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Chandler, Thomas __Attributed to
Place Made:
Edgefield County South Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
stoneware –alkaline-glazed
HOA: 16 3/8″; WOA: 16 3/8″
Accession Number:
This ovoid stoneware jar made in South Carolina’s Edgefield district is attributed to potter Thomas Chandler based on the decoration, glaze, and overall form. It has a green alkaline glaze applied to the interior and exterior. Alkaline glaze is a mix of clay and ash or lime that acted as a flux. Around the shoulder of the jar is a decorative swag design often attributed to Thomas Chandler. An iron slip was used to brush the swooping swag design, and then a white slip trailing was applied to accent the looping design within the swags before the alkaline glaze was applied. Scholar Philip Wingard notes that Chandler began using this two-color design by 1840 when he began work at the Phoenix Factory. On opposite sides of the shoulder lug handles were placed against the side of the jar.

MAKER: Thomas Mitchel Chandler, Jr. (1810-1854) was born in Accomack County, Virginia. His family moved to Baltimore in 1817 and there Thomas developed into an extraordinary potter. Thomas’s future was partly determined by his father’s move to Baltimore. As a chairmaker, Chandler’s father bought property in a district with many other craftspeople, including five major potters: Henry Remmey, Sr., Henry Myers, David Parr, Elisha Parr, and William Amoss. Henry Myers and Henry Remmey probably trained Thomas Chandler; Chandler’s first dated and signed piece resembles pieces made by Remmey in Myers’s shop in the 1820s.

Chandler 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 sent 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, South Carolina, working by 1836, since several of his pieces with decorative slip work and dated 1836 have survived in the region. He worked in various pottery factories and with various partners in the region until he had his own shop by 1850. In 1852, though, he and his family moved to North Carolina where he died in 1854.

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

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