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Chandler, Thomas
Place Made:
Edgefield County South Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
stoneware –alkaline-glazed
HOA: 7/14″; DIA: at top 4 1/2″
Accession Number:
This jar was likely decorated by Thomas Chandler while working at the Shaw’s Creek pottery factory, south of Edgefield prior to the establishment of the Phoenix Factory. The dark slip-trailed design below the rim of the jar is similar to decorations found on Baltimore jars, and connects Chandler back to his initial training in Maryland. Thrown on a pottery wheel, the jar is alkaline-glazed with a light green hue.

STYLE: The most distinctive traits of the Edgefield stoneware are the decoration and the alkaline glaze (clay mixed with either wood ashes or lime). The ancient oriental glaze is only known to have been used in the Far East and the southern Back Country.

MAKER: Thomas Mitchell Chandler, Jr. was born in Virginia in 1810. His family moved to Baltimore in 1817 and there his career developed as an extraordinary potter. He left Baltimore in 1829 and between 1829 and 1832 may have traveled as an itinerant potter. In 1832 he was in Albany, New York where he enlisted in the U.S. Army. The army brought Chandler south to Augusta, Georgia and between 1832 and 1836 he served in various capacities and likely worked with several potters in Georgia. Scholar Philip Wingard estimates that Chandler was in Edgefield working by 1836 based on decorative slip work on several dated pieces from 1836. He worked in various pottery factories and with various partners until he had his own shop in 1850. In 1852 though, he and his family left for North Carolina where he died in 1854.

Wingard, Philip. “From Baltimore to the South Carolina Backcountry: Thomas Chandler’s Influence on 19th-Century Stoneware.” CERAMICS IN AMERICA (2013) 38-76.

Credit Line:
Purchase Fund