Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Junkin' Finds:Someone's Granny's Yelloware Bowl



BE STILL MY HEART!

I snagged this unmarked McCoy bowl at a Savers store on Saturday for $6.99.  Crazier things happen, but this was a find for the slim pickings of after Christmas thrift store shopping. It's in pretty good shape with no chips except for the manufacturing flaws...which it has a bunch of.

This OLD bowl is quite ornate, from the Ohio Valley, and considered Yellow Ware, or sometimes described as butterscotch for it's darker color. The ornate rim was a result of clay being turned into a mold on a wheel.

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The bandings vary on these OLD McCoy bowls...this particular design came in sizes of 5" to 17". This bowl is a whopping 12"and I have found very few floating around the internet right now this large. It definitely needs a good cleaning, but first I wanted to show you close up, it's attributes and it's negatives.

Last Fall I did an extensive post on vintage Stoneware and Earthenware mixing bowls from my husband's and my Grandmothers, HERE.



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I'm not actually a collector, but they say when you have three....LOL. My mom collected everything and I was a stoneware potter for 35 years and have always had an interest in clay pottery.

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The large bowl on the right was  Grandmother's baking bowl most probably McCoy. These were simple banded cream colored bowls made from the 1930's to the early 1960's. Marks on the bottom help to date them.


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My NEW OLD bowl in a close-up shows the the detail from the mold, the edges are quite crisp and clean, the top rim is unglazed and probably had been waxed to repell the dipped glaze.


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It really is large, just short of 12" wide. Perfect for mixing baking.


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The bowl is simply marked USA  on the squared bottom, this design is most attributed to McCoy, and prior to 1930.  Surprisingly the foot of the bowl shown is also glazed, meaning the pot was fired on its rim or stilted (pronged-high temperature stilts) on the inside as there are no stilt marks on this foot. (small pinhloles in the glaze usually 3 or 4)

The bowl's clay body is a deep yellow/tan stoneware with multiple imperfections resulting in glaze flaws and clay impurities typical of utilitarian wares of that period. Usually these do not detract from the value.

Early yellow wares were made in England, and later potteries throughout the Ohio River Valley began producing yellow-bodied wares with clear glazes and banding from the 1840's on. However, American potteries produced only 40% of the US market's needs in the mid to late 1800's.


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This shape with the banding and the rim...has what is called a draped-square bottom. Here you can see the draping in the raised relief pattern ending at the foot, which are perfect design details for a cottage style home.

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I do love the proportions of this piece. the smaller ones are quite angular and those larger than 12" become wide and squat.

Is MY OLD YELLOWARE BOWL SAFE TO USE?


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Let's Look and See!



This piece has lots of manufacturing flaws, here is a faint (center up) criss-cross crack under the glaze, probably occurring before the clay was bone-dry by being bumped from the inside. As the pot fired in the kiln, it expanded opening the fissure, glaze filled in and sealed the surface when it cooled making it water tight.

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Here's another type of flaw. On the point of the fourth triangle from the left---has a bare-spot, where the glaze was rubbed-off bare before firing, this doesn't effect the use of the bowl, as the underside of the rim is also bare, probably from being waxed prior to glazing and it has been fired to a high temperature, and the outside doesn't come in contact with food.


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On the edge here is a ding caused before glazing--a scrape if you will --not detrimental in anyway to the use of the bowl and considered a manufacturing flaw.


 The inside is another story though.


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The small L shape mark at 6 o'clock---is the bump that caused the criss-cross outside, and it has begun to craze making the bowl vulnerable because whatever has been in the bowl, can seep into those discolored fissures. Eventually this will expand and contract if the bowl is subject to heat and cold---so best not to use this bowl for any hot or cold food preparations or storage.  There are several other pit holes, here and there.

The three round flaws in the bottom are most likely clay impurities pushing out of the clay body causing an eruption of sorts or from pinhole stiltmarks that have deteriorated. This happens over time in old pieces and is sometimes called pings or blisters, but around these are more unsound fissures and crazing, opening the bowl to 'storing' bacteria or moisture within the walls. Since glazes were lead-based in this pottery, it would be unwise to use this particular piece for any food prep and definitely not for baking. In unsound glazed surfaces, the lead may leach out.



