About this artwork
Beginning in the mid-18th century, English manufacturers introduced yellow-bodied pottery with mottled brown glazing, commonly known as Rockingham ware, to the United States market. By the 1840s, factories in America, aided by English immigrant craftsmen, were producing the pottery to great success. Two of the most notable American makers of Rockingham ware were located in Bennington, Vermont, where potteries had existed since at least 1785, but there were also manufacturers in New Jersey, Ohio, Maryland, and elsewhere. Responding to the utilitarian needs of America’s middle class, these potteries produced a large range of objects, from spittoons to inkwells, snuffboxes to pitchers, and candlesticks to doorknobs.
Among the few purely decorative items with mottled glazes are standing poodles. Conceived as facing pairs, they were intended to adorn a fireplace mantel. These figures were embellished with “coleslaw,” or shredded clay, applied to the front quarters, head, and tail. This poodle carries a basket of fruit glazed in white and pale colors, distinguishing it from the rest of the figure, which is covered with the typical mottled brown glaze.
- United States Pottery Company
- Standing Poodle
- 21.6 × 23.2 × 11.4 cm (8 1/2 × 9 1/8 × 4 1/2 in.)
- Amelia Blanxius Collection, gift of Emma B. Hodge and Jene E. Bell