Chipstone
Menu

Joanna Brown
Tradition and Adaptation in Moravian Press-Molded Earthenware

Ceramics in America 2009

Full Article
Contents
  • Figure 1
    Figure 1

    Detail of the squirrel bottles illustrated in figure 2. (Unless otherwise noted, photos by Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 2
    Figure 2

    Squirrel bottles, Salem, North Carolina, 1804–1829. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 8 1/4". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens [left], Wachovia Historical Society [right].) Flying squirrels and gray squirrels were popular pets throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. John Singleton Copley’s portrait of his young half brother, Henry Pelham, depicts Henry’s pet squirrel nibbling on a nut in much the same posture as one of the Moravian bottle variants.

  • Figure 3
    Figure 3

    Pipe heads, Bethabara, North Carolina, 1756–1772. Lead-glazed earthenware and bisque-fired earthenware. H. 1 1/2". (Courtesy, Historic Bethabara Park.)

  • Figure 4
    Figure 4

    Stove tile, Bethabara or Salem, North Carolina, 1760–1800. Bisque-fired earthenware. H. 8 5/8". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens; photo, ­Wesley Stewart.) This tile matches sherds recovered at one of Aust’s kiln waster dumps at Bethabara.

  • Figure 5
    Figure 5

    Stove tile, Bethabara or Salem, North Carolina, 1760–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 8 5/8". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.)

  • Figure 6
    Figure 6

    Stove tile mold, Bethabara or Salem, North Carolina, 1760–1800. High-fired clay. H. 9 1/4". (Courtesy, Wachovia Historical Society.)

  • Figure 7
    Figure 7

    Stove tile, Salem, North Carolina, 1760–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 10 1/2". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.)

  • Figure 8
    Figure 8

    Plate mold, Bethabara or Salem, North Carolina, 1786–1795. High-fired clay. D. 8". (Courtesy, Wachovia Historical Society.) This mold, which might have been taken from a clay model or a pewter plate, could be one of the forty molds Christ brought from Bethabara to Salem in 1789.

  • Figure 9
    Figure 9

    Detail of the back of the mold illustrated in fig. 8.

  • Figure 10
    Figure 10

    Sauceboat mold, Bethabara, North Carolina, 1786–1789. Plaster. (Courtesy, Historic Bethabara Park.)

  • Figure 11
    Figure 11

    Barrel, Salem, North Carolina, 1790–1825. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 4 3/4". (Courtesy, Wachovia Historical Society.) In most inventories of the Salem pottery, “small barrels” are listed with the press-molded figural bottles.

  • Figure 12
    Figure 12

    Fish bottle and mold, Salem, North Carolina, 1801–1830. Lead-glazed earthenware (bottle); plaster (mold). L. of bottle 9 3/4"; L. of mold 11". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens [bottle]; Wachovia Historical Society [mold].) This mold exhibits much less wear than most of the surviving examples.

  • Figure 13
    Figure 13

    Inkwell, John Holland, Salem, North Carolina, 1810–1830. Lead-glazed earthenware. W. 5". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) This inkwell bears Holland’s incised initials. Its design and fabrication suggest that Holland was a competent potter, despite the fact that 
    his wares often drew complaints from 
    customers.

  • Figure 14
    Figure 14

    Turtle bottle and mold, Salem, North Carolina, 1800–1850. Lead-glazed earthenware (bottle); plaster (mold). L. of bottle 7 1/4". (Courtesy, Wachovia Historical Society.)

  • Figure 15
    Figure 15

    Turtle bottle, Salem, North Carolina, 1800–1820. Lead-glazed earthenware. L. 8 1/2". (Private collection.)

  • Figure 16
    Figure 16

    The underside of the turtle bottle illustrated in fig. 15.

  • Figure 17
    Figure 17

    Detail of the top of the turtle bottle illustrated in fig. 15.

  • Figure 18
    Figure 18

    Squirrel figure, Staffordshire, England, ca. 1790–1800. Pearlware. H. 6 3/4". (Courtesy, Sotheby’s.)

  • Figure 19
    Figure 19

    Squirrel bottle, Salem, North Carolina, 1804–1829. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 8 1/2". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.)

  • Figure 20
    Figure 20

    Squirrel bottle and mold, Salem, North Carolina, 1820–1850. Lead-glazed earthenware (bottle); plaster (mold). H. of bottle 6 1/4". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.)

  • Figure 21
    Figure 21

    Owl bottle, Salem, North Carolina, 1804–1840. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 5 1/2". (Private collection.) The mold for this bottle is in the Wachovia Historical Society Collection at Old Salem Museums & Gardens.

