Stoneware Two Gallon Antique Marked Jug
This antique stoneware jug has an uncommon transitional shape, with a beehive bottom and a cone top, similar to that of an early 20th century whiskey jug. This jug does not, however, have the wide protruding ridge at the shoulder; instead, it has a shallowly indented, narrow band there. There are two different glazes, a pale cream on the lower body and a light tan speckled with brown on the top section. The jug was not salt-glazed, simply fired as is in the kiln. The number two is stenciled in cobalt on the top part of the jug, indicating it holds two gallons, with three slashing lines for emphasis.
It's nicely shaped, with a ridged, applied handle attached to the short neck and showing thumb prints at its base where it is attached to the body. It stands 14 1/2 inches tall to top of the mouth rim, measures 9 inches across with a 27 inch circumference and weighs a hefty 9 1/2 pounds. The jug dates from 1880-1900 and is in very good condition, with two chips on the dark brown rim of the mouth and one on the bottom edge. The cream glaze runs down one side in three long drips.
This is not a "company" piece of stoneware, where each one turned out looks the same. This jug was hand made by a man who spent extra time and effort on it, evidenced by the two-tone glazes, the decorative handle and the cobalt markings. Given its resemblance to English two-tone stoneware, the maker may have been one of the many English potters who immigrated to America, carrying forward some of the traditional English pottery characteristics in his new home. Over a century later, this handsome jug can be displayed proudly today.
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