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Dish

Artist/Maker:
Adam, Henry
Place Made:
Hagerstown Maryland United States of America
Date Made:
1805-1819
Medium:
earthenware –lead-glazed
Dimensions:
DIA: 12 5/8″; HOA: 2 5/8″
Accession Number:
4361
Description:
Thrown on a wheel and made of earthenware clay, this elaborately decorated dish is attributed to potter Henry Adam from Hagerstown, Maryland. The surface of the red clay was coated with a white slip, then trailed on the interior sides of the dish with green, red, and dark manganese slip. On top of that series of slip-trailed bands were dropped alternating green and red slip, creating an undulating and feathered appearance in the slip trailing. A single green wavy slip-trailed line decorates the rim, or marley, of the dish, and a foliate design executed in green and red surrounds a dark manganese circle in the center of the dish. The dish is covered on the upper surface with a lead glaze.

Earthenware is a porous material and must have an applied glaze in order to hold liquids. The falling green slip on the dish shows the direction in which the dish sat upright in the kiln firing, as dishes were often leaned against one another.

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 dish and related sugar bowl (4362) 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 located in Hagerstown at the Hager House. MESDA has a covered sugar bowl (acc. #4362) 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.

Rice, A. H. and John Baer Stoudt. THE SHENANDOAH POTTERY. ILLUSTRATED WITH PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE AUTHOR. Strasburg, Virginia : Shenandoah Publishing House, Inc., 1929.

Credit Line:
MESDA Purchase Fund