  • Figure 22
    Figure 22

    Owl bottle, Salem, North Carolina, 1804–1840. Lead-glazed earth­enware. H. 7 3/4". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.)

  • Figure 23
    Figure 23

    Owl figure, Staffordshire, England, 1790–1810. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 5 3/4". (Courtesy, Chipstone Foundation.)

  • Figure 24
    Figure 24

    Owl jug, Staffordshire, England, 1695–1710. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 9 1/8". (Courtesy, Chipstone Foundation.)

  • Figure 25
    Figure 25

    Bear bottle, Salem, North Carolina, 1810–1830. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 6 3/4". (Private collection.) The 1810 inventory of the Salem pottery lists forty-four bear bottles at 1s. 6d. each.

  • Figure 26
    Figure 26

    Fox bottle or caster, Salem, North Carolina, 1810–1830. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 5 1/2". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) The base of this bottle has been restored.

  • Figure 27
    Figure 27

    Fish bottles, Salem, North Carolina, 1801–1829. Lead-glazed earthenware. L. of largest 9 3/4". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) Although the 1819 inventory of the Salem Pottery lists fish bottles in four sizes, the 1829 mold inventory lists only three. 

  • Figure 28
    Figure 28

    Fish bottle, Salem, North Carolina, 1801–1829. Lead-glazed earthenware. L. 8". (Private collection.) Slight variations among extant fish, even those of the same size, attest to the existence of multiple models and molds. The decorator of this example outlined the fish’s eyes.

  • Figure 29
    Figure 29

    Fish flask, Tell el-Yahudiya, Egypt, 1650–1550 b.c. Unglazed earthenware. L. 7 5/8". (Courtesy, Collection of University College London.)

  • Figure 30
    Figure 30

    Crayfish bottle, Salem, North Carolina, 1801–1840. Lead-glazed earthenware. L. 4 1/4". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.)

  • Figure 31
    Figure 31

    Crayfish bottle, Salem, North Carolina, 1801–1840. Lead-glazed earthenware. L. 6 1/2". (Private collection.)

  • Figure 32
    Figure 32

    Doll head mold, Salem, North Carolina, 1820–1850. Plaster. H. 2 3/4". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) The 1824 inventory of the Salem pottery listed 803 dolls in three sizes. They probably were not the same as the “lady bottles,” which were not listed with toys. The large number of doll heads in the inventory suggests that the pottery was making them to sell to other retail outlets.

  • Figure 33
    Figure 33

    Bird figure, Salem, North Carolina, 1810–1820. Lead-glazed earthenware. L. 2 3/4". (Courtesy, Wachovia Historical Society.) Bird figures of this type were probably intended as toys. The mold for the body of this example survives. The rather indistinct features of the head suggest that it was modeled by hand rather than produced in a second mold.

  • Figure 34
    Figure 34

    Sheep head fragment, Salem, North Carolina, 1834–1860. Bisque-fired earthenware. L. 3/4". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Garden.) This fragment was recovered at the site of Heinrich Schaff­ner’s pottery. Sheep and birds are listed as toys in the 1824 inventory of the Salem pottery.

  • Figure 35
    Figure 35

    Dog figure, England, 1825–1835. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 1 1/2". (Private collection.) Dog figure mold, Salem, North Carolina, 1819–1850. Plaster. H. 2 1/8". (Courtesy, Wachovia Historical Society.) The mold might have been taken from an English dog figure such as the example illustrated here.

  • Figure 36
    Figure 36

    Lady bottle, Salem, North Carolina, 1806–1830. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 9 1/4". (Private collection.) Lady bottles appear in four sizes on inventories beginning in 1806.

  • Figure 37
    Figure 37

    Lady bottle, Salem, North Carolina, 1806–1830. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 5 1/2". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) This example probably represents the smallest of the lady bottles. It has a cluster of small holes in the back and a single, larger hole in the bottom, suggesting that this object functioned as a caster. None of the larger lady bottles has small piercings.

  • Figure 38
    Figure 38

    Chicken caster, Salem, North Carolina, 1810–1850. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 4". (Private collection.)

  • Figure 39
    Figure 39

    Bottle, Salem, North Carolina, 1790–1820. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 6 1/2". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.)

  • Figure 40
    Figure 40

    Eagle bottle, Salem, North Caro­lina, 1819–1830. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 5 1/2". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) 

  • Figure 41
    Figure 41

    Eagle bottle mold, Salem, North Carolina, 1819–1830. Plaster. H. 6 1/2". (Courtesy, Wachovia Historical Society.) According to the 1819 Salem pottery inventory, eagle bottles were made in two sizes. This mold was probably for the smaller size. The larger one is oval in shape and slightly taller than the round one illustrated here, although the eagle motif is the same size on both.

