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Beard, Benjamin
Place Made:
Guilford County North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
salt-glazed stoneware
HOA: 9-11/16″; WOA: 7-14″ handle to handle; DIA: 5-3/8″ mouth
Accession Number:
This medium size salt-glazed stoneware jar features two prominent pulled and pinched handles (one replaced). It has a flared rim and the neck is narrow as compared to the bulbous body and narrow base. The surface has a heavy coating of salt glaze, making the renowned “orange peel” texture and appearance that salt glaze is known for. There are two incised rings around the upper body with “Benjamin Beard/Guilford County/N.C” stamped just above top ring. This is the only known intact stamped piece of Beard’s work.

MAKER: Benjamin Beard (1774-1841) was a Quaker potter working in southwestern Guilford County, North Carolina. He was a son of William and Lavina (Gifford) Beard, whose familes were part of the large Quaker migration from Nantucket Island, Massachusetts to Piedmont North Carolina in the early 1770s. Benjamin was born in Guilford County shortly after his family’s migration. They were members of Deep River Monthly Meeting. Benjamin’s probate inventory documents his career as a potter listing one pipe mold, two large jugs, two old jugs and a potter’s lathe [wheel]. (Guilford County, NC, Inventories 10, 1835-1842, p. 546.)

Zug, Charles G. III. Turners and Burners: The Folk Potters of North Carolina. Chapel Hill, NC: UNC Press, 1986.

Credit Line:
MESDA Purchase Fund