Antique stoneware crocks are an intriguing part of Americana. Estate sale shoppers love to discover these sturdy containers the were a mainstay of kitchens from the 1700s with the beforehand 20th century. Learn exactly how to identify an antique crock’s value, just how to call an initial stoneware crock native a reproduction, and also where to discover antique crocks for her home.

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History of antique Crocks

Earthenware pots, crocks, and also jars have actually a long and also colorful history. Stoneware crocks show up to have actually originally come indigenous France.Through the American Revolutionary War, England and Germany to be the main importers the stoneware crocks. Eventually, cost and also market vain spurred American potters come fire up their kilns.

During the early on 19th century, brand-new Jersey, new York, and also Pennsylvania produced most stoneware pottery in the unified States. Several brand-new England states, in addition to Ohio, jumped ~ above the stoneware bandwagon circa the so late 19th century.By the early 20th century, many American families owned stoneware crocks.

Stoneware Crock Construction and also Appearance

Stoneware explains a clay that has a waterproof rating of under 2 percent. Since the definition is for this reason vague, stoneware deserve to be sourced from countless clays and also can appear in varied colors and textures. Neck stoneware crocks generally attribute a gray or brown salt glaze through cobalt blue decorations.

Antique crocks have actually a distinctive appearance. Every stoneware crock display screens a shiny-looking surface ar that outcomes from the salt glazing process.

Under the glassy finish, the crock attributes hand-drawn or stenciled letters and also numbers. Hand-painted embellishments incorporate flowers, animals, and certain motifs or patterns.

Cobalt Blue Designs

An artisan was responsible for hand-making every antique crock. Following the crock’s formation, the artisan used blue decorative impacts to the stoneware vessel. Artisans often painted floral draft on beforehand crocks. Birds, butterflies, dragonflies, animals, and also trees were additionally popular motifs. A hand-painted cobalt blue style is a typical decorative element. An extremely old crocks feature etched designs filled in with a blue-toned substance.

Although basic lines and patterns are common in early-era pieces, at an early stage 1900s crocks have just a touch of arts deco styling. This effects can give the crock an ext decorative value.

Salt-Glazing and also Firing

Next, the artisan created the salt glaze. During the high-temperature shoot sequence, that tossed salt into the kiln to create the glazing result on the crock.

The salt’s salt reacted through the clay’s silica to produce a glassy coating. Back the glaze is generally colorless, colour the salt created a glaze through a vivid effect. Blue, brown, and purple were common color options.

Uses of antique Crocks

Antique stoneware crocks have actually enjoyed countless varied uses. In fact, this utilitarian crockery has taken up residence in countless American kitchens end the generations.

Historical Uses

Antique stoneware crocks regularly stored foods and also beverages. Examples contained salted meats, butter, jelly, grain, and pickled vegetables. Crocks likewise contained the family soda and beer inventory.

Even there is no a complete glaze, this durable and affordable vessels to be watertight. A securely fitted lid would store children, family pets, insects, and/or rodents native accessing the crock’s content.

Stoneware crocks were also pressed into organization for the lacto-fermentation of foods. Crock owners would location vegetables prefer cabbage or cucumbers into the crock. After a defined period of time, the crock would certainly yield a bounty the pickled vegetables, such as sauerkraut or pickles.

The function of Redware

Clay-based redware enjoyed vast use in the American colonies. This utilitarian earthenware pottery has clay v higher-than-usual stole content. When fired, the clay presume a reddish-brown color.

American potters might easily accessibility the clay, and redware assets were recognized to be affordable. However, redware was quite brittle and also easily damaged. Because that those reasons, it’s rarely to find an undamaged piece of redware today.

Modern Uses

Antique crocks have actually multiple uses in modern-era homes. They’re right for collection kitchen utensils or maintaining kids’ or pets’ playthings together. Finally, neck stoneware crocks make stylish, useful planters.

Antique Crock Manufacturers

During the late 19th and also early 20th centuries, several renowned manufacturers produced many of the salt glaze stoneware crocks in the unified States. Each firm had its very own characteristic style and also markings.

Monmouth pottery Company

The Monmouth pottery Company, situated in Monmouth, Illinois, produced stoneware native 1894 to 1906. Monmouth Pottery embraced three glaze finishes, including Albany slip glazes and also salt glazes, followed by a Bristol glaze. Monmouth pottery has actually a famed maple leaf logo design adorning most of the stoneware crocks.

Red wing Stoneware

The venerable Red soup Stoneware, or Red soup Pottery, gotten in the crock manufacturing business in the so late 1870s. The agency didn’t add its classic red wing architecture until roughly 1906. The Red Wing bee Sting crocks were particularly popular.

Robinson Ransbottom Blue Crown

In 1901, this well-known crock an equipment opened that is doors as Ransbottom brothers Pottery. In 1920, the agency merged with Robinson Clay Products. The an unified business was recognized as Robinson Ransbottom Pottery.