  • Figure 42
    Figure 42

    Bottle, Salem, North Carolina, 1800–1830. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 6 1/2". (Courtesy, Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts.) This bottle was found in Randolph County, which is adjacent to Alamance County.

  • Figure 43
    Figure 43

    Flask, probably southern ­Alamance County, North Carolina, 1760–1790. H. 5 3/8". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.)

  • Figure 44
    Figure 44

    Tart plate molds, Salem, North Carolina, 1806–1829. Plaster (left); high-fired clay (right). D. of left mold 6". (Courtesy, Wachovia Historical Society.)

  • Figure 45
    Figure 45

    Tart plate fragment, Salem, North Carolina, 1806–1829. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) This fragment was ­excavated on one of the lots used by the Salem pottery.

  • Figure 46
    Figure 46

    Leaf dish and mold, Salem, North Carolina, 1807–1829. Lead-glazed earthenware (leaf dish); plaster (mold). L. of dish 8 1/2"; L. of mold 10 1/4". (Courtesy, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation [dish], Wachovia Historical Society [mold]; photo, Hans Lorenz.) 

  • Figure 47
    Figure 47

    Leaf dish mold, Salem or Bethabara, North Carolina, 1786–1821. L. 9 1/4". (Courtesy, Wachovia Historical Society; photo, Hans Lorenz.) The mold is marked “RC.” No dishes of this pattern have been identified. 

  • Figure 48
    Figure 48

    Duck tureen or sauceboat, Salem, North Carolina, 1819–1840. Lead-glazed earthenware. L. 7". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) The 1829 Salem pottery mold inventory includes two sizes of ducks but does not specify the function of the final forms.

  • Figure 49
    Figure 49

    Sauceboat or butterboat mold, Salem, North Carolina, 1780–1829. Plaster. L. 9". (Courtesy, Wachovia Historical Society.)

  • Figure 50
    Figure 50

    Teapot spout and lid molds, Salem, North Carolina. 1800–1830. Plaster. L. of spout mold 5 1/4". (Courtesy, Wachovia Historical Society.) 

  • Figure 51
    Figure 51

    Teapot spout mold, Salem or Bethabara, North Carolina, 1786–1820. Plaster. L. 5 3/4". (Courtesy, Wachovia ­Historical Society.)

  • Figure 52
    Figure 52

    Cake molds, Salem, North Carolina, 1820–1850. Lead-glazed earthenware. D. of mold on left 9 1/2". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) Cake molds, a term not used in the pottery inventories, were probably counted among the hundreds of pans recorded each year in a variety of sizes. 

  • Figure 53
    Figure 53

    Mushmelon mold, Salem, North Carolina, 1810–1829. Plaster. L. 5 1/2". (Courtesy, Wachovia Historical Society.) The small size of this mold suggests that the mushmelon was produced as a small bottle or caster. 

  • Figure 54
    Figure 54

    Tile stove, Salem, North Carolina, 1772–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 49". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens; photo, Wesley Stewart.) 

  • Figure 55
    Figure 55

    Stove pattern, Bonn, Germany, 1833–1862. Ink on paper. 16 1/2 x 10". (Courtesy, Wachovia Historical Society.)

  • Figure 56
    Figure 56

    Stove patterns, Germany, 1830–1860. Ink on paper. 8 x 10". (Courtesy, Wachovia Historical Society.)

  • Figure 57
    Figure 57

    Detail of a stove pattern illustrated in fig. 56 with a bisque-fired stove molding, Salem, North Carolina, 1834–1850. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens [molding].)

  • Figure 58
    Figure 58

    Tile stove, attributed to Heinrich SchaVner, Salem, North Carolina, 1830–1850. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 69". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens; photo, Wesley Stewart.)

  • Figure 59
    Figure 59

    Turkey mold, Salem, North Carolina, 1806–1829. Plaster. L. 9 1/2". (Courtesy, Wachovia Historical Society.) “Turkeys” first appear on the 1806 Salem pottery inventory, but there is no description of their function. The 1820 inventory lists “Turkey Flower Pots.”

  • Figure 60
    Figure 60

    Flowerpot, Heinrich Schaffner, Salem, North Carolina, 1830–1860. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 5". (Private collection.)

  • Figure 61
    Figure 61

    Lion’s-head mold, Salem, North Carolina, 1850–1870. Plaster. H. 5". (Courtesy, Wachovia Historical Society.)