Antique stoneware crocks space an intriguing part of Americana. Estate sale shoppers love to uncover these sturdy containers that were a mainstay that kitchens native the 1700s with the at an early stage 20th century. Learn how to identify an antique crock’s value, how to phone call an original stoneware crock native a reproduction, and where to uncover antique crocks for your home.

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History of neck Crocks

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

During the early on 19th century, new Jersey, brand-new York, and also Pennsylvania developed most stoneware pottery in the joined States. Several new England states, along with Ohio, jumped top top the stoneware bandwagon circa the late 19th century.By the early on 20th century, numerous American households owned stoneware crocks.

Stoneware Crock Construction and also Appearance

Stoneware describes a clay that has a waterproof rating that under two percent. Since the an interpretation is therefore vague, stoneware can be sourced from plenty of clays and also can show up in varied colors and textures. Antique stoneware crocks generally feature a gray or brown salt glaze with cobalt blue decorations.

Antique crocks have a distinctive appearance. Every stoneware crock displays a shiny-looking surface ar that results from the salt glazing process.

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

Cobalt Blue Designs

An artisan to be responsible because that hand-making every antique crock. Adhering to the crock’s formation, the artisan applied blue decorative impacts to the stoneware vessel. Artisans regularly painted floral draft on early on crocks. Birds, butterflies, dragonflies, animals, and trees were also popular motifs. A hand-painted cobalt blue style is a common decorative element. An extremely old crocks feature etched designs to fill in v a blue-toned substance.

Although straightforward lines and also patterns are usual in early-era pieces, at an early stage 1900s crocks have just a touch of art deco styling. This effects might give the crock much more decorative value.

Salt-Glazing and Firing

Next, the artisan formed the salt glaze. During the high-temperature firing sequence, he tossed salt into the kiln to create the glazing impact on the crock.

The salt’s salt reacted with the clay’s silica to create a glassy coating. Although the glaze is generally colorless, colour the salt developed a glaze v a vivid effect. Blue, brown, and also purple to be common color options.

Uses of antique Crocks

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

Historical Uses

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

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

Stoneware crocks were also pressed into organization for the lacto-fermentation that foods. Crock owner would ar vegetables like cabbage or cucumbers into the crock. After ~ a defined duration of time, the crock would certainly yield a bounty that pickled vegetables, such together sauerkraut or pickles.

The duty of Redware

Clay-based redware enjoyed broad use in the American colonies. This utilitarian earthenware pottery includes clay with higher-than-usual stole content. When fired, the clay suspect a reddish-brown color.

American potters could easily access the clay, and redware products were recognized to be affordable. However, redware was quite brittle and easily damaged. Because that those reasons, it’s rarely to uncover an intact piece of redware today.

Modern Uses

Antique crocks have actually multiple offers in modern-era homes. They’re right for collection kitchen tools or maintaining kids’ or pets’ playthings together. Finally, antique stoneware crocks make stylish, practical planters.

Antique Crock Manufacturers

During the so late 19th and early 20th centuries, several popular manufacturers produced plenty of of the salt glaze stoneware crocks in the united States. Each firm had its own characteristic style and also markings.

Monmouth ceramic Company

The Monmouth ceramic Company, situated in Monmouth, Illinois, produced stoneware from 1894 to 1906. Monmouth Pottery adopted three glaze finishes, including Albany on slide glazes and also salt glazes, followed by a Bristol glaze. Monmouth pottery has a well known maple leaf logo design adorning many of the stoneware crocks.

Red wing Stoneware

The venerable Red soup Stoneware, or Red wing Pottery, entered the crock manufacturing company in the late 1870s. The agency didn’t include its standard red wing design until about 1906. The Red Wing bee Sting crocks were particularly popular.

Robinson Ransbottom Blue Crown

In 1901, this well-known crock maker opened the doors together Ransbottom brother Pottery. In 1920, the agency merged v Robinson Clay Products. The linked business was known as Robinson Ransbottom Pottery.

Robinson Ransbottom Pottery’s cobalt blue crown mark attracted much attention. Watch for varied words or numbers inside the standard blue crown.

Western Stoneware Company

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

Numerous early Western Stoneware crocks and also jugs brought the maple leaf logo together with the marking: western Stoneware Co. Tree 1 (or the correct variety of the production plant).


Determining a Crock’s Age

To accurately decide an neck crock’s age, take it several components into account. The an initial thing to understand is the various eras that housed different crocks. Understanding how crocks looked throughout different centuries will give you some insight into a crock’s age. Next, you need to look in ~ the special, of the neck crock. That shape, glaze, and maker’s note will aid you repaint a complete snapshot of the crock’s age and origin.

Era-Specific Construction and Design

First, know that in the early 1700s, American potters started making and firing their very own stoneware crockery. American crocks were made native the 18th century come the 20th century. If you have an idea of the varieties of designs the were popular during each era, that can assist you in your period identification.

18th Century American Stoneware

Early American stoneware generally feature simple, hand-painted designs. Inside these designs space often international alphabet characters. In addition, the inner of plenty of 18th-century crocks display screen salt glazing effects.

During the last 1700s, countless skilled English potters pertained to America. This breakthrough spurred American potters come produce far better quality work. In fact, American potters often replicated the English artisans’ work, intentionally omitting the American stamped name or manufacturing facility marks to suggest the pottery was English-made.