Robinson Ransbottom Pottery’s cobalt blue crown mark drew much attention. Look for differed words or numbers inside the standard blue crown.

Western Stoneware Company

In 1906, 7 stoneware and also pottery companies merged to end up being the west Stoneware Co. Tree One through Seven. The Monmouth Pottery firm was amongst the 7 firms, and also the merged agency kept the Monmouth-style maple sheet logo.

Numerous at an early stage Western Stoneware crocks and also jugs lugged the maple leaf logo along with the marking: west Stoneware Co. Plant 1 (or the correct variety of the manufacturing plant).


Determining a Crock’s Age

To pinpoint an neck crock’s age, take it several components into account. The an initial thing to recognize is the various eras that housed various crocks. Understanding exactly how crocks looked across different centuries will provide you some understanding into a crock’s age. Next, you should look at the special, of the antique crock. The shape, glaze, and maker’s note will aid you paint a complete picture of the crock’s age and origin.

Era-Specific Construction and also Design

First, recognize that in the early on 1700s, American potters began making and also firing their very own stoneware crockery. American crocks to be made from the 18th century come the 20th century. If you have an idea the the types of designs that were popular throughout each era, the can assist you in your period identification.

18th Century American Stoneware

Early American stoneware commonly feature simple, hand-painted designs. Inside these designs space often foreign alphabet characters. In addition, the interior of numerous 18th-century crocks display screen salt glazing effects.

During the last 1700s, countless skilled English potters concerned America. This advancement spurred American potters come produce better quality work. In fact, American potters often copied the English artisans’ work, intentionally omitting the American stamped surname or factory marks to imply the ceramic was English-made.

19th Century American Stoneware

Throughout the 1800s, American stoneware continued to display design and quality improvements. The many prized ceramics were salt-glazed utilitarian stoneware piece sourced indigenous kaolin clay in Bennington, Vermont. This form of pottery was many prominent around the middle of the 19th century.

During the exact same time period, lot of the united States populace expanded westward. New stoneware potteries sprang up to accomplish local markets’ needs.

Early 20th Century American Stoneware

By the beforehand 1900s, most major American urban boasted stoneware production facilities. This period’s stoneware often features hand-painted superordinary creatures. Every piece frequently contains the company name and also country the origin.

Shapes, Techniques, and also Markings

Determining an antique crock’s age involves attention to several different factors. Crock construction, salt glazes, and maker’s marks all play important roles.

Cylindrical Shapes

Regardless that a crock’s kind or size, each one has actually a round cylindrical shape. Approximately 1860, this configuration became the general standard for antique crock appearance. If you find a crock that’s not in this common shape, that was most likely produced prior to 1860.

Crock dimension Number

Most crocks save one single number that usually states the vessel’s size. For example, a number “2” might mean 2 quarts or 2 gallons. The number might be painted, impressed, or stamped top top the crock. The style, font, and also even placement of the number can be helpful in identifying the crock maker.

Salt Glazes

In 1720, salt-glazed stoneware came onto the industry in Yorktown, Virginia and also Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. However, American potters no widely take on salt glazing approaches until ~ 1775. From 1780 to 1890, this above finish conquered the housewares industry throughout the joined States.

Maker’s Marks

A legible maker’s mark, or stamp, will provide useful hints for identify a crock’s age and value. Generally found on the crock’s bottom, a maker’s mark can simply be the manufacturer’s name. Or, the mark may show up as a letter, symbol, or logo. Some manufacturers impressed their surname on the crock’s side through a side wall surface stamp. If a master artist crafted the crock, he would usually sign the bottom that the vessel. All of these neck crock markings help identify the piece.

If the mark is worn or otherwise tough to read, do a rubbing the the mark. To do that, place a item of file over the mark. Obstacle chalk, charcoal, or a crayon end the paper’s surface.

If the pottery crock’s bottom includes a maker’s mark and also pattern name, it to be made ~ 1810. If the bottom screens the indigenous “limited” or “Ltd.,” the crock was made after 1861. If the mark states “Made in (country), it’s probably from the 1900s.

Factors That recognize an antique Crock’s Value

To calculation the worth of antique stoneware crocks, consider several factors, consisting of the maker’s mark, condition, and also design. Some criteria may be weighted an ext heavily than others.


Some crock equipments may be regarded more highly than others. This is particularly true if the crock device produced a an especially desirable line of crocks. Research study the manufacturer to recognize if this variable affects her antique crock’s value.

Clay Color

A stoneware crock’s clay color can aid determine the crock’s maker, and also it is additionally instrumental in detect the crock’s value. For example, the Robinson Ransbottom Blue Crown firm typically do its crocks indigenous yellow clay.

In contrast, the Weller firm primarily developed its storage ship from white clay. This would certainly be a good foundation color for blue & white pottery or for a piece in the white stoneware style.

Crock Size

Collectors reap finding crocks of all sizes and also shapes. With that said, details crock size are an ext desirable than others. For example, bigger crocks are much rarer 보다 gallon capacity vessels and also will bring greater prices than smaller sized vessels.

