Collections › MESDA Collection › Pitcher

Pitcher

Artist/Maker:
Morgan, William H.
Place Made:
Baltimore Maryland United States of America
Date Made:
1818-1827
Medium:
stoneware –salt-glazed
Dimensions:
HOA: 13 3/4″; DIA: 8 1/4″
Accession Number:
2024.88
Description:
This salt-glazed stoneware pitcher is attributed to Baltimore, Maryland potter Willaim H. Morgan, although its incised figural decoration was inspired by the work of Henry Remmey, a Manhattan-trained potter who came to Baltimore in 1812. On this particular piece, the incised bird pattern and foliate motifs are filled with a rich cobalt blue slip. This technique of incising and filling the design with cobalt blue slip is often associated with Remmey’s family of German descent and the tradition for this decoration in the Westerwald region of Germany.

DESCRIPTION: The form is thrown on a pottery wheel, and a pulled handle was applied to the back of the neck after the clay dried slightly. Salt glazing is a technique used by stoneware potters to create the glassy surface. When the pottery kiln reached over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, salt was introduced to the kiln, creating a vapor. This vapor adhered to the silica in the clay, forming a glass. From the high temperature, the clay is often non-porous, or vitrified. This, combined with the salt glazing, allowed the potters to not have to apply a glaze to the interior of the vessel. It could hold liquids and not seep, unlike earthenware storage vessels.

MAKER: William H. Morgan (1796-1864) belonged to a family of Quaker potters in Baltimore that included his father, Thomas Morgan (c. 1770-1842) and his uncles, William H. Amoss (1782-1857) and Thomas Amoss (1786-1822). Thomas Morgan founded the city’s first stoneware pottery at the corner of Pitt and Green Streets in 1794. William Morgan began to utilize the same incised and cobalt slip decorated techniques used by Henry Remmey shortly after Remmey’s arrival in Baltimore in 1812, although the zig-zag line of cobalt blue slip around the neck of this pitcher is a very common Morgan motif.

Kille, John E. “Distinguishing Marks and Flowering Designs: Baltimore’s Utilitarian Stoneware Industry.” CERAMICS IN AMERICA (2005): 93-132.

Zipp, Luke. “Baltimore Stoneware.” ANTIQUES AND FINE ART (Summer 2006): 154-158.

History:
This piece was found in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.
Credit Line:
Gift of Frank L. Horton