Welcome to My Red Cape. Long ago in another time my husband Jack and I lived in a little old red house. It was the stuff of dreams to us for the few years that we were there. I live there still a number of hours every day in imagination, with old dolls and paintings and fabrics and feather trees. I draw inspiration and happiness from the memories of that space in time and share some of it here with friends who remember how to step with Alice through the looking glass and take delight in whimsies and antiquities. ~Edyth O’Neill

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Jackie's Redware

Jack passed away in Dec 2012, This and the three following posts are repeated here to enjoy his pottery collection afresh.  All photos for these have been lost in a computer crash.  e 10 16 2019

Jack loved his early American pottery.  We brought back uncounted pieces of it from Pennsylvania and New England in more than 25 years of trips north to buy for our shop. We kept a great deal of it to live with and love.  He would hold a piece out to me and say "Hold it here, you can feel where the potter's hands were."  Furniture, paintings, early iron and especially pewter were all things he studied and enjoyed, but the pottery he loved. Every piece of it calls his name to me.
I have only parted with one piece of his pottery since he left us three years ago, a small rare cup he would have wanted that friend to have. I believe most of the rest of the pottery is just where he left it, stoneware and redware.
 On top  of a highboy in Jack"s room are two very large black glazed redware jugs from Pennsylvania next to a rarely found stoneware jug from Charlestown (MA) and so marked. 

Somewhere I have a photo of Jack with the largest one of these in his arms the day he found it in a big flea/antique market in Pennsylvania. He was so happy with this one.  They are glazed a deep brown black that iridizes to purple in places. I believe this is manganese.  Some one out there who knows correct me or verify this for us all.

 Like many people do, I have several small pieces of redware wired for lamps.

 Three large storage jars from Pennsylvania are high on a ledge.

This beautiful red milk pan is perfectly set off on a tea towel Penny S wove. I treasure every thread of her weaving! 

Jack's last piece of woodwork was a shelf to go in the kitchen over the sink. When it was done he selected and placed these pieces on it and I have never moved them, just dusted around them.

Also in the kitchen is the cupboard that was once part of our kitchen cabinetry in our red cape. Some nice pieces are here as well as in a corner  cupboard on the sun porch. The redware is all over the house really. This is not all.

The large red cream pot with manganese splotches is typical of Connecticut.

This cream pot stands almost a foot tall and is redder than the camera caught, a rich dark red with the casual glaze that tells us it was everyday ware not greatly important to the potter.   The milk pan in front  has a yellow glaze with a touch of green tint, likely from Maine.

I am enjoying learning to paint some of the pottery.

This small study is in preparation for a larger painting next week.


Happy Thanksgiving 2016

 This Post is repeated from Nov 22 2016

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my family and friends who read here.   This is a time to be thankful for so many blessings.  Among these I am thankful my pretty kitchen and think of how Jackie worked hard to leave me in a safe sweet home when he knew he could not stay here long.  Of course we built our red cape with the hope it would be our forever home on this earth, but that was not to be.  So see what a pretty kitchen we made in this modern little garden home where I am grateful to be. 
We used his pottery collection as a theme in the kitchen and all surfaces were planned to compliment the redware and stoneware.
 Onions are gathered in a fine Redware bowl we believe was made in Maine. These onions are in two of my paintings. The counter top makes a strong statement and was not a choice for the faint of heart! 

See the rich and varied glaze on this early Boston marked piece.

This very sought after stoneware is the work of Frederick Carpenter, and Jack collected at least twenty of these pots.  The earlier is marked Boston then the pottery moved across the river and was afterwards marked Charlestown.

Now I have six of my recent paintings hanging in here, and have just finished making a peach cobbler pie for our family Thanksgiving dinner.  All four generations will be there at Daughter Beth's and it will be one to please Norman Rockwell. 

 Friend Dixie went to considerable trouble to secure and travel to pick up and then mail the little ship model from an auction in Maine last month. It is a one off home made model of an actual working fishing vessel I believe.  See that tiny wooden ball on top of the center mast? I lost that in a huge box of peanut packing and it took two hours and three passes through it all to recover the little bit of wood!
Langhorn's Tavern in Virginia was owned by my ancestor Maurice Langhorn. 