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Intereting tid-bit...if you ping the side of yelloware--if it rings...it's supposedly British, if it thuds--it's American. This will help in narrowing down some of the early wares, however---thudding can also mean the piece has a crack or flaw.
Am I disappointed on closer inspection, no---mine is still a gem and I will REDO and use it to keep rolls warm with a towel or cloth. I think fruits can be stored in it or maybe even a flowering plant placed inside.

I will give it a good scrubbing and will try one of the methods recommended here: cleaning your pottery.

One of many interesting sites on McCoy is this, McCoy Pottery Collector's Society site. 
There isn't a lot of information on this piece of early McCoy, but it is still informative reading.


Martha Stewart has an old video post on: All about Yellow ware.

Mitzi's Collectibles did a great post on collecting and displaying yellowware, as did Good Things by David who uses his bowls in his everyday food preparations. Pinterest is full of great pictures of vintage bowls and NEW ways to use them.


As always, thanks for visiting and I appreciate your comments and I'll try and answer your questions.






Sandi

17 comments:

  1. Sandi, your find is awesome for that price! I have a gorgeous bowl that belonged to my mother and my grandmother (a totally different bowl than yours). It's beautiful, but somewhere in the past it got a huge circular crack on the inside bottom. I still use it for display and love having it.

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    1. Hi Carol.Thanks for the great comment.

      Circular cracks are usually caused by something that occurs in pulling the pot out of a mold, or uneven drying. If your bowl is from the same era as this---clay was pushed into a mold(wood or metal) in a lump and then the potter opened the pot by throwing and spinning clay inside te mold and pulling up the sides while pushing the clay tight to the walls of the mold. Often a Jig(a shaped board was used to clean up the inside of the pot making the walls smooth and exact.

      Later in the 30's forward--the molds were used and clay was forced in with high air pressure until the clay oozed out of escape holes, then the excesses trimmed off.

      Earthenware clays were made into thicky slurry called slip and pottery molds made from plaster. These pots have no winding--and aren't usually subjected to circular cracks as the clay particles are distributed evenly.

      If it is a thrown pot---it can be overworked...the bottom is stationary in the process,(also in the mold method) the clay affixed to a 'bat'(round board). The pot walls are pulled multiple times---basically the walls are wound up--and the bottom center stays stationary. During the drying process or in the kiln---the pot shrinks and unwinds and cracks or weaknesses can occur. Sometimes they don't show up right away, but with the correct bump--the wound pressure still existing within the pot releases and you get those nasty circular cracks.

      Enjoy your pot, and hold your breath when you handle it. Thanks for reading! Sandi

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  2. Very interesting post Sandi. What a great find.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by---yes, going to love it-warts-and all! Sandi

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  3. Wonderful find! I am jealous LOL!

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  4. You sure know your pottery! I love your bowls even if some of them are just for admiring! Thanks so much for sharing at Talk of the Town.

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  5. Dear Sandi:
    If that bowl could talk - can you even imagine what it would tell us? Lots of happy talk about pies and cakes and bread! I love it and am so happy you shared at BTTCG Blog Party!

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  6. I love vintage mixing bowls as well. This post has so much useful information. Thank you!

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  7. that's a great olden bowl...probably many a cakes mixed up in it. :)
    Good find.

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  8. What a great find! I have found some great items at Saver's although they are pricey. I am still looking for one of these bowls I can afford!

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  9. Hi Sandi, Love this informative post. You sure know about pottery and all this advise is so helpful. You found a treasure even with the flaws and like you said can still be enjoyed in the ways you have in mind. Love the color combo too. Have a nice weekend. xo

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  10. Great find! thanks for sharing at #funtasticfriday!

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  11. Good Evening Sandi, What a wonderful find. You must be over the moon, especially as post Christmas is a bit of a bleak time when it comes to treasure hunting.
    I love the style and colour of your mixing bowl and and I have to be honest when I say I have never heard of a McCoy mixing bowl.... but I know now thanks to you.
    Enjoy using your bowl.
    Best Wishes
    Daphne

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  12. I love yellow ware, Sandi, and your post is wonderful--chock full of great information. I'll be featuring it Thursday at Vintage Charm!

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    1. Wow Diana, thanks so much, makes the extra day of research ...worthwhile...grins, Sandi

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  13. Jumped here from Pink Saturday. I love these old mixing bowls. When they are in good shape, they are extremely useful for baking. I love my old bowls.

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  14. Great post. So much info on the pottery! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

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Thank you for any and all comments. I will reply to any questions!
And great to meet you, Sandi