Moravians often used plants and flowers as decorative motifs on the slip decorated dishes they produced in the pottery in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Often these designs had spiritual meaning for the Moravians. For example, the pomegranate on this dish symbolized the church as one body made up of members since pomegranates are filled with many individual seeds (called arils).
The inspiration for this reproduction dish is a fragment that was recovered on the lot adjacent to the Salem Pottery Shop. The master artisan in the Salem Pottery between 1771 and 1788 was Gottfried Aust (1722-1788). Aust trained in Herrnhut, Germany, before coming to America in 1754. After a brief stay in the Moravian community of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Aust settled in Bethabara in 1755 where he operated the Moravian pottery for several years before moving the operation to Salem. The designs on the original dish, including the stylized patterns on the rim, suggest the original was made in the Salem Pottery Shop when Aust was the master potter there.
Our reproduction Pomegranate Plate was made by a present-day Old Salem Museums & Gardens potter and is part of our Handcrafted Salem 1766 line. The plate measures 9″ in diameter and was created with food-safe glazes. Hand washing only is recommended.