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Robert Hunter
Staffordshire Ceramics in Wachovia

Ceramics in America 2009

Full Article
Contents
  • Figure 1
    Figure 1

    Mug, Salem, North Carolina, 1774–1786. Bisque-fired earthenware. H. 5 7/8". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens; unless otherwise noted, photos by Gavin Ashworth.) 

  • Figure 2
    Figure 2

    Mug, Staffordshire, England, ca. 1770–1780. Creamware. H. 5 3/16". (Courtesy, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)

  • Figure 3
    Figure 3

    Sprig mold, Salem, North Caro­lina, ca. 1780. High-fired clay. L. 2". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) The back of this mold bears the initials “RC” for Rudolph Christ. This is the only surviving sprig mold from the Salem pottery.

  • Figure 4
    Figure 4

    Detail of the base of the mug illustrated in fig. 1. The use of a roulette to finish the foot in this manner is very unusual and has not been seen on any Staffordshire examples or on any of the creamwares produced by John Bartlam at Cain Hoy. 

  • Figure 5
    Figure 5

    An assortment of roulettes and related trimming tools used by present-day potter Don Carpentier in the manufacture of British-style creamwares and pearlwares. (Courtesy, Don Carpentier.)

  • Figure 6
    Figure 6

    Mug fragment adhered to kiln prop, Salem, North Carolina, 1774–1786. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) 

  • Figure 7
    Figure 7

    Mug fragments, Salem, North Carolina, 1774–1786. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) These fragments show the fluted gadrooned rouletting seen on the mug illustrated in fig. 1. 

  • Figure 8
    Figure 8

    Teapot, Salem, North Carolina, 1774–1786. Lead-glazed earthenware. L. 7". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) It is unclear whether this example, one of the most important ceramic objects of eighteenth-century America, was produced by William Ellis during his 1774 visit to the Salem pottery or was a later creation of Rudolph Christ.

  • Figure 9
    Figure 9

    View of the opposite side of the teapot illustrated in fig. 8. 

  • Figure 10
    Figure 10

    Detail of the base of the teapot illustrated in figs. 8 and 9. 

  • Figure 11
    Figure 11

    Teapot spout, Salem, North Carolina, 1774–1786. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.)

  • Figure 12
    Figure 12

    Handled cup fragments, Salem, North Carolina, 1774–1786. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) The sprigging on the handle terminals, which matches that on the terminals of the teapot illustrated in fig. 8, and the tortoiseshell glaze on the teapot and the matching saucer shown in fig. 13 show that these teawares were being manufactured in sets.

  • Figure 13
    Figure 13

    Saucer fragment, Salem, North Carolina, 1774–1786. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.)

  • Figure 14
    Figure 14

    Mug or coffee cup, Salem, North Carolina, 1774–1786. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 4". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) 

  • Figure 15
    Figure 15

    Mug or teacup, Salem, North Carolina, 1774–1786. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) The chevron roulette shown along the rim of this vessel and other fragments is a detail often seen on British white salt-glazed teawares. 

  • Figure 16
    Figure 16

    Mug or teacup fragment, Salem, North Carolina, 1774–1786. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.)

  • Figure 17
    Figure 17

    “Fineware” fragments, Salem, North Carolina, 1774–1786. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem ­Museums & Gardens.)

  • Figure 18
    Figure 18

    Mug fragment, Salem, North Carolina, 1774–1786. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) The lines on this straight-sided tankard appear to be the result of turning on the lathe, to simulate a style of creamware popular in the 1770s.

  • Figure 19
    Figure 19

    “Fineware” fragments, Salem, North Carolina, 1774–1786. Bisque-fired and lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.)

  • Figure 20
    Figure 20

    Plate, attributed to Rudolph Christ, Bethabara, North Carolina, 1786–1789. Lead-glazed earthenware. D. 9 5/8". (Courtesy, Historic Bethabara Park.)

  • Figure 21
    Figure 21

    Beaker and mug, attributed to Rudolph Christ, Bethabara, North Carolina, 1786–1789. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. of mug 4". (Courtesy, Historic Bethabara Park.)

