Origin: America, Massachusetts, Boston
Overall: 14 1/4 x 9in. (36.2 x 22.9cm)
Stoneware, salt glazed, gray with blue
Museum Purchase, Wesley and Elise H. Wright in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Clay Hofheimer II and in honor of John C. Austin
Acc. No. 2008-14
Ovoid-shaped salt-glazed stoneware bottle with narrow reeded neck and strap handle attached to the neck of the bottle and terminating at the top of the shoulder. Decorated on the shoulder with an incised, cobalt-blue filled up-side-down fish.
Label:Many Massachusetts potters, including William Seaver in Taunton and Jonathan Fenton and Frederick Carpenter in Boston were active in the stoneware industry after the Revolution. Prior to that there is scant evidence of stoneware production in New England until Fenton and Carpenter opened their manufactory in 1793. The duo worked within a well-established model: Fenton produced stoneware in the Germanic style and Carpenter in the English fashion. Fenton and Carpenter advertised that they had “STONE WARE, of all kinds that is usually made, consisting principally of Jugs, of different sizes, Butter and Pickle Pots, Mugs, Pitchers, and Gallipots.” In 1793, the year the pottery was established, James Leach advertised that he had “Boston manufactured Stone Ware, wholesale and retail” for sale at his grocery store. It must have been the product of Fenton and Carpenter. Although they were more successful than previous New England potters, it was still necessary for Fenton and Carpenter to import stoneware clay from the Raritan clay deposit in New Jersey. This expense was offset because the increased duties levied on imports made producing stoneware in America a much more economically viable undertaking.
Fenton and Carpenter’s pieces created between 1793 and 1796 were often marked “BOSTON” in uppercase letters of equal size. The pottery closed in 1796, although both men continued to make stoneware independently.
Provenance:Purchased from Northeast Auctions, Portsmouth, NH