Antique Portneuf pitcher. A hand-painted, polychrome, earthenware pitcher made in the typical “Portneuf” style. Sponge decoration with floral green and red motifs. A fine example of early and hard to find pottery made in Great Britain primarily for the North American market, 19th century. Unmarked.
Height: 6″ (15 cm)
Width from spout to handle: 7 1/2″ (19 cm)
Capacity: 5 1/2 cups, 1301 milliliters
Some wear around the outer rim. Minor crazing. Faint spider crack visible on the outside base but not on the interior. Minor inconsistencies in the glaze commonly found on 19th century pottery.
About “Portneuf” Pottery*
“Earthenware kitchen or table wares with sponged decoration known as “Portneuf” (the name of a town near Quebec City). Originally thought to have been made in Canada, then Staffordshire: it is now Scotland, however, that should be credited with many of them. It was put on unglazed wares by means of designs cut out of the roots of sponges and used in conjunction with “underglaze colours”. Much of the sponged ware had a ‘bright fancy character’ admired in the ‘out-markets’ of the world (affordable country wares made for Canada and America, where much of it has now come to be called ‘spatterware’). Floral decoration was common: bluebells, fuchsias, marguerites, peonies, thistles, and nameless other blossoms. Rosettes, medallions, crossed flags, sailing ships, fans, ferns, as well as animals abound. Very little of it is marked.”
This hard to find and highly sought after pottery was made in Great Britain primarily for the North American market from the early to mid-19th century into the late 1870’s.
*Source: Cameron, Elizabeth (1984) Nineteenth-Century Pottery and Porcelain in Canada, Second Edition, McGill-Queen’s University Press, Kingston and Montreal
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