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Heatwole, John D. __Attributed to
Place Made:
Rockingham County Virginia United States of America
Date Made:
May 3, 1855
salt glazed –stoneware
HOA: 10 3/4″; WOA; 8 1/2″
Accession Number:
The tulip decoration brushed and slip trailed in a rich cobalt blue slip is a distinctive Rockingham County, Virginia, design. The date, “May 3rd 1855,” also slip trailed in cobalt blue below one handle, does not relate to a specific event but rather the jar’s date of manufacture . A small “2 ½” is slip trailed below the opposite handle indicates its capacity.

MAKER: This jar is attributed to the Rockingham County, Virginia potter John D. Heatwole (1826-1907). Exactly how Heatwole became associated with the pottery families working in Rockingham County, Virginia, in the second quarter of the nineteenth-century is unclear; however, it is likely that Heatwole learned his craft from the “father of the Rockingham style,” Andrew Coffman, in the 1840s. The strong similarities in design and decoration between Coffman’s and Heatwole’s pots leads to this conclusion. Further cementing the connection, Heatwole married Andrew Coffman’s daughter in 1848. In “A Great Deal of Stone and Earthen Ware,” Jeffrey S. Evans and Scott Suter note that the high collar and ovoid shape on this piece relate it to Coffman’s work. Andrew Coffman was the first to create this style of jar, and it became a distinctive Rockingham County, Virginia, form. Another famous Rockingham County potter, Emmanuel Suter, trained under John D. Heatwole, and Suter continued making this form in his pottery production through the third quarter of the nineteenth-century.

Evans, Jeffrey S. and Scott Hamilton Suter. “A Great Deal of Stone & Earthen Ware.” Dayton, VA: Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society, 2004.

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