Origin: England, Staffordshire
Stoneware, salt-glazed, white
Archaeological Collection, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Acc. No. T067-2013,10
Tankard excavated at the William Finnie House Site, Williamsburg, Virginia [4-2BA1, 00880-02BA].
Label:Salt-glazed stoneware was first produced in what is now Germany. Large amounts of this durable product were shipped all over the globe, partly because it was well suited for the safe storage of food. British potters worked to copy German stoneware and developed a unique product known as white salt-glazed stoneware. The refined clay used in British wares offered all the qualities of more utilitarian stoneware, but could also be made into refined tableware. Colonists in the Chesapeake used large quantities of German and British stoneware, both in the kitchen and on the table.
This tankard's lopsided sprigging, applied using metal molds, includes a jumble of foliage surrounded by the arms of the Kingdom of Britain, a seated squirrel, and a square-tailed bird looking over its shoulder. An extant variant of this now rare design features the same bird and coat of arms flanked by supporters. (See accession number 1978-224.)