Pitcher with swirled ribbed design

Manufacturer United States Pottery Company American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774

Rockingham ware, named after the Rockingham Pottery in England, is loosely defined as earthenware pottery embellished with a mottled brown glaze, often with relief-molded decoration. It was produced in the United States in the decades of the middle of the nineteenth century, a significant era for the American pottery industry when British workers, designers, and mold makers emigrated from England’s flourishing Staffordshire potting district, bringing with them British factory practices, techniques, and designs. Many examples are direct copies of their British prototypes; others are loosely inspired by them. The earliest in this country date to the early 1830s, and such ware continued through the third quarter of the nineteenth century. It was produced at numerous potteries from Trenton and Jersey City, New Jersey, to Connecticut, Baltimore, and Ohio. Such distinctive vessels, with their naturalistic decoration were a feature in middle-class households throughout the country.

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