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Four-Gallon Cooler

1847-1860
Origin: America, Massachusetts, Somerset
16" x 13" x 13 5/16" (40.6 cm. x 33.0 cm. x 35.4 cm.)
Stoneware, salt-glazed, gray with blue and wood and Albany slip interior
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1975.900.1
Salt-glazed stoneware urn shaped cooler on pedestal base with two lug handles. The piece is decorated with blue dots in a line around the shoulders, two birds stamped on one side and slip trailed floral decoration on the reverse.
Label:The Chace family made earthenware in Somerset at least as early as 1768. In 1847, almost eighty years later, brothers Benjamin and Clark Chace built a stoneware kiln on the family property and incorporated as the Somerset Potters Works.
This piece is distinguished by the stamped decoration of birds on branches. Stamped ornamentation was not common on stoneware from the Northeast and appeared more frequently on objects made by potters in New York State. That the Somerset Potters Works invested in stamps for this type of adornment suggests a level of commitment to decorative wares beyond the odd embellishment.
---Inspiration and Ingenuity: American Stoneware
Exhibition curated by Suzanne Findlen Hood
At the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum
February 2007

Provenance:Maze Pottinger Antiques, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Mark(s):Impressed "SOMERSET POTTERS WORKS/somerset/4"