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Jug with Lizard Handle

20th century (pre-1974) Unidentified glazed stoneware 9 3/4 x 6 1/4 x 5 3/4 in. (24.8 x 15.9 x 14.6 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson 1986.65.38 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 28B


Luce Center Label

Until the mid-twentieth century, people used large stoneware pots to store homemade butter, syrups, fruit, and meat. They also fermented and stored alcohol in heavy bell jars that kept the brew airtight and cool. Craftsmen used local clays and handmade glazes to create these pots and rarely applied any decoration. The glazes were made from sand, clay, lime, or wood ash, and often ran down the clay during firing to create a “tobacco spit” effect.

Keywords

Animal - reptile - lizard

decorative arts - ceramic

folk art

ceramic - stoneware