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Jordan, Lucius
Place Made:
Washington County Georgia United States of America
Date Made:
Alkaline-glazed stoneware
HOA: 15″; DIA: 10 1/2″
Accession Number:
This alkaline-glazed, two-handled jug is incised with a decorative sine wave aroudn the shoulder and the initials “LJ” for potter Lucius Jordan, who worked in Washington County, Georgia, throughout the mid 19th century. First used by potters in Edgefield, South Carolina, alkaline glaze involves a mixture of clay with ash or lime that acted as a flux.

MAKER: Lucius Jordan (1816-1880) was born in Georgia, and an 1836 tax list for Washington County suggests that Lucius and his brother Elbert (b. 1818) were free persons of color, perhaps of mixed race. Not until the 1860 census was Jordan’s profession listed as “Jug Maker.” His brother Elbert Jordan was also listed as a “Jug Maker” in the 1860 census. Lucius Jordan likely trained as a potter under Abraham Massey (b. 1785) and/or Cyrus Cogburn (1782-1855), two of Washington County’s prominent early potters. Both Cogburn and Massey first worked in Edgefield, South Carolina, at various shops, including that of Abner Landrum, one of the eminent shop owners in early Edgefield. Jordan’s shapes are typically ovoid and all are alkaline-glazed. He is one of the very few early Georgia potters who marked their work, incising in script his initials, “LJ” or simply “J.”

Burrison, John A. “Brothers in Clay: The Story of Georgia Folk Pottery.” Athens, GA: UGA Press, 1983.

Credit Line:
Gift of Sally Hawkins