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Culture:English
Title:wall pocket
Date Made:ca. 1765
Type:Household Accessory; Container
Materials:ceramic: white salt-glazed stoneware
Place Made:United Kingdom; England; Staffordshire
Measurements:overall: 8 1/2 x 7 1/2 in.; 21.59 x 19.05 cm
Accession Number:  HD 67.211.2
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield
1967-211-1+2T.jpg

Description:
One of a pair of English white press-molded, salt-glazed wall pockets in a cornucopia shape with scrolled-edged and pierced molded rim and sides; relief decoration of the half-length figure of 'Flora' holding a bunch of flowers and a cornucopia in a C-scroll-edged panel with a molded acanthus leaf at its base; and trailing floral sprays along the length of the fluted, twisted horn. This design of cornucopia with its scrolled horn shape and 'Flora' figure is well-known in salt-glazed stoneware and creamware with a variety of decortive finishes. In the past, the design was attributed to William Greatbatch (1735-1813), a well-known Staffordshire potter, based on an invoice in the Wedgwood archives; the June 26, 1760 invoice refers to goods left at Cross Keys, a well-known London coaching inn, which included 7 pairs of cornucopias, and has Greatbatch's name misspelled by a clerk. Even though the invoice pre-dates the start of Greatbatch's business in 1762 and does not correspond to the activities of his early career, it has been taken as proof that Greatbatch manufactured these wall pockets A second invoice of Jan. 11, 1764 lists block molds supplied by William Greatbatch to Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795), which included "1 pr. Cornu Copias," priced at 12 schillings and three faces at 15 schillings. In the early 20th century, a collection of 38 block molds were found in the Wedgwood factory in Etruria, including block molds for a pair of cornucopias with twisted stems, scrolled upper edges and a female figure, possibly Flora, framed within a scrolled cartouche. Although there is no evidence that Greatbatch modeled the block molds, biscuit and green-glazed fragments corresponding to this design of cornucopia wall pockets were found at the Greatbatch side from the context of 1762-1765. The great number of these wall pockets that survive suggests that Greatbatch was only one of several potters, including Wedgwood, who manufactured this pattern. Fresh, dried and artificial flowers were commonly used as room decorations in the 18th centuries, and were displayed in pockets, flower bricks, vases, pots, and bowls. Wall pockets, which first appeared in China in the 17th century, reached the peak of their popularity in mid 18th century England. Wall pockets came in three basic shapes: faces (the incorporation of a human visage or grotesque mask in the design), balusters, and cornucopiae. Sold in pairs, they could be symmetrical or asymmetrical with left and right-handed shapes; horns of plenty or cornucopia pockets were termed "flower horns" in 18th century documents. Wall pockets found their way to the American market in limited quantities, and advertisements for them in American newspapers are rare. William Ellery of Hartford advertised delft “flower horns” in the Connecticut Courant of November 5, 1771. The Ellery day books list sales of “1 pr. Large grane [green?] Flower horns” 6s to John Ledyard, Esquire on August 24, 1767, and another pair of “large Agle [angel or eagle?] flower horns” sold to him in May 10, 1768 for 4s 6p. Wall pockets were usually constructed of press-molded fronts joined to a flat, slab back, which was invariably pierced with two holes for hanging.

Label Text:
It depicts Plenty, also known as Flora. In the 'crate book' of Josiah Wedgwood's uncles, John and Thomas Wedgwood, there are records of '10 corna copiaes' for 34 pence. The modelling on this piece is attributed to William Greatbatch.

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=HD+67.211.2

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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