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Jar

1861-1870
Origin: America, Pennsylvania or Ohio
3 1/2" x 3 1/4" (8.9 cm. x 8.3 cm.)
Stoneware, salt-glazed, brown and Albany slip
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1981.900.2
Squat, bulbous-shape vessel with thin, sharply flaring rim; the body is stoneware, covered with Albany slip. Incised decoration occurring mostly on and below the bulge of the body consists of a man in top hat and knee breeches holding an animal (probably calf or dog) by a lead or leash beneath the words "David, Mc, Donald.", a rooster, and a pair of crossed flags beneath which appears the word "UNION." Above this incised decor- ation are several bands of turned decoration.
Label:Scratched or sgraffito decoration was common on earthenware produced in Pennsylvania. The entire surface of a vessel is covered with liquid clay called slip. Once the slip dries, it can be scratched through to create a design and then the pieces were glazed. While not found as often on stoneware, sgraffito was employed on several vessels made in Ohio during the second half of the nineteenth century. We do not know who David McDonald was, but presumably this jar was made for him or he was the potter. The most interesting part of the design is the pair of crossed American flags above the word "UNION." This obvious reference o the Civil War helps date the piece as having been made after 1861.
---Inspiration and Ingenuity: American Stoneware
Exhibition curated by Suzanne Findlen Hood
At the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum
February 2007

Provenance:George Horace Lorimer, New York, N.Y.; George Burford Lorimer, New York, N.Y.; Mrs. Hulduh Lorimer Mingledorff, Sylvania, Ga.; Bernard & S. Dean Levy, Inc., New York, N.Y.; Don and Faye Walters, Goshen, Ind.
Mark(s):"David, Mc,Donald" and "UNION" are incised on the vessel.