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George Schwartz
Digging Up Salem's Golden Age: Ceramic Use Among the Merchant Class

Ceramics in America 2011

Full Article
Contents
  • Figure 1
    Figure 1

    Racket Shreve excavating the Captain Stephen Phillips trash pit, Salem, Massachusetts, 1974–1976. (Courtesy, Racket Shreve.) 

  • Figure 2
    Figure 2

    James Frothingham, Captain Stephen Phillips, Salem, Mass., ca. 1818–1826. Oil on canvas, 34 3/4" x 29 3/4". (Courtesy, Peabody Essex Museum.) 

  • Figure 3
    Figure 3

    Michele Felice Cornè, Ship John, Salem, Massachusetts, 1803. Watercolor, 17 1/4" x 23 1/4". (Courtesy, Peabody Essex Museum.) 

  • Figure 4
    Figure 4

    Number 17 Chestnut Street, the Captain Stephen Phillips House, 2005. (Photo, George Schwartz.)

  • Figure 5
    Figure 5

    Selected examples of the ceramic and glass assemblage excavated from the Phillips trash pit. (Courtesy, Peabody Essex Museum; unless otherwise noted, all artifact photographs by Walter Silver.)

  • Figure 6
    Figure 6

    Distribution of artifacts recovered from the Phillips trash pit.

  • Figure 7
    Figure 7

    Distribution by ceramic type of plates recovered from the Phillips trash pit.

  • Figure 8
    Figure 8

    Teabowls and saucers recovered from the Phillips trash pit.

  • Figure 9
    Figure 9

    Selected examples of the Chinese porcelain recovered from the Phillips trash pit. (Courtesy, Peabody Essex Museum.) 

  • Figure 10
    Figure 10

    Types of Chinese porcelain recovered from the Phillips trash pit. 

  • Figure 11
    Figure 11

    Teabowl and saucer, China, 1760–1780, recovered from the Phillips trash pit. Hard-paste porcelain with underglaze-blue decoration in the Nanking style. D. of bowl 3 1/2", D. of saucer 5 1/2". 

  • Figure 12
    Figure 12

    Plate, China, 1790–1820, recovered from the Phillips trash pit. Hard-paste porcelain. D. 5 3/4". The rim of this low-quality Canton-style porcelain is heavily pitted.

  • Figure 13
    Figure 13

    Plate fragments, China, ca. 1750, recovered from the Phillips trash pit. Hard-paste porcelain. 

  • Figure 14
    Figure 14

    Plate fragment, China, 1750–1765, recovered from the Phillips trash pit. Hard-paste porcelain. This fragment, from an overglazed Japanese-style porcelain plate, shows the leg of a bird (see arrow) similar to one on the soup plate illustrated in fig. 15.

  • Figure 15
    Figure 15

    Soup plate, China, 1750–1765, illustrated in Daniel Nadler, China to Order (Paris: Vilo International, 2001), p. 83, pl. 74.

  • Figure 16
    Figure 16

    Types of pearlware recovered from the Phillips trash pit.

  • Figure 17
    Figure 17

    Plate, probably Staffordshire, England, 1780–1810, recovered from the Phillips trash pit. Pearlware. D. 7". 

  • Figure 18
    Figure 18

    Shell-edged plate illustrated in Josiah Wedgwood’s 1802 trade catalog. (Courtesy, Birmingham Museum of Art.)

  • Figure 19
    Figure 19

    Saucers, England, 1785–1810, recovered from the Phillips trash pit. Pearlware or China glaze. D. 6". 

  • Figure 20
    Figure 20

    Teabowl and saucer, Staffordshire, England, 1810–?, recovered from the Phillips trash pit. Pearlware or China glaze. D. of teabowl 3 1/2", D. of saucer 5 1/4". 

  • Figure 21
    Figure 21

    Chamber pot, possibly Staffordshire, England, 1785–1810, recovered from the Phillips trash pit. Pearlware in the scratch-blue style. H. 5 1/2". Mark: “GR” on side.

  • Figure 22
    Figure 22

    Types of creamware vessels recovered from the Phillips trash pit.

  • Figure 23
    Figure 23

    Plate, probably Staffordshire, England, 1790–1810, recovered from the Phillips trash pit. Creamware in the Flat Rim style. D. 8 1/2". 

  • Figure 24
    Figure 24

    Flat-rim creamware plate illustrated in Josiah Wedgwood’s 1802 sale catalog. (Courtesy, Birmingham Museum of Art.)

  • Figure 25
    Figure 25

    Plate, probably Staffordshire, England, 1790–1810, recovered from the Phillips trash pit. Creamware in the Royal style. D. 8". 

  • Figure 26
    Figure 26

    Royal Pattern creamware illustrated in Josiah Wedgwood’s 1802 trade catalog. (Courtesy, Birmingham Museum of Art.)

  • Figure 27
    Figure 27

    Types of glass vessels recovered from the Phillips trash pit.

  • Figure 28
    Figure 28

    Wineglass, shot glass, and punch cup. Possibly Germany, 1790–?, recovered from the Phillips trash pit. Leaded glass. H. of wineglass 5 1/2".

  • Figure 29
    Figure 29

    Glass forms illustrated in Johannes Schiefer, Pattern Book for Glass, ca. 1790–1825.  (Courtesy, The Winterthur Library: Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera.) 

  • Figure 30
    Figure 30

    Wine bottles, France (far left) and England, 1780–1810, recovered from the Phillips trash pit. Blown glass. H. of tallest 13".

  • Figure 31
    Figure 31

    Storage jar, milk pan, and chamber pot, New England, 1800–1820, recovered from the Phillips trash pit. Lead-glazed earthenware. D. of milk pan 6". 

  • Figure 32
    Figure 32

    Gin/mineral water bottle (left), Germany, 1750–1820; Westerwald-style storage jar (center), Germany, 1780–1820; Jug (right), Connecticut, 1800–1820, all recovered from the Phillips trash pit. Salt-glazed stoneware. H. of storage jar 14 1/4". 

  • Figure 33
    Figure 33

    Detail of the inscribed mark on the body of the storage jar illustrated in fig. 32.

  • Figure 34
    Figure 34

    Ceramic types recovered from the Phillips trash pit.

  • Figure 35
    Figure 35

    Advertisements and listings published in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Salem newspapers.