Friday, September 11, 2015

Grannys' Bowls: Stoneware, salt-glazing and creamware identification.

First Good Morning, grab a cup, and sit for a chat.
The Chicago weather is finally starting to give us some cooler temperatures, 
but with that is Rain, rain, Rain!~~~after Heat, heat Heat!
While it was so hot, I cleaned my kitchen (even the top of the FRIDGE) and thought about 
what to share, as I was up there and it was all sparkling clean.
So here are OUR very OLD Grannys' bowls, 
both my husband's and my grannys are represented here.

Normally two of these are on top of the double-oven stove, but I grouped them here for you.
I was a potter for thirty years so I'm going to chat about the origins of these bowls. 
So you may learn more than you wanted to know. 


Beginning on the left is probably the OLDest bowl, (1870-1890) the brown one. 
Of course this one has already wandered over to my soon-to-be Fall setting beginning 
on the white cabinet from the cookbook move.
The top of the white cabinet's occupied with ripening tomatoes, just about the last though. 
The rest of the tomatoes will become green tomato relish.


This is hubby's great-grandmother's from a farm in Kewaunee, County in NE Wisconsin.
The classic shape is unmarked, and I would venture to say it's early Macomb pottery,
 glazed with an Albany slip. The dark brown, Albany clay came from the Albany, NY area.
 Those mills closed in the 1990's, but I still have a 50# stash in the basement.
Many of the brown topped jugs with the gray bottoms were made in the Macomb, Illinois area. 
The bowl could also be Western, Monmouth, Buckeye or 
any one of a number of the early potteries from that area. RedWing in Minnesota
 also produced similar products with similar type clays and glaze mixtures.


 Unmarked, but notice the bare foot on the bottom of the bowl showing the gray stoneware clay, and the smear in the brown almost to bare on the side (the green is my reflection in the shiny brown glaze.

The rim shown at the bottom is a clear glaze over the gray clay body, the pinky-beige barespot is a result of fuming gases on the gray bare clay from the dark brown (Albany) slip glaze burning off some iron oxides (rust colored) in the kiln. These utilitarian wares were mass produced and never perfect, but it is nice to know why somethings happened. Kiln atmospheres do funny things to pieces, that is why the wide ranges of color and textures in every kiln load.
Salt-glazing occured when salts were thrown into the kiln at a high temperature which vaporized landing on the exposed clay areas of the wares, creating a clear glaze of sodium (salt) silica (clay). This was a cheap and easy method of glazing pottery,
as it could all be done in one firing and with less labor.
The brown stoneware is a perfect REDO with the fall gourds and textures in it.

Next the Blue rimmed creamware bowl at the top of the picture. 
This is a standard 8 ovenware bowl, from the Ohio Valley according to the clay color. Potteries such as McCoy, Roseville, Brush and Watt potteries all used yellow/tan Ohio Valley clays. The upper Ohio Valley had over three hundred potteries during the 1800's and the lower Ohio Valley perhaps more. Utilitarian wares were clear glazed over colored slip (clay) decorations such as these blue and white stripes.


The bottom of my great grandmother's bowl says Ovenware 8 Made in U.S.A. 
Probably pre-1930, and maybe very early McCoy.


The large mixing bowl on the right is my grandmother's mixing bowl and is most often attributed to McCoy pottery. It's about 12" across and is from the 1930's. The body is creamware, although I believe some lighter clay has been added to the Ohio yellow clay body. 
It is definitely from the 1930s from the coloring on the stripes of pink and robin's-egg-blue.


 Nice large size perfect for mixing huge batters or kneading breads.


You can see the script letters in 'Oven Ware' dating it later, and the 12 designating the size, also says Made in U.S.A.  The color in this picture is a bit off, shows more gray than creme-yellow.
 I remember my Gramma mixing up three poundcakes or
 loaves of buttery bread at a time in this bowl.
Sadly it has the beginnings of a crack now---It's 80 some years old, so I only use it for display.

Back to this bowl in the front, not sure who this belonged to. My mom picked up early American stoneware pottery: bowl, crocks, pitchers, salters, and jugs. This one is unglazed on the outside with molded impressions on the sides and bottom, and glazed on the inside with a white/cream glaze. 
This bowl is about 6" across and a bit of a mystery.