Footnote: I have had email from a new reader here, a person very knowledgeable  about early American pottery. He has a great blog on the subject:  http://www.earlyamericanceramics.com/ 
This is wonderful reading!    Go look.     Best, e

Four Early Hartford Connecticut Stoneware Pots in a Texas Kitchen

this post has been repeated from August 4th, 2012

As a fan of early 19th century American stoneware it was exciting to come across a large shapely three gallon crock with an unfamiliar name on it, Peter Cross Hartford, at a local show way down here in the Texas Hill Country. The large open mouth vessel had all of the earmarks of a very early piece: ovoid form, some scars from the kiln as well as extra details around the neck. I estimated the date of manufacture at around 1815 because of those features. Needless to say I added it to my collection. I was able to find it in my reference books (before I had Google) and see that Peter Cross operated a pottery from 1805 until about 1815 in two locations on Front St. in Hartford. Not many of his marked pieces have survived and are quite sought after.

Peter Cross sold his first pottery location in 1810 to Goodwin and Webster and opened another that he sold in 1815 to Benton and Stewart. They employed a potter named Daniel Goodale jr. who later bought the pottery in 1822. Goodale made pottery there until 1830 when Goodwin and Webster took over that pottery as well.

My Benton and Stewart jug was found at Brimfield and came with the story that those were the names of two retired sea captains that decided to go into the stoneware business. It was pleasantly ovoid shaped and had a series of rings around its neck which pretty much dates it 1820 or earlier. My research did show that they were indeed retired sea captains. Sometimes the story does match up with the facts. Very few pieces with that mark show up.

The Goodale crock was also found at Brimfield on another trip. It appears to retain its original lid which is unusual and features a nice bulbous form and Hartford mark which appealed to me.

The Goodwin and Webster pot was found in one of our favorite shops in Willington Connecticut. Although not rare, pots turned out by Goodwin and Webster are usually shapely and stylish. They were probably the most successful of the early Connecticut potters.

All four of our pots are related and were made in close proximity to one another, a fact that I didn’t realize when I bought them. I think it only fitting that they now sit side by side although they are many miles from Hartford.    Jack

Boston Stoneware collection

this article is reposted from Feb 25 2012
The house we were living in was a modern two story stone.  In May 2012 we moved into our smaller garden home, meaning tiny yards, and I am still comfortable here with a crowded but serviceable studio space for painting.

While shopping at an antique flea market in New Hampshire one fall morning, I noticed a very shapely piece of stoneware that was painted white. I inquired about the jug and the dealer showed me where he had scraped the paint away from the name and some imprinted designs on the neck and said it was from Charlestown and very collectable. I passed on the jug but that piqued my curiosity about the subject. Most of our customers and my wife liked the grey stoneware with the blue decoration, flowers, birds, and leafy designs, while I was becoming more attracted to the early forms that used very little blue, often just a bit to highlight the maker’s name or city and sometimes around the handle.
These ovoid forms just talked to me. Often they had incised rings around the neck and sometimes on the shoulder of the piece and displayed imperfections in the glaze and body from the crude kilns and erratic firings, all of which showed the handwork involved in their making. On our return from the trip I started to research Charlestown pottery and discovered that Charlestown was across the river from Boston and was the home of Bunker Hill, site of our first big battle with the British in the Revolutionary War. According to our reference books, the Charlestown marked pottery was the product of a potter originally from Connecticut named Frederick Carpenter who started in the business in Boston in 1793 with a partner, Jonathan Fenton. That business lasted only a few years. Pottery produced during this 18th century period was marked Boston with a B the same size as the other letters. Carpenter tried again in 1803 with a new backer and marked his wares Boston with a large B and later Charlestown. After 1812 the Boston mark was no longer used and Charlestown was the mark until Carpenter’s death in 1827. Many wonderful pieces with these marks survived…….The pieces often had stamped designs under the town name instead of a stamped 2 or 3 to indicate the capacity in gallons. Hearts, chevrons with tassels, eagles over cannons, crosses are just some of the designs used . Often the pieces were dipped in a brown glaze top and bottom in the style of English stoneware of that time. The glaze often ran or was mottled and variegated and this effect adds to the pottery’s charm.
During 1804 a few of the pieces were stamped Boston 1804. Pride was taken in the fact that these wares were made in this country and not imported. One article written in the 1950’s said only ten pieces with this marking, Boston 1804, were known to the author. I have personally seen six or seven pieces on the market for sale with this date, so am sure there were more than ten survivors, but still they are quite rare. Enjoy the photos from my collection which I hope show some of the appeal of the pottery……Jack

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