In the form of a heart, this inkstand is made of slabs of clay, one on the top, one on the bottom, and a strip of clay for the sides, molded together on the edges and decoratively pierced. The top is pierced with a six-pointed star. The top is also fitted to hold an ink well and a sander, both of which are wheel-thrown and glazed with a brown manganese lead glaze. On the interior in the base of the inkstand are the initials “I[J]H” for John Holland, one of the succession of Moravian potters working in Salem, North Carolina. The stand after its construction was coated in a white slip, and then decorated with manganese and copper slips. Under the lead glaze, this makes a yellow, brown, and green appearance.
John Holland apprenticed under potter Rudolph Christ and as noted in Moravian records, inherited molds used in Christ’s shop. Rudolph Christ retired in 1821 and John Holland took over as Salem’s third master potter. His tenure was short lived, however, and the pottery ceased to operate as a congregational business in 1829.