Despite all the molded information on the bottom of this bowl, 'Trade Mark Registered US Patent Office', I was unable to narrow down the maker. Potteries were allowed to trademark their wares by registering with the US Patent Office after 1842. From the flourish script style of this piece, I would place this late 19th century or early 20th.


 However the name is not clear, possibly Savillo or either ...avillo or ...aville, ...avitto,  or ...avitte with a script first letter that is nearly bare, could be an H, S, G, D ??? the figure above could be an eagle or a top of a squash/pumpkin. A worker was simply too enthusiastic 
sponging the bottom and hid its source forever, unless someone can spot this.
Potteries came and went fast before the largest factories took over, as our country grew.


On unmarked stoneware and creamware utility pieces, the most important step to finding out the maker is the clay color and texture. The type of glaze, shape and design will help to determine age. For instance gray and brown stoneware fell out of favor early in the 20th century, 
when lighter bodied clays began to be used.

A source for basic identification is this link: American Pottery.

I hope you learned a little something NEW.
But, our OLD Grannys' bowls are simply, priceless. 

Always, thanks for stopping by,


I will party at the following Links: 


All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions or posts. Please do not use photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle


  1. You're so fortunate to have such a beautiful collection of family heirlooms. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Oh ! What a special collection! I love them all! How fortunate you are to have a rich family history in those bowls! Loving it! thanks for neat! I also love the blue bench you have posted on your google cover page! The cobalt blue chicken fits right in with your bowls! Have a wonderful week-end. Blessings, Lynn

  3. I failed to mention, I especially love the Salt Glaze bowls! Just something about that look that intrigues me! Blessings, Lynn

  4. I love old mixing bowls and to have these as part of your family history is awesome. I wish I had my morher's old bowls.

  5. Hi Sandi, I love your collection. What wonderful bowls!! The history behind them makes them so special. I love how you can decorate with them and well as food use. They truly are treasures.
    Thanks for stopping by and your kind comment. Wishing you a great weekend.
    Hugs, cm

  6. Hi Sandi, You have a wonderful collection of bowls. My dad still has two of the blue rimmed bowls that belonged to his mother. It brings back nice childhood memories of helping my grandmother cook.

  7. Hi! I have a big bowl similar to the one on the right! It has Oven Ware USA on the bottom with 12 in the middle! I love it and put my bread in it to raise. I was lucky and found it at a garage sale for 50 cents or 25 cents quite some time ago! Nancy

  8. I learned so much Sandi! Great article--I'm posting it to my Antique & Vintage Resources Pinterest board and will be adding it to today's post that you commented on. Great job!

    1. Thanks so much, lol, I had just visited your site and had copied the sources for my own use. LOL, I was busy looking at the sources, instead of replying to my mail. My mom had a gazillion books that I have had to go in dig in, and about 20 years worth of Kovel's, which were hit and miss for finding what you needed to. Online sources are more efficient, and so many are free. Thanks for your list, and consideration.

  9. BTW, I forgot to mention one of my prized possessions is my grandmother's yellow ware mixing bowl :)

    1. Yes, I used this one for far too long, now it is compromised, but I will leave it safe on top of the fridge, it has pizza coupons in it. Enjoy!

  10. I adore old bowls like yours- they are beautiful! Thanks for sharing them at the Vintage Inspiration Party!

  11. Very interesting post!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  12. Sandi, the bowls are real treasures! Especially with the family ties. I have a friend who has similar bowls and I love seeing them every time I visit! Thanks for sharing with SYC. I will be featuring you this week.

  13. THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE INFO!! I have a few of my mother's old bowls and have always treasured them - because they were hers, and because i just love them!! I try not to use them too much for fear of breaking one. Now, you've got me so curious to go and see if i can figure out when/where they might be from, thanks to your wonderful descriptions!!

  14. They certainly are priceless. I love these bowls and have a few myself. Baking with these old bowls is a delight. Just popped over from Jody's. Deb

  15. I love old bowls myself, and have a few pieces that I cherish. love to decorate with them in I need to go and check mine out!


Thank you for any and all comments. I will be happy to answer any questions or comments in replies or email! HUGS!