Named the "Cavalier in a Window," this spectacular and rare yellow ware lidded ale pitcher is glazed in the streaked, mottled brown glaze known as Rockingham. It's attributed to the Baltimore, Maryland pottery of Edwin Bennett and his brother William, founded in 1850 as the E. and W. Bennett Pottery, making molded yellow and Rockingham wares. Edwin and William were potters at their brother's James Bennett and Brothers Pottery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, before settling in Baltimore. Exhibited at the Maryland Institute, their pottery won silver and gold medals for quality and style. This pitcher dates from the mid-1800's; unmarked, it's been attributed to E. and W. Bennett by comparison to their documented pieces. Experts have stated that the Baltimore Bennett company produced some of America's finest Rockingham glazed pottery.
Cavalier is a British political term that came to mean a swashbuckler in elaborate clothing. This cavalier is holding a mug of ale and smoking his clay pipe; he's framed by an arch of bricks that in turn is framed by branches of ivy. To carry the ale theme further, there are sheaves of hops tied with a bow above each cavalier (the decorations are identical on each side). Molded hops are also on the lid, on the knop of the lid and on the branch handle. The elongated, perforated spout is supported by an animal head, which has been identified as both a goat and a bull. The bellied form of the pitcher has a recessed foot. The lid is an item so rarely found that it is a cause for celebration when one has survived.
This pitcher is monumental in size; its weight of 7 pounds alone would make us sorry for the barmaid who had to heft it full of ale--or even empty. It stands 10 1/2" high including the lid; about 10 inches across the belly from spout to handle and about 8 1/2 inches front to back. In outstanding condition, with the glossy surface intact and no chips or cracks other than a few small, old chips to the inner lid, this is a masterpiece of early American pottery that will be the focal point of any collection.
>>>As always, white spots are the reflections of our studio lighting.
>>>Our research sources include the book, "Baltimore: Biography," published in 1912 by the Lewis Historical Publishing Company.