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Maker(s):Greatbatch, William (attributed to)
Culture:English (1735-1813)
Title:coffeepot
Date Made:1765-1782
Type:Food Service
Materials:ceramic: lead-glazed cream-colored earthenware (creamware), underglaze colored metallic oxides (green-glazed)
Place Made:United Kingdom; England; Staffordshire; Fenton
Measurements:overall: 9 1/8 in x 8 1/4 in x 4 3/4 in; 23.1775 cm x 20.955 cm x 12.065 cm
Accession Number:  HD 56.088
Credit Line:Gift of John B. Morris, Jr.
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield
1956-88_V1t.jpg

Description:
English creamware press-molded, cauliflower coffeepot decorated with green glaze, attributed to William Greatbatch (1735-1813), which is part of a probably assembled set consisting of a teapot, coffeepot, cream pot, tea canister and waste bowl. Greatbatch was a well-known Staffordshire potter, who had also worked for Thomas Whieldon and Josiah Wedgwood as a supplier of molds and ceramic wares. The interest in the rococo style manifested itself in ceramics by embracing a naturalistic style for tablewares. Inspiration for these ceramics were drawn from fruit and vegetables such as apples, pears, cauliflowers, pineapples, and melons, which were favored by the Connecticut River Valley gentry during the third quarter of the 18th century. Samuel Boardman of Wethersfield and William Ellery of Hartford, Connecticut, were among the Valley merchants who imported these wares from New York ceramic merchants starting before 1770. The merchant, Samuel Smith of Farmington, Conn., described a cauliflower teapot as a "Califlower T Pot." The lower half of the body and spout in green has four distinctly molded long leaves alternating with stylized linear molding, above which, on the body, spout and lid, is the white cauliflower design. The ribbed handle has a S-shape with leaf and scroll terminals. There is a slightly indented foot rim. The body has been once fired and then coated with a clear lead glaze and a green colored lead glaze. Josiah Wedgwood I is best known for his classically-inspired wares. However, in his early manufacturing days Josiah, in common with many other Staffordshire based ceramic manufacturers, produced exceptionally ornamental, rococo-style wares inspired by fruit and vegetable forms. Wedgwood used an earthenware body that could be naturalistically modelled or moulded into these forms. The lower part of the cauliflower ware was crafted to closely resemble leaves and was then covered with a brilliant green glaze. The cauliflower ‘head’ was glazed cream or yellow. William Greatbatch, the Staffordshire potter, supplied Wedgwood with models for such wares. Josiah also produced melon and pineapple wares, and the green glaze used to decorate these lifelike items is thought by many to have been developed by Wedgwood himself. In the early years, Josiah Wedgwood exported a great deal of what he called ‘colley-flower’ wares to Europe, particularly the Netherlands. Ceramic retailers, such as Samuel Tabor in Rotterdam, frequently wrote to Wedgwood at his Brick House Works in Burslem, requesting fine goods such as ‘…Lanskip, pineapple, Colleflower &c but these must be in setts…’ From time to time, throughout Wedgwood’s history, these naturalistic wares have experienced revivals. The Barlaston factory last produced ranges of cauliflower wares in the 1950s. At that time, other traditional forms and patterns were also being revived after the decorating restrictions in the ceramic industry were lifted after the end of World War II.

Label Text:
The rococo style manifested itself in ceramics by embracing a naturalistic style. Inspiration was drawn from fruit and vegetables such as apples, pears, cauliflowers, pineapples, and melons. Costly examples made of porcelain proved extremely popular with the wealthy in urban centers. Less expensive, English pottery versions were marketed to the middle class with equal aspirations to style and refinement. Connecticut River Valley gentry found these cauliflower tea and coffee wares or “colly wares” extremely desirable during the third quarter of the 18th century. In 1773, merchant John Williams (1751-1816) of Deerfield, Massachusetts, purchased cauliflower sugar bowls and tea cups from a Boston china and glass dealer. In 1778, Noah Welles and Abner Burnham of East Windsor, Connecticut, advertised cauliflower teapots in the "Connecticut Courant."
Exibited in "Rococo: Celebrating 18th Century Design and Decoration" (2018-2019): Naturalistic forms and decoration were frequently integrated into English ceramic Rococo design, as illustrated by this group of pottery and porcelain. The Rococo's embrace of naturalism was certainly inspired by the ideals of the Enlightenment, and 18th-century intellectual movement that raised man's reason and scientific inquiry and discovery to new authoritative heights. Various publications, including the British Museum catalogue at the center of the case, highlighted natural discoveries and curiousities that were incorporated into ceramic forms, such as the adjacent sweetmeat stand with shell-shaped dishes. Several other ceramics in this case imitate the shape or appereance of natural stone or plants, such as the agate teapot and the cauliflower-shaped coffee pot. Some Deerfield residents were eager consumers of these new wares. For instance, in 1773, Paul Hawks purchased "1 Large agate tea pot" from Deerfield store owner John Williams (1751-1816)

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=HD+56.088

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email fc-museums-web@fivecolleges.edu.

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