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Rare Civil War Era Salt Glaze Stoneware Jar with Unusual Manganese Floral Decoration

Dated 1863: Note the stamped or more formally done "5" gallon mark overwritten by a large 4. An inscribed "4" was also added to the back of the crock so no mistake would be made on its size. Highly unusual manganese floral decoration and rare Civil War date make this an exceptional piece of antique American stoneware. This unusual jar measures 12" Tall, 7" Wide at the top, and 6 1/2" at the bottom.

Based on the red color of the crock's clay, the manganese or mulberry of its decorated tulips, and its applied handles (definitely Northern rather than Southern in origin), we believe this excellent salt glazed jar may have been thrown in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania by noted American potter Henry Glazier, who is well documented for using a mulberry slip to decorate his stoneware. Glazier is known to have potted through 1854 before entering public office, but he lived in Huntingdon throughout the Civil War and up until his death in 1888. It is quite possible and even probable that Glazier made some stoneware during the war when there was a shortage of men in the work force due to the need for able bodied males to enlist in the Union Army.

Regardless, however, of who threw this jar or where it was made, this jar stands as a metaphor of the duress of the American Civil War. The potter simply chose to scratch a four over his impressed five rather than erase the five or discard the piece entirely and then chose to quickly add a date. The tulip decoration itself is obviously quickly done, and the jar was not glazed very thoroughly because there are many glaze skips. All of these things point to the need to finish utilitarian products with a minimum of artistry when our nation was at war with itself and our country's future hung in the balance. This is a wonderful and rare piece of 19th century American stoneware that embodies the turbulent times in which it was spun on the wheel, glazed, and fired in the kiln.

Rare Civil War Era Antique American Stoneware with Manganese Floral Decoration and incised Date 1863

Rare Civil War Era Antique American Stoneware with Manganese Floral Decoration and incised Date 1863

Rare Civil War Era Antique American Stoneware with Manganese Floral Decoration and incised Date 1863

Rare Civil War Era Antique American Stoneware with Manganese Floral Decoration and incised Date 1863

Rare Civil War Era Antique American Stoneware with Manganese Floral Decoration and incised Date 1863

Rare Civil War Era Antique American Stoneware with Manganese Floral Decoration and incised Date 1863

Rare Civil War Era Antique American Stoneware with Manganese Floral Decoration and incised Date 1863

Dated 1863 Stoneware Crock with Manganese Floral Decoration
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