Collections › MESDA Collection › Jar


Craven-Fesmire Pottery
Place Made:
Henderson County Tennessee United States of America
Date Made:
stoneware, salt-glazed
HOA 20-15/16″; WOA 10-1/4″ handle to handle; DIA 7-7/8″
Accession Number:
Large storage jar consisting of two thrown pieces joined together by a central pie crust joint, approximately one finger-width pinches make up the joint; Having two lug handles on opposing sides, cinched neck, wide flat rim. The body tapers at both ends with bulbous midsection. Coloration consist of a rust-brown color dominating the lower half (below joint), and more of a gray-brown mottling with varying shades of rust-brown on the upper half. The incised figure “8” on the jar’s shoulder indicates its eight gallon capacity.

MAKER: Jar attributed to the Craven-Fesmire pottery in Henderson County, Tennessee, 1845-1860. Born to one of North Carolina’s most prolific potting families, Thomas Craven (1775-1857) migrated first to Georgia and, by 1840, to Henderson County, Tennessee, where he joined his sons in the establishment of a new kiln. The “piecrust” joint that seals the two thrown components is a distinguishing characteristic of their larger wares. At least three signed and dated examples are known with dates of 1846, 1847, and 1855. By the end of the nineteenth century, Thomas Craven’s descendants had become potters in Arkansas and Texas.

Smith, Samuel D. and Stephen T. Rogers. Tennessee Potteries, Pots, and Potters – 1790s to 1950. Nashville: Tennessee Department oof Environment and Conservation, 2011.

Credit Line:
MESDA Purchase Fund