The easiest way to identify an antique stoneware crock is by its light-colored, grey-tinged, rough and pebbled salt-glazed appearance. According to research from the Museums of West Virginia, crocks with the same salt glaze on the interior predate 1800. Newer vessels are likely to have an interior coating known as Albany slip. Collectors can utilise the signs and symbols on antique stoneware jugs to trace their provenance. From geometric designs to natural symbols, these identifying marks are as diverse as the objects they designate. Words or initials are another frequent methods of identifying stoneware.
The emblem of an anchor may be depicted on European stoneware from the eighteenth century. Extremely antique objects have primitive designs with few lines and few details. Anchor designs from the nineteenth century are more complex and intricate. As a mark of origin, German and Old English ceramics may feature a crown or a shield. If the piece was manufactured after 1891, the nation of origin is also indicated. After 1914, the phrases “Made in” and the country of origin are stamped on items.
Human body parts or legendary animals are frequently suggestive of 19th- or 20th-century pottery. Typically, hands and arms are depicted holding swords or arrows. Typically, company names accompany these distinctive symbols, making it easy for the collector to date the item.
Marked with foreign alphabets, pottery or stoneware is difficult to trace. However, the interest is typically ample motivation to attempt, as these marks are frequently ancient and extremely rare. Some Chinese ceramics with foreign scripts date back to the thirteenth century.
Before the American Revolution, the United States Colonies imported all of their stoneware from Europe. Americans constructed stoneware plants in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey in the decades following World War II. According to antiques appraiser Dr. Lori, the patterns on each piece of stoneware reveal hints about its origin and age. These are typically ornate symbols or figures executed in cobalt blue glaze.
Makers also imprinted their names or localities on their crocks. An article in Collector’s Weekly reveals that a crock carrying the stamp “Manhattan Wells” indicates its origin as the Clarkson Crolius factory in New York. The mark “Adam Claire, Po’keepsie” on a stoneware crock with a cobalt blue, hand-painted design dating to the late 19th century reveals the piece’s rarity and collectibility.
A more beautifully produced design on a stoneware crock is likely to increase the vessel’s worth, according to Dr. Lori. Stoneware’s value also depends on its age, condition, and rarity; therefore, identifying these criteria is vital for being a successful collector.