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Parr, David
Place Made:
Baltimore Maryland United States of America
Date Made:
salt glazed –stoneware
HOA; 15 1/2″; WOA: 13 1/2″
Accession Number:
This graceful, ovoid jar is made of salt-glazed stoneware. It has an elaborate array of brushed cobalt blue floral motifs that encircle the jar, but it has no additional applied glaze on the interior. Thrown on a potter’s wheel, the jar was created with a high collar. The lug handles are pulled clay that was placed on the shoulder of the jar horizontally and then cut off at the ends. Scholar Robert Hunter notes that jars attributed to David Parr and made in Baltimore are often ovoid in shape, whereas jars made by his nephew David Parr in Richmond, Virginia, are more likely cylindrical in shape.

Salt glazing was a technique used by stoneware potters to create a glassy surface. When the pottery kiln reached over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, salt was introduced into the kiln, creating a vapor. This vapor adhered to the silica in the clay, forming a glassy appearance on the pottery. Because of the high temperature at which the pottery was fired, the clay often became non-porous, or vitrified. This, combined with the salt glazing, meant that potters did not have to apply a glaze to the interior of the vessel. It could hold liquids and not seep, unlike earthenware storage vessels.

MAKER: David Parr worked with various partners in Baltimore between 1812 and his death in 1832. Scholars at Crocker Farm Auction House note that Parr began his work in 1812 with his brother Elisha. Starting around 1815, David Parr worked with James Burland, forming the partnership Parr and Burland, which dissolved around 1823. David Parr operated on his own at Eden and Dulancy Streets following that, and later at a factory on Market Street.

Kille, John E. “Distinguishing Marks and Flowering Designs: Baltimore’s Utilitarian Stoneware Industry.” CERAMICS IN AMERICA (2005) 93-132.

Credit Line:
The William C. and Susan S. Mariner Collection