Thomas W. Commeraw

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 704

This vessel was made by Thomas W. Commeraw, a free African American potter working in Manhattan's Lower East Side during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Commeraw operated a kiln in Corlears Hook, the area along the shoreline of the East River now between the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridge. Like most stoneware of the period, Commeraw's vessels were largely utilitarian and embellished with incised decoration accented with a cobalt glaze. The distinctive foliate design found on both sides of this jar are typical of Commeraw's wares and distinguish his vessels from those of other New York City potters of the early 19th century. Commeraw's is the largest body of work by a free Black potter during the antebellum period.

Jar, Thomas W. Commeraw (active 1796–1819) or, Stoneware, American

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