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Snuff Jar

A work made of earthenware.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of earthenware.




Lyman, Fenton & Company
American, 1849–52
Bennington, Vermont

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.

Lyman, Fenton, and Company modeled snuff jars such as this one loosely after a beloved English form known as a Toby Fillpot or Philpot. These jugs were usually modeled as a seated figure in 18th-century dress with a cup in one hand and a pitcher in the other. In this transformation of the English jug into an American snuff jar, the hat, or mouth, of the vessel has been turned into a lid.


Currently Off View


Arts of the Americas


Lyman, Fenton & Co.


Snuff Jar




c. 1849–1852




Mark impressed on bottom: "Lyman, Fenton & Co./Bennington/Fenton's/Enamel/Patent/1849"


10.4 × 9.1 cm (4 1/8 × 3 9/16 in.)

Credit Line

Amelia Blanxius Collection, gift of Emma B. Hodge and Jene E. Bell

Reference Number


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