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Watkins, Henry
Place Made:
Randolph County or Guilford County North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
earthenware –lead-glazed
DIA: 12″; HOA: 2 1/8″
Accession Number:
This lead-glazed dish has a wide edge or marley. It is decorated with large splotches of copper green slip over a pumpkin orange colored dish. This dish’s buff colored body, copper oxide decoration, and provenance in the Frazier family all suggest that it is the work the potter Henry Watkins.

MAKER: Henry Watkins (b. circa 1797) was closely affiliated, and probably apprenticed, with the Quaker potter William Dennis (1769-1847) of Randolph County. In 1817, Watkins was accepted into Marlborough Monthly Meeting and two years later married Elizabeth Elliott, daughter of Obadiah and Sarah Chamness Elliott. After living and working near the Dennises, in 1837 Watkins moved into southern Guilford County where he is listed in the 1850 census as a potter. As a pacifist Quaker, the husband of Hannah Blair Frazier, the last owner of this piece was imprisoned as a conscientious objector during the Civil War by the Confederate government . Letters from Solomon Frazier to his wife, written from the Confederate Prison in Salisbury, NC, survive in the Friends Historical Collection at Guilford College.

Pugh, Hal E. and Eleanor Minnock-Pugh. “The Quaker Ceramics Tradition in Piedmont, North Carolina.” CERAMICS IN AMERICA (2010): 66-105.

This dish, like the earthenware jar signed by the Quaker potter Henry Watkins (ACC 3252.1), originally belonged to Hannah Blair (1814-1880), who married Solomon Frazier (1816-1904) on January 1, 1840. The Blair and Frazier families were closely affiliated with Center and Springfield monthly meetings in southern Guilford County.
Credit Line:
Gift of Frank L. Horton