Ovoid in shape, with a tall, narrow, incised neck, this salt-glazed stoneware jug was likely made in the shop of John Swann in Alexandria, Virginia. His early ware made prior to 1819 often has the upper half dipped in an iron-rich slip that turned brown in the kiln firing. In 1819 Swann advertised that he had improved his stoneware production, and the changes included a move away from the brown-dipped wares to more elaborate cobalt decoration. The handle was gracefully pulled and an incised line marks where the handle terminal was to be placed.
MAKER: John Swann (1789-after 1831) began his career in 1803 when he was apprenticed as an orphan to Lewis Plum in Alexandria, Virginia. He purchased the Wilkes Street pottery in 1813, and because of his financial difficulty, sold the business to Hugh Smith in 1821 and began making pottery under Smith’s management.
Magid, Barbara H. “‘Stone-ware of excellent quality, Alexandria manufacture’ Part I: The Pottery of John Swann.” CERAMICS IN AMERICA (2012) 111-145.