Crock Design

Antique crocks’ cobalt blue architecture schemes variety from simple to intricate. The beautifully thorough pieces generally bring greater prices 보다 their much more basic counterparts.

However, pay unique attention come the location of the crocks’ cobalt blue designs. If any decorations were included after the piece underwent firing, those decorations won’t raise the worth of crocks. You can tell if the cobalt blue design were included before or after ~ the kiln based on their layer. If they show up below the glaze, lock were included before the firing. If lock appear over the glaze, they were included after the firing.

Maker’s Marks

Many neck crocks feature specific markings etched into the vessel’s bottom. The agency name, logo, and also varied identifying number are typical maker’s marks. Because that example, Red wing Stoneware significant every crock through its own identification number. Finally, a crock do by a understand artist would certainly typically carry the artist’s signature.

Crock Condition

When identify the neck crock’s condition, very first evaluate the crock’s completeness. Keep in mind if the lid and/or original handles are present. If so, that boosts the vessel’s value.

Surface crazing or hairline cracks generally do not impact the crock’s value. In fact, the may offer the vessel a much more authentic feel. However, cracks, chips, and also heavy undertake will absolutely lower the crock’s as whole value.

Crock Location

If you discover a locally made antique crock for sale, that will generally be more valuable 보다 the same pottery crock because that sale in another region. It is often since there are an ext collectors because that home-town pottery.

Price overview for antique Crocks

Collectively, antique stoneware crock values selection from $500 to $400,000. However, actual neck crock marketing prices count on whether the crock has actually the top cobalt blue design. Based upon that variable alone, offering prices loss into two general groups. This details can aid you to compile an antique crocks price guide.

Crocks without Cobalt Blue Designs

Consider a usual mid-19th century crock without a basic cobalt blue design. The crock’s auction selling price would likely autumn in the $500 come $1000 range.

Crocks through Cobalt Blue Designs

In stark contrast, a crock with very detailed cobalt blue architecture can command a far higher price. Relying on the manufacturer, the crock have the right to have a worth in the $10,000 to $25,000 range.

Recent selling Prices

Online auction sites administer actual selling prices because that antique crocks. This sites market a realistic check out of neck crocks prices.As the this article date, eBay neck stoneware selling prices ranged native $5.00 to $2350.00. The higher selling price concerned a larger, elaborately-painted stoneware piece, while the lower price concerned a small stoneware jug without any type of embellishments.

“Antique” Crocks: initial vs Reproduction

Old crocks’ ongoing popularity has led to whole industry the copycat pottery. With mindful attention come detail, it’s possible to call an initial crock native a reproduction.

Characteristics of original Crocks

Original salt-glazed neck crocks are really heavy. An neck crock typically has a thick structural wall, regularly with a telltale bow in the center.Antique crocks attribute very straightforward freehand-painted decorations, typically executed in cobalt blue ink. Stenciled or hand-drawn letters and also numbers also appear on many old crocks. Decorations were always applied to the crock before the glazing process.

An initial stoneware crock has a really shiny, glass-like surface. Random bumps are telltale indications of a salt-glazed neck crock.

Characteristics that Reproductions

Three major factors suggest that a crock is a reproduction quite than an antique. First, a copycat crock doesn’t regularly have any signatures or distinctive marks. Second,the vessel’s identify letters and also numbers look perfectly published or stamped. Most importantly, if the crock’s decorations have been painted over the glazing, the item is definitely a copycat crock.

Where to uncover Antique Crocks

With so plenty of antique stoneware crocks ~ above the market, finding a good-quality piece have to be reasonably simple. By repetitively visiting neighborhood estate sales, auction houses, and monitoring digital auction and also specialty retail sites, you’ll have actually the finest chance of scoring a pottery crock in terrific condition.

Online Auctions and also Retailers

By security an online auction site such together eBay, you deserve to bid ~ above stoneware pottery items from across the united States. Friend may notice listings for gallon crocks, pickle crocks, butter churns, and also other species of neck crocks.Antique-focused online retailers are great places to discover old crocks in good condition. Etsy, RubyLane, Z&K Antiques, and also The net Antique Shop each have actually a respectable list of neck stoneware crocks.

Diverse neighborhood Venues

Begin your search by visiting one estate revenue (or two) this weekend. Browse through every nook and also cranny the the house. Estate sales are great places to uncover well-maintained antique crocks. If you’re lucky, girlfriend may find a gallon stoneware crock and a stoneware jug together.

Surprisingly, you have the right to often discover antique crocks at regional flea markets. Dealers often clean out homes, or purchase whole lot the items the they lug to the flea market. Visit the very same flea industry every week, and you could be the very first person to watch a just-arrived neck stoneware crock.

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You’re also likely to view antique crocks at local auctions and antique shops. By obtaining on one auction house’s e-mail list, you’ll learn around upcoming auctions v collectibles such as antique stoneware crocks.