Vessels: Crock, jar, pitcher, pot

This buff earthenware teapot has Rockingham decoration that incorporates a scene in relief. It was found during a downtown Toronto excavation, where the foundations of four townhouses built in 1832 and 1860 were uncovered.

The distinct decorative type known as Rockingham is a result of a combination of two glazes that create a mottled design. Rockingham is highly fired earthenware or stoneware that is generally buff to yellow paste with a brownish glaze. Rockingham can be manufactured in two ways. The first requires the vessel to be dipped in a clear or yellow glaze, dried, then an iron based brown glaze would be splattered or dripped onto the vessel. Another method, used by some North American potters, was to dip the vessel with a brown glaze and then drip a clear glaze or boracic acid onto the surface to create the mottled and swirled designs. It is common for Rockingham to be moulded with low relief scenes, while patches of the body show through. These vessels were mass produced and inexpensive.

Wares found in North America were either manufactured in England or locally. British Rockingham with relief decoration began production in the mid-19th century and exported to North America until the 1880s. In North America, the use of Rockingham decoration began in the mid-1840s and continued into the 20th century. Rockingham-like pottery produced in the United States is often referred to as Bennington pottery, named for the manufacturing center in Bennington, Vermont.


Jefferson Pattern Park and Museum, Diagnostic Artifacts of Maryland 2002:

Claney, Jane Perkins. 2004. Rockingham Ware in American Culture, 1830-1930; Reading Historical Artifacts. University Press of New England, Hanover.

Stradling, Diana. 2005. Fancy Rockingham Pottery. The Modeller and Ceramic in Nineteenth Century America.