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Sugar Jar

Albright/Loy Pottery
Place Made:
Alamance County North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
earthenware –lead-glazed
HOA: 8″
Accession Number:
This covered “sugar pot” is decorated with dark manganese and white daubs of slip over the red body. The lid was likely thrown on a hump of clay upside down, making the bowl form of the lid and flange, cutting it away from the hump of clay, and then trimming the top to make the knob. The handles on opposite sides of the jar were made with pulled or extruded bars of clay shaped into an arch and adhered at the shoulder. 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 liquefied with water. Earthenware is a porous material and must have an applied glaze in order to hold liquids. Beneath the lead glaze the white slip appears yellow. Jars such as this are referred to as “Sugar Pots” and “Sugar Jars” on period inventories, but were often used to store a variety of foodstuffs.

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 operated by Jacob Albright Jr. (Father-in-law to Henry and grandfather to Solomon). 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.

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.