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Storage jar

ca. 1780
Origin: America, New Jersey, Cheesequake
Overall: 11 3/8 x 11 3/4in. (28.9 x 29.8cm) Overall at Base: 6 3/8in. (16.2cm)
Stoneware, salt-glazed, gray with blue
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 2005-106
Two-gallon gray salt-glazed stoneware storage jar with open lug handles attached to either side of the vessel just below the rim. The handles have a pronounced raised rib along the center and floral designs in blue around each handle terminal. The rim is squared off and there is a ring of blue around the body beneath it. There is a floral design in blue on each side of the vessel.
Label:The decoration on this functional storage jar was influenced by German stoneware. It has been attributed to one of the earliest stoneware potteries in New Jersey because the designs on it are almost identical to those on archaeological fragments excavated from the Morgan pottery site. Although Captain James Morgan did not come from a family of potters or pottery owners, he inherited one of the largest stoneware clay banks in the eastern United States. Morgan appears to have established the first kiln in the area by the 1760s.

Two storage vessels, one in the collections of Colonial Williamsburg and the other in a private collection, illustrate designs associated with the Morgan manufactory. Made during James Morgan Sr.’s reign, their shapes are similar, and both have trailed cobalt designs. The Colonial Williamsburg example has a stylized floral motif, while the jar in the private collection is ornamented with more typical spiral designs. A tankard dated 1773 is also attributed to Captain Morgan’s tenure. The overall form of the piece is Germanic and features cordoned bands around the top and bottom, but the freehand trailed ornamentation in the middle frieze is a decidedly American feature.
Provenance:Purchased from Rob Hunter
Previously in the collection of Warren Hartman