Pottery and Glass

The pottery and glass finds from Byrnside’s Fort have mostly consisted of broken sherds out of the yard. But there are some intact stoneware jugs and crocks from the basement.

The best was a 1820 Virginia Stoneware Jug by Samuel Wilson, cork still in place, found hidden in the basement. This is an early “ovoid” shaped liquid storage jar; so anything from liquor to flaxseed oil.

Check out the blog post we did on it where we identified who made it:

Then there are vast amounts of ceramic pottery found in the yard, much of which was in one pit, possibly both an old cellar hole and also trash midden for many years.

“Featheredge” pearlware of various styles, both blue rimmed and green rimmed (though mostly blue). This ranges from 1770 or so through about 1840 or 30. The scalloped edge version is the older design. The straight edge dates anywhere from 1785-1840.

This is what an intact version of this plate looks like. They’re not easy to find.

But who knows… there seems to be different views on the dates and styles of these things.


There’s some more good information here:


Mochaware, also called annular or banded ware. These were produced in England circa 1785-1840. I haven’t found a match to this exact pattern yet, but I’m looking…..

This sherd was excavated in New York City at the South Ferry Terminal. They place a date range of 1780-1825 on it:

Hand painted blue and white pearlware. Circa 1820-1840. At about 1820, these blue floral designs painted with a bolder stroke became popular.

That big sherd at center is transfer printed pearlware, which is generally 1784-1840. However, as you see in the next pic, I was able to put together the scene, which provides additional dating clues.

Techniques: 1780-1807: Line engraved transfers with heavier cruder designs and a minimum of shading. In 1807 stippling was introduced, using many small dots to produce more precise, shaded, dimensional designs. Motifs before about 1815 are predominantly Chinese-inspired, and between about 1815 and 1830 landscapes and historical scenes were popular. Romantic views predominate after ca. 1830. Colors Blue- 1784-1840; Brown introduced – 1809; Dark (almost navy) blue – 1818-1830; Red, Green, Purple introduced – 1829. These chronological indicators also apply to whitewares.


Our scene at far right is probably either a historical scene (1815-1830) or a romantic scene (1830-1840).

More transferware…..

It took me a while to figure this out. This is a “Token of Affection” mug. A small cup/mug they used to give to children for being well behaved.

Lower middle sherd, possibly transfer printed creamware? If so, it would be circa 1770-1815. Or it could just be a brown printed transfer on pearlware. Middle top is sponge ware, a form of pearlware, circa 1770-1830.

Broken wine glass stem, and hand painted polychrome:

The green glass is the top of an 18th century style travel liquor bottle, known as a “case bottle,” made to carry in a wooden case for the important purpose of bringing your liquor with you wherever you go. These are sometimes known as “cellarettes.”

And more handblown likely 18th century glass, and some lead glazed earthenware, which was made anywhere from 1490-1900.

I believe the blue on white hand painted sherds are delftware, circa 1630-1790. This is the old stuff, if I’m not mistaken. There’s also a possibility it could be actual imported china porcelain, which has a similar date range.

Sherds from another delftware piece. I haven’t ID’d this one either, but here are some known examples found by the archaeologists.

The next sherds I believe are all hand painted polychrome pearlware, circa 1795-1820, imported from England.

I believe this was a hand painted teapot. These are often botanical in nature, and the yellow band has been found on other pieces.

Even found the ball to the lid:

The base to more stoneware jugs.

A customized tourist glass from the 1895 World’s Fair in Atlanta. One of the Johnson daughters married a Dr. Copeland from Charleston, WV.

Found in between rocks in the fireplace. Broken Victorian era tumbler?

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