-shaped blooms. Most likely, early Richmond potters were associated with Schermerhorn at his Rocketts Location and at his potteries in southern Henrico County. The 1820 Census of Manufacturers, Henrico County, lists Thomas Amos, stoneware manufactory; Samuel Frayser, stoneware manufactory; John P. Schermerhorn, stoneware of all kinds; and Samuel Wilson, stoneware of all kinds.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ceramics in America - Back Issues

Back issue of Ceramics in America are available from the Antiques Collector's Club  Many of the articles are also online at