English Pottery In The Antebellum South

English Pottery
Before the 1700's, the southern colonies relied on England for its porcelain.
English Earthenware
Earthenware is made from potters' clay and lead glaze and has been manufactured in England since the medieval period. Earthenware was not produced in America until the 1620's.
English Stoneware
Stoneware has been produced in England since 1540, and its earliest form is called Rhenishware. While it does not require a glaze, a salt glaze was sometimes added as an aesthetic and functional element, as this made stoneware easier to clean.
Important Porcelain of the 1700's
Porcelain is very white, and its translucent quality makes it highly desirable. Produced in China since 500 A.D., porcelain was not introduced to Europe until the 1400's. Chinese porcelain is the oldest found in the colonial south. European ceramists tried to recreate Chinese porcelain but could not produce the quality, as true porcelain is made from kaolin clay. "Artificial porcelain" spread through Europe and eventually to America.
Until the 1700's Dutch delft, English delft, French faience, and stoneware from Europe abounded in America. It was not until the end of the 1700's that Staffordshire became the most highly prized European porcelain.
Minton pottery of Staffordshire, England was established in 1793 and produced fine porcelain. The Minton mark has changed with the years, and this allows for ease in dating your items. From 1863-1872, Minton was marked with a globe. In 1873, the globe was topped with a crown, and an "S" was added.
English pottery often integrated the British Royal Arms into a mark. A lion was placed to the left and a unicorn to the right of a shield, and a crown topped it. Before 1837, the marks included a small shield centered on a larger one, but after 1837, it was removed.
Wedgewood Creamware
In the late 1700's, Josiah Wedgewood developed a cream-colored earthenware still known as creamware, and although it is earthenware, it is highly sought-after. Queen Charlotte of England was the first to order it, thus Wedgewood is called "Queen's ware."
Wedgewood Standards of 1780
CC cream-colored
edged shell-edged
printed transfer printed
dipped mocha
painted hand-painted
Wedgewood Pearlware
In 1779 Wedgewood developed "pearlware". It was a whiter stoneware, as cobalt was included in the glaze coating. Pearlware is the most common earthenware type in the early 1800's, but Wedgewood made very little pearlware, and it is very, very rare.
The early pearlware can be distinguished from the later versions by the blue in the glaze around the handles and in the crevices.
Mason's Ironstone
In 1813, Charles James Mason patented ironstone in Staffordshire, England. It is a dense earthenware that resembles Chinese porcelain in its bluish color, but is never translucent like porcelain.
Whiteware is a less-expensive alternative to porcelain and other stonewares. It was very commonly manufactured in America in the 1800's. It is as white as porcelain but never translucent.
Transferware is very popular and very, very common. The item itself may be stoneware, creamware, or whiteware with a transfer printed image. An illustration is created and then made into a mold. The mold is then dipped in a color substance and set onto an already-fired ware. When the mold is removed the image remains. This type of print is identifiable by tiny dots of paint.
Hand-Painted Polychrome
Polychrome was very popular in the 1800's. It is rather rare, as it was hand-painted and not mass-produced. The two most common decorative designs were floral, which showcased a specific flower; and sprig, which adorned the rim of a piece with a leaf pattern. Brush strokes are apparent on these pieces, as the were hand-painted.
Annular Dippedware
Also called "diptware", these pieces have a ring, or repetitive rings, wrapping the rim. Undamaged period pieces are very rare, as they were quite utilitarian.