Basket Maker: American China Manufactory (American, 1769–1772)
Maker: (formerly called) Bonnin and Morris (American)
Maker, formerly attributed to: Seth Pennington (British, born 1744, w. c. 1765 - 1805)


American Decorative Arts

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

This basket represents the earliest porcelain manufacture in America. Most domestic pottery production in the colonies consisted of earthenware crockery, made by local potters using local materials, and stoneware jugs and jars, which required more capital to cover fuel, transport of materials, and experimentation. For fine earthenware or porcelain, aspiring colonists relied on imports from Europe and Asia. Thus, it was a remarkable venture for an American firm to embark on the extraordinarily costly and technically challenging production of porcelain. This openwork basket form painted with blue pigment under the glaze imitates Chinese-inspired wares being made at the Worcester Porcelain Manufactory in England. The American China Manufactory benefited from an anti-importation movement but was ultimately unable to compete with foreign imports and closed after only two years of operation.


Soft-paste porcelain


2 1/2 in. (6.4 cm)
other: 3 11/16 in. (9.4 cm)

Credit Line

Mabel Brady Garvan Collection

Accession Number



18th 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.



Edwin AtLee Barber (1851–1916), Philadelphia; consigned by his estate to Samuel T. Freeman and Company, Philadelphia, December 10–11, 1917, lot 50 (identified as Seth Pennington of Liverpool); sold to Francis P. Garvan (1875–1937), New York, December 10, 1917; given to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 1931
  • Robert Hunter, ed., Ceramics in America (Milwaukee, WI: The Chipstone Foundation, 2002), 236–239, pl. 4, fig. 4.1, fig.4.2
  • Elise K. Kenney, ed., Handbook of the Collections: Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 124, ill
  • Samuel T. Freeman and Co., Philadelphia, Pa., The Collection of the Late Edwin AtLee Barber, A.M., Ph.D., sale cat. (1917), 13, lot 50
Object copyright
Additional information


Underglaze blue "P" on bottom

Technical metadata and APIs


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