- Baby walkers
- Bed warmers
- Beer, ale mullers
- Besoms, broom-making
- Box, cabinet, and press beds
- Butter crocks, coolers
- Candle snuffers, tallow
- Clothes horses, airers
- Cooking on a peat fire
- Drying grounds
- Enamel cookware
- Irons for frills & ruffles
- Knitting sheaths, belts
- Laundry starch
- Log cabin beds
- Lye and chamber-lye
- Marseilles quilts
- Medieval beds
- Rag rugs
- Rushlights, dips & nips
- Straw mattresses
- Sugar cutters - nips & tongs
- Washing bats and beetles
- Washing dollies
- List of all articles
Salt-glazed Stoneware in Early America by Janine Skerry
Folk art in the dairy
Unless you need your butter churn to be, surprisingly, dishwasher-safe, you can usually find nice antique churns on ebay. Barrel churns or small glass kitchen-size ones, or a traditional up-and-down churn (right). But they're not in the same league as one sold at a Sotheby's auction in January. Coming from a "distinguished" private collection of "American furniture and folk art", the salt-glazed stoneware churn decorated with blue pheasants sold for $18,000, six times more than the expected top price. A cracked late 19th century churn with a cobalt-blue lion but no lid did even better in 2001: $26,500.
Animal designs, especially birds, were popular for everyday stoneware in 19th century
North America, as were flowers. The best of it is now in
museum collections, like this
churn, with fine stag, made in Hudson, NY, around 1870.
May 2007 >> More on butter churns
Collecting Blue and White Stoneware by Kathryn McNerney
North American salt-glazed stoneware
Weitsman Stoneware Collection housed by the New York State Museum (referred
to above) is a fine collection of pottery with good online pictures and information.
More American "salt glaze" stoneware decorated with cobalt blue can be seen at the
Historic Arkansas Museum,
Alexandria Archaeology Museum,
Red Wing Pottery Museum
and this exhibition of Minnesota Red Wing stoneware.
Canadian salt-glazed stoneware was made in the New England style in the later part of the 19th century.
Some stoneware pieces can be far more valuable than a humble butter churn: for instance, this large jug with its handsome peacock. A Kovels newsletter reports prices over $70,000 for large stoneware crocks with particularly fine painted designs.
- Bennington pottery
- Early Wisconsin stoneware
- Stoneware of Eastern Virginia
- New York Historical Society Collection - search with [stoneware] and other relevant terms
- 1957 traditional salt-glazed pottery
- Massachussetts crock, and another
You may like our new sister site Home Things Past where you'll find articles about antiques, vintage kitchen stuff, crafts, and other things to do with home life in the past. There's space for comments and discussion too. Please do take a look and add your thoughts. (Comments don't appear instantly.)
For sources please refer to the books page, and/or the excerpts quoted on the pages of this website, and note that many links lead to museum sites. Feel free to ask if you're looking for a specific reference - feedback is always welcome anyway. Unfortunately, it's not possible to help you with queries about prices or valuation.