AIRVILLE PLANTATION, VIRGINIA DECORATED STONEWARE JAR, salt-glazed, "1 1/2" gallon capacity mark, ovoid form with incised shoulder ring, squared rim, and grooved arched handles. Incised "Smith / Airville / Va" in script at shoulder. Brushed cobalt horizontal floral decoration on both sides, additional cobalt at handle terminals. Baltimore or Virginia. Circa 1835. 11 1/2" H, 6 3/4" D rim. Provenance: The collection of Ronnie and Neal Kite of Esmont, VA.
Ex-John and Lil Palmer, Purceville, VA. Catalogue Note: This jar was made for Major Thomas Smith's Airville Plantation located in Gloucester Co., Virginia. Several pieces of stoneware inscribed for his plantation have been recorded. The latest attribution for these Airville jars has been assigned to Baltimore. While the crock offered here displays a form and decoration that is consistent with a Baltimore origin, the color of the clay and fact that it was not fired at a high temperature argues against such an attribution. This characteristic raises the question of whether the present jar was actually made by a Baltimore-trained potter in another location closer to the actual Airville plantation recorded on the piece, possibly Richmond or another Virginia site. Research is ongoing.
Fair as-found condition, several chips to rim, Y-shape hairline off rim at one handle, glaze spall and moderate wear, light chipping to base.