  • Figure 22
    Figure 22

    Saucer dish and bowl, attributed to Rudolph Christ, Bethabara, North Caro­lina, 1786–1789. Lead-glazed earthenware. D. of bowl 7 5/8". (Courtesy, Historic Bethabara Park.)

  • Figure 23
    Figure 23

    Teabowls and saucer, attributed to Rudolph Christ, Bethabara, North Carolina, 1786–1789. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. of teabowl 3 3/8". (Courtesy, Historic Bethabara Park.) 

  • Figure 24
    Figure 24

    Plate mold, attributed to Rudolph Christ, Salem or Bethabara, North Carolina, 1781–1789. Plaster. D. 10". (Courtesy, Wachovia Historical Society.)

  • Figure 25
    Figure 25

    Plate, attributed to Rudolph Christ, Bethabara, North Carolina, 1786– 1789. Lead-glazed earthenware. D. 9 3/4". (Courtesy, Historic Bethabara Park.)

  • Figure 26
    Figure 26

    Detail of the edge of the plate illustrated in fig. 25 showing the red clay body beneath the white slip.

  • Figure 27
    Figure 27

    Detail of the reverse of the plate illustrated in fig. 25. Note the two parallel bands of beaded roulette. 

  • Figure 28
    Figure 28

    Dish, Rouen, France, 1780. Tin-glazed earthenware. L. 16 3/4". (Courtesy, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.) 

  • Figure 29
    Figure 29

    Saucer fragment, Salem, North Carolina, 1774–1786. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) 

  • Figure 30
    Figure 30

    Saucer fragment, Salem, North Carolina, 1774–1786. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Historic Bethabara Park.)

  • Figure 31
    Figure 31

    Plate mold, Rudolph Christ, Bethabara, North Carolina, 1789. Plaster. D. 10 7/8". (Courtesy, Wachovia Historical Society.)

  • Figure 32
    Figure 32

    Detail of the inscription on the plate mold illustrated in fig. 31: “R. C / Bethabara / Jan. 6.~ / 1789.”

  • Figure 33
    Figure 33

    Plate, probably Staffordshire, ca. 1790. China glaze. D. 10". (Private collection.) This English example of a twelve-sided plate is very similar to the plate mold illustrated in fig. 31. 

  • Figure 34
    Figure 34

    Detail of the plate mold illustrated in fig. 31.

  • Figure 35
    Figure 35

    Plate mold, attributed to Rudolph Christ, Salem or Bethabara, North Carolina, 1786–1789. High-fired clay. D. 8 5/8". (Courtesy, Wachovia His­torical Society.) 

  • Figure 36
    Figure 36

    Plate fragments, Salem, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) The rim fragment on the left has the bead-and-reel pattern often used on English white salt-glazed plates. The center example is the popular feather-edge pattern used exclusively on English creamware. The fragment on the right shows fine swags in a neoclassical pattern similar to those used on English pearlware and creamware plates.

  • Figure 37
    Figure 37

    Plate fragments (obverse and reverse), Salem, North Carolina, 1780–1786. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) Note the use of roulette decoration on the reverse of the left fragment. 

  • Figure 38
    Figure 38

    Plate fragments, Salem, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) 

  • Figure 39
    Figure 39

    Plate fragments, Salem, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.)

  • Figure 40
    Figure 40

    Plate fragment, Salem, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) This plate fragment has hand-painted manganese decoration imitative of the chinoiserie decoration popular on late-eighteenth-century British creamware and pearlware. 

  • Figure 41
    Figure 41

    Bowl fragments, Salem, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) These fragments show the exterior (top) and interior (bottom) of a small creamware punch bowl. The manganese decoration is also in the chinoiserie style.

  • Figure 42
    Figure 42

    Plate fragments, Salem, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Tin-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) These fragments from a Queens-shape plate were decorated with cobalt on a pale blue faience glaze, in a style reflecting contemporary English china-glazed wares.

  • Figure 43
    Figure 43

    Teapot fragments, Salem, North Carolina, 1774–1786. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) The teapot was probably made during William Ellis’s tenure at the Salem pottery, ca. 1774.