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"Tea Canister"

Origin: America, Pennsylvania, Mercer
7 1/2" x 3 7/8" x 3 7/8" (19.1 cm. x 9.9 cm. x 9.9 cm.)
Earthenware, lead-glazed
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1976.900.3
Glazed yellow earthenware 4-sided bottle or caddy. The main body of this caddy is more nearly square than 76.900.2, although one side (the side with "thistle" type decoration) tapers in about 1/8" more than the other three sides. The sides are arched, and about 2" of the caddy's height consists of rounded shoulder, neck, and lip. All four sides are decorated with different floral motifs, brushed on in dark brown glaze. There is a "thistle", a "tulip", a sunflower", and a double "weeping" branch of foliage. The latter is the only design that does not appear on 76.900.2 also.
Label:This is one of two very similar containers owned by the Folk Art Center. Each bears a lengthy incised inscription on the bottom. The verse on this example reads "This is the can/To hold the tea/It holds enough/For you and me/Made by E, White/In Mercer March/22 AD 1848." The inscription on the other container identifies it as a "tea canister" and includes the short poem: "And now we hear/that there is peace/We do rejoice when/ wars do cease." The Folk Art Center's containers have the same motifs (a tulip, a sunflower, and a thistle) on each of three sides. Each fourth side carries a distinct motif; a stylized iris appears on this canister while a double weeping branch appears on the other. Towns and counties named Mercer have been located in several different states. None has been identified conclusively as E. White's home, and no information about the potter has been found to date.
Provenance:Maze Pottinger Antiques, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Inscription(s):Incised in script on the bottom is "Tea Canister/Made by E, White/And now we hear/that there is peace/We do rejoice when/wars do cease/Made by E, White/March 22d 1848"