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Haun, Christopher A.
Place Made:
Greene County Tennessee United States of America
Date Made:
earthenware –lead-glazed
Accession Number:
Thrown on a pottery wheel, this lead-glazed earthenware ovoid jar was made by potter Christopher Haun in Greene County, Tennessee. Haun’s decorations are notable: not only did he often use a roulette to impress pieces with decoration as he did below the rim on this example, but he also frequently brushed swathes of copper over white slip as seen on this jar. The jar has horizontal strap handles below the rim which are positioned in line with its high neck. A lead glaze was made up primarily of a lead oxide, most often red lead, that was ground, mixed with a clay so that the mixture would adhere to the pottery, and made liquid with water. Earthenware is a porous material and must have an applied glaze in order to hold liquids.

MAKER: Christopher Alexander Haun was born in 1821 in Greene County, Tennessee. It is not known when he started making pottery, but the site where he produced ware was operating as a pottery in the 1820s by the Kinser family, and may have also been associated with the Harmon family. Pottery was being produced there in the 1840s, which may be when Haun began his tenure there. Christopher’s brother, Lewis M. Haun, also likely worked with Christopher and was listed in the 1860 census as a “master potter.” Christopher Haun was hanged in 1861 by the Confederate States of America after being charged for burning bridges in support of the Union Army in East Tennessee. It is only through two letters written while he was imprisoned before being hanged that we know Haun was a potter. He wrote to his wife, Elizabeth, “Have Bohannon, Hinshaw, or Low [all local potters] to finish off that ware…Sell my shop tools, lead oven, glazing mill, clay mill and lathe which will be some help to you and the children.”

Smith, Samuel D. and Stephen T. Rogers. TENNESSEE POTTERIES, POTS, AND POTTERS – 1790s TO 1950 Volume 1. Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. Division of Archaeology. Research Series No. 18 (2011): 138-139.

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