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Merry Abbitt Outlaw
Scratched in Clay: Seventeenth-Century North Devon Slipware at Jamestown, Virginia

Ceramics in America 2002

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Contents
  • Figure 1
    Figure 1

    National Park Service technicians assembling ceramics recovered from Jamestown, Virginia, with some of the May-Hartwell collection in the foreground, 1938. (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park. Photo # 7030.)

  • Figure 2
    Figure 2

    Postcard, ca. 1938. This early souvenir postcard from Jamestown illustrates sgraffito slipware vessels from the May-Hartwell ditch. (Private collection.)

  • Figure 3
    Figure 3

    A collection of small plates from the May-Hartwell ditch. Sgraffito decorated with a variety of floral and geometric motifs. (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) Clockwise from bottom: COLO J 7343; COLO J 7371; COLO J 7341; COLO J 7298; COLO J 7372.

  • Figure 4
    Figure 4

    Detail of map depicting the North Devon region in southwestern England. Sgraffito-decorated slipware was produced in the region from the seventeenth until the nineteenth centuries, most notably in Barnstaple and Bideford. (Chipstone Foundation.)

  • Figure 5
    Figure 5

    Sgraffito-decorated slipware dish fragments showing Continental influence on North Devon. Top: Beauvais, France, sixteenth century; bottom: North Devon, ca. 1620–1660. (Courtesy, Ivor Noël Hume.)

  • Figure 6
    Figure 6

    Harvest jug, North Devon, Barnstable, 1764. Sgraffito slipware. H. 14 1/2". (Courtesy, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.) This highly ornamented vessel is typical of scratch-decorated forms produced in the eighteenth century and later.

  • Figure 7
    Figure 7

    Dish, North Devon, ca. 1620–1640. Sgraffito slipware. (Courtesy, Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) Excavated from the Richard Buck site near Jamestown, this example is decorated with an S-scroll rim device and a bird and leaf central motif. This decoration is commonly found on North Devon slipware from the second quarter of the seventeenth-century Virginia sites.

  • Figure 8
    Figure 8

    Detail of a carved box, England, 1671. Oak. H. 8 3/4", W. 26", D. 16 1/2". (Private collection; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) The stylized geometric and foliage decoration on this box are elements shared in other decorative arts of the period.

  • Figure 9
    Figure 9

    Detail of a North Devon sgraffito slipware fragment illustrating that the same multi-pointed tool was used to incise parallel lines and to punch patterns of indentations on individual vessels. In this case, the tool had five points or prongs. The glaze is missing in several areas on this example. (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 10
    Figure 10

    Dish, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. D. 13". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J 7367.

  • Figure 11
    Figure 11

    Section drawing depicting North Devon slipware dish and plate nomenclature.

  • Figure 12
    Figure 12

    Reverse of dish, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. D. 14". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J 7354. Note the knife trimming on walls above the base, and the numerous drips of slip and glaze indicating the importance of production speed.

  • Figure 13
    Figure 13

    Dish, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. D. 12 1/2". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J 7339. This dish is decorated with an elaborate floral motif on the marly and in the center.

  • Figure 14
    Figure 14

    Dish fragments displaying a variety of marly decorations, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) Bottom to top, left to right: COLO J 53725; COLO J 53639; COLO J 53707; COLO J 53794; COLO J 53797; COLO J 53570.

  • Figure 15
    Figure 15

    Dish, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. D. 12". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J 7330. Note swag and tassel motif on marly.

  • Figure 16
    Figure 16

    Dish, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. D. 12 1/2". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J 7581. A floral spray on the bouge encircles the small floral medallion in the center of this dish.

  • Figure 17
    Figure 17

    Dish fragments inscribed with grape clusters, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J53475; COLO J 53481; COLO J 53495.

  • Figure 18
    Figure 18

    Dish, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. D. 11 1/2". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J 7336. This is the only marly decorated with a chevron motif. It resembles a dish with a cross-hatched design recovered from a ca. 1673 context during excavations at Colony of Avalon at Ferryland, Newfoundland.

  • Figure 19
    Figure 19

    Dish, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. D. 14 3/4". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J 7348. This dish is centrally decorated with a stylized so-called “Chinese butterfly” motif.

  • Figure 20
    Figure 20

    Dish, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. D. 20". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J 7329. A compass was used to draw the six-pointed star in the center of this dish.

  • Figure 21
    Figure 21

    Dish, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. D. 15". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J 7366. Pre-glost firing damage is displayed in the center of this plate

  • Figure 22
    Figure 22

    Plate, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. D. 7 1/2". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J 7298.

  • Figure 23
    Figure 23

    Plate, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. D. 7 1/2". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J 7371.

  • Figure 24
    Figure 24

    Plate, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. D. 7 1/2". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J 7372.

  • Figure 25
    Figure 25

    Plate with piecrust edge, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. D. 9 1/2". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J 7353. Four large carnations with bisecting stems decorate this vessel.

  • Figure 26
    Figure 26

    Detail of plate illustrated in fig. 25

  • Figure 27
    Figure 27

    Mug, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. H. 3 3/4". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J 47307. This gorge-shaped mug is decorated with a floral motif.

  • Figure 28
    Figure 28

    Mug, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. H. 3 3/4". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J 7534.

  • Figure 29
    Figure 29

    Mug, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. H. 3 3/4". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J 7297. This stylized quatrefoil flower is found on many other hollow and flat forms.

  • Figure 30
    Figure 30

    Jug, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. H. 6 3/4". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J 7346. A combination of wavy lines and multipetaled floral devices decorate this example.

  • Figure 31
    Figure 31

    Jug, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. H. 6 3/4". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J 7296. Quatrefoil flowers and tulips are incised on this jug.

  • Figure 32
    Figure 32

    Jug, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. H. 6 3/4". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J 7347. This jug is ornamented with a quatrefoil flower and carnations.

  • Figure 33
    Figure 33

    Jug, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. H. 8 1/2". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J 7368.

  • Figure 34
    Figure 34

    Bowls, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. H. 4", D. 8 3/4". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) Left: COLO J 7352; right: COLO J 7344. Both have a single horizontal loop handle on the rim exterior, and are sgraffito-decorated on the interior

  • Figure 35
    Figure 35

    Chamber pot, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. H. 5 1/2". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J 7369. The exterior of this chamber pot is decorated with chevrons, wavy lines, and dashes.

  • Figure 36
    Figure 36

    Fragments of two incomplete chamber pots, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth). COLO J 53452; COLO J 53459; COLO J 53469; COLO J 53472; COLO J 53636.

  • Figure 37
    Figure 37

    Detail of the rim of the chamber pot illustrated in figure 35. (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) The initials are possibly those of William Berkeley, governor of Virginia during the period in which the pot was manufactured.

  • Figure 38
    Figure 38

    Candlestick, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. H. 6 5/16". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park) COLO J 12342. Because of its rarity, this is one of the most important ceramic objects in the archaeological collections of the National Park Service at Jamestown.

  • Figure 39
    Figure 39

    Fragments of incomplete candlestick, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Sgraffito slipware. (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J 53453; COLO J 53454; COLO J 53460. This candlestick is decorated on all exterior surfaces with floral devices

  • Figure 40
    Figure 40

    Porringers, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Slipware. Left: H. 3"; right: H. 3 1/4". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) Left: COLO J 7331; right: COLO J 7333. These examples represent the two porringer forms found.

  • Figure 41
    Figure 41

    Dishes, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Slipware. D. 9", 10 1/2". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) Smaller: COLO J 7337; larger: COLO J 7300. These wavy edge dishes occur in graduated sizes.

  • Figure 42
    Figure 42

    Dish, North Devon, ca. 1670–1680. Slipware. D. 9 1/2". (Courtesy, National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) COLO J 7340.