Collections › MESDA Collection › Covered Bowl

Covered Bowl

Artist/Maker:
Adam, Henry
Place Made:
Hagerstown Maryland United States of America
Date Made:
1805-1819
Medium:
earthenware –lead-glazed
Dimensions:
HOA (with lid): 4 1/2″; DIA: 4 5/16″
Accession Number:
4362
Description:
Attributed to Hagerstown, Maryland, potter, Henry Adam, this lead-glazed earthenware covered bowl is intricately decorated and a rare intact example of Adam’s work. Both the lid and the base were thrown on a pottery wheel and slipped in white clay. Thin trails of manganese and green copper slip were then dropped over the white slip surface. Larger drops of green slip were dropped onto these lines, pushing the colors to make an undulating decoration. The bowl was decorated upside down, as the secondary drops of green slip move from the base to the rim.The lid was likely thrown on a hump of clay upside down, making the bowl form of the lid and flange, cutting it away from the hump of clay, and then trimming the top to make the knob. Beneath a lead glaze, the white slip appears yellow.

Earthenware is a porous material and must have an applied glaze in order to hold liquids. The interior of the lid is unglazed, as well as the rim of the bowl.

MAKER: Henry Adam’s first advertisement for his pottery business in Hagerstown, Maryland, was in 1805. There are no known marked or signed examples of his work. Mary Adam, daughter of potter Jonas Knode, and wife of potter Henry Adam, inherited the pottery shop of her husband upon his death in 1819. Shards similar to the Adam dish in the MESDA collection (4361) and this sugar bowl have been excavated in New Market, Virginia, at the site of the shop of Adam’s brothers, Christian and Jacob. Shards resembling Adam’s pottery have also been excavated in Hagerstown at the Hager House. MESDA has a plate (acc. #4361) also made by Henry Adam and a storage jar (acc. #4075) made by Mary Knode Adam, Henry Adam’s wife.

Comstock, H. E. THE POTTERY OF THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY REGION. Winston-Salem, NC: MESDA, 1994.

Credit Line:
Gift of H. E. Comstock