Jar Maker: Unknown

ca. 1800

American Decorative Arts

On view, 1st floor, American Decorative Arts before 1900

Stoneware, made of clay containing silica and kaolin and fired at a higher temperature than earthenware, was first made in America early in the eighteenth century. Hard, thick-walled, inert, nonporous, and therefore ideal for salting, pickling, and storing acidic foodstuffs, stoneware became the dominant ceramic for utility vessels and containers in the years following the Revolution. With its wide mouth, sturdy hand grips, and ample, gently serpentine outline, this jar is among the earliest and finest examples. The New York City potters who made this jar between 1790 and 1810 were expert at decorating the gray, salt-glazed bodies of their wares with carefully incised figures filled in with brilliant blue cobalt-oxide glaze. This is an exceedingly rare example decorated on two sides; it has a large, striding lion on one side and a sinuous flower with radiating petals on the other.


Salt-glazed stoneware with cobalt blue decoration


12 3/8 × 8 3/4 in. (31.4 × 22.2 cm)
base: 5 1/2 in. (14 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John Paul Remensnyder

Accession Number



19th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.

  • American Art: Selections from the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2023), 110–11, no. 47, ill
  • Elise K. Kenney, ed., Handbook of the Collections: Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 124, ill
  • Florence Mellows Montgomery, "Ceramics, Glass, and Textiles at Yale," Antiques 117, no. 6 (June 1980), 1329, fig. 1
  • "Acquisitions 1977," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin 37, no. 1 (Fall 1978), 74
  • "Early American Ceramics at Yale," Ceramics Monthly 24 (May 1976), 21–23
  • Gerald W. R. Ward, "Elegance in Revolutionary America," Craft Horizons XXXVI, no. 2 (1976), 55, ill
  • Charles F. Montgomery and Patricia E. Kane, eds., American Art: 1750–1800 Towards Independence, exh. cat. (Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1976), 244–45, no. 218, ill
  • Donald Blake Webster, Decorated Stoneware Pottery of North America (Rutland, VT: C.E. Tuttle Co., 1971), fig. 44, 161
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

jars, stoneware, utilitarian objects

Technical metadata and APIs


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