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Loy, Solomon
Place Made:
Alamance County North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
earthenware –lead-glazed
HOA: 6 1/2″
Accession Number:
This wheel-thrown, lead-glazed earthenware mug with splattered decoration is attributed to potter Solomon Loy based on archaeological similarities between the decoration, and the handle and base profiles seen on this mug and found at his pottery site. ( Carnes-McNaughton, CIA 2010: 106-139). The strap handle was made by pulling or extruding a strip of clay, placing one end of the strip against the vessel, then looping it out to make the handle shape. This differs from a handle that is pulled from the vessel after the clay is attached, usually at the neck. The surface of the mug has drips of dark manganese and white slip. Beneath the lead glaze that is on the interior and exterior of the mug the white slip appears yellow. A lead glaze was made up primarily of a lead oxide, most often red lead, that was ground, mixed with a clay so that the mixture would adhere to the pottery, and made liquid with water.

MAKER: Solomon Loy’s career spanned the second quarter of the nineteenth century, a period when earthenware production began to wane and many potters in the piedmont region of North Carolina began shifting production to salt-glazed stoneware. He probably apprenticed with his father Henry, who worked at the pottery of the latter’s father-in-law Jacob Albright Jr. Albright’s manufactory may have been the primary training ground for many of the St. Asaph’s potters of Solomon’s generation. Archaeology at Solomon Loy’s kiln site has documented the production of a wide range of forms, glazes, and decorative techniques including the use of dripped polychrome slips. Most of Solomon’s trailed designs – stylized leaves, imbricated triangles, nested triangles, lunettes, and dots with jeweled edges – have antecedents in Alamance County pottery from the last quarter of the eighteenth century.

Archaeological evidence from the pottery of Solomon Loy confirms that he used these motifs on the pottery produced at his wheel.

Beckerdite, Luke, Johanna Brown, and Linda Carnes-McNaughton. “Slipware from the St. Asaph’s Tradition.” CERAMICS IN AMERICA (2010): 14-65.

Carnes-McNaughton, Linda. “Solomon Loy: Master Potter of the Carolina Piedmont.” CERAMICS IN AMERICA (2010): 106-139.

Credit Line:
Gift of Frank Horton