19th Century American Stoneware

Throughout the 1800s, American stoneware continued to present design and also quality improvements. The many prized ceramics were salt-glazed practical stoneware pieces sourced indigenous kaolin clay in Bennington, Vermont. This type of pottery was most prominent about the center of the 19th century.

During the same time period, lot of the unified States population expanded westward. Brand-new stoneware potteries sprang increase to meet local markets’ needs.

Early 20th Century American Stoneware

By the at an early stage 1900s, most major American urban boasted stoneware manufacturing facilities. This period’s stoneware often functions hand-painted mythological creatures. Each piece commonly contains the firm name and country that origin.

Shapes, Techniques, and also Markings

Determining an neck crock’s age involves attention to several different factors. Crock construction, salt glazes, and also maker’s marks every play essential roles.

Cylindrical Shapes

Regardless the a crock’s type or size, each one has actually a round cylindrical shape. Approximately 1860, this configuration became the basic standard for antique crock appearance. If you discover a crock that’s no in this usual shape, the was likely produced before 1860.

Crock dimension Number

Most crocks save on computer one solitary number that usually claims the vessel’s size. Because that example, a number “2” can mean 2 quarts or 2 gallons. The number might be painted, impressed, or stamped on the crock. The style, font, and even placement of the number have the right to be valuable in identifying the crock maker.

Salt Glazes

In 1720, salt-glazed stoneware come onto the industry in Yorktown, Virginia and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. However, American potters no widely embrace salt glazing techniques until ~ 1775. Indigenous 1780 come 1890, this top finish conquered the housewares sector throughout the united States.

Maker’s Marks

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

If the mark is worn or otherwise difficult to read, make a rubbing that the mark. To do that, location a piece of document over the mark. Rub chalk, charcoal, or a crayon over the paper’s surface.

If the pottery crock’s bottom has a maker’s mark and pattern name, it to be made after ~ 1810. If the bottom displays the native “limited” or “Ltd.,” the crock was produced after 1861. If the mark states “Made in (country), it’s more than likely from the 1900s.

Factors That determine an neck Crock’s Value

To calculation the value of neck stoneware crocks, consider several factors, consisting of the maker’s mark, condition, and design. Some criteria might be weighted much more heavily than others.


Some crock makers may it is in regarded much more highly than others. This is particularly true if the crock maker produced a particularly desirable heat of crocks. Research the manufacturer to recognize if this factor affects your antique crock’s value.

Clay Color

A stoneware crock’s clay shade can aid determine the crock’s maker, and it is likewise instrumental in detect the crock’s value. Because that example, the Robinson Ransbottom Blue Crown firm typically do its crocks from yellow clay.

In contrast, the Weller agency primarily constructed its storage vessels from white clay. This would be a good structure color for blue & white ceramic or because that a piece in the white stoneware style.

Crock Size

Collectors reap finding crocks of all sizes and shapes. V that said, specific crock size are much more desirable 보다 others. Because that example, larger crocks are much rarer than gallon capacity vessels and also will bring greater prices than smaller vessels.

Crock Design

Antique crocks’ cobalt blue architecture schemes range from simple to intricate. The beautifully in-depth pieces typically bring greater prices than their 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 value of crocks. You can tell if the cobalt blue design were included before or after the kiln based upon their layer. If they appear below the glaze, they were included before the firing. If they appear over the glaze, castle were added after the firing.

Maker’s Marks

Many antique crocks feature certain markings etched into the vessel’s bottom. The firm name, logo, and also varied identifying number are typical maker’s marks. For example, Red soup Stoneware significant every crock through its own identification number. Finally, a crock crafted by a understand artist would certainly typically bring the artist’s signature.

Crock Condition

When determining the antique crock’s condition, very first evaluate the crock’s completeness. Note if the lid and/or initial handles space present. If so, that enhances the vessel’s value.

Surface crazing or hairline cracks generally do not impact the crock’s value. In fact, the may offer the courage a more authentic feel. However, cracks, chips, and heavy stay will definitely lower the crock’s in its entirety value.

Crock Location

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

Price guide for antique Crocks

Collectively, neck stoneware crock values selection from $500 to $400,000. However, actual antique crock marketing prices depend on whether the crock has the above cobalt blue design. Based on that variable alone, selling prices autumn into two basic groups. This details can help you come compile an antique crocks price guide.

Crocks without Cobalt Blue Designs

Consider a usual mid-19th century crock there is no a basic cobalt blue design. The crock’s auction offering price would likely fall in the $500 to $1000 range.

Crocks with Cobalt Blue Designs

In distinguishable contrast, a crock with an extremely detailed cobalt blue design can command a far higher price. Relying on the manufacturer, the crock have the right to have a value in the $10,000 to $25,000 range.

Recent marketing Prices

Online auction sites administer actual selling prices because that antique crocks. This sites market a realistic see of neck crocks prices.As that this article date, eBay neck stoneware selling prices ranged indigenous $5.00 come $2350.00. The higher selling price came to a larger, elaborately-painted stoneware piece, while the reduced price concerned a little stoneware jug without any kind of embellishments.

“Antique” Crocks: original vs Reproduction

Old crocks’ continuous popularity has actually led to whole industry of copycat pottery. With careful attention