Possibly made in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, United States
Earthenware; Redware with sgraffito decoration
Diam. 12 1/4 in. (31.1 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Robert W. de Forest, 1933
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 704
Pennsylvania German potters of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, utilizing the locally available red clay, produced for a local market utilitarian earthenware pieces as well as more elaborate wares. These immigrant craftsmen brought skills and decorative traditions from their homeland. This plate from Northampton County exemplifies the sgraffito technique employed by many Pennsylvania Germans. The method involves coating the hardened clay with white slip and then scratching through the surface with a sharp tool to reveal the red layer beneath. This piece, like many of its kind, features a simplified peacock and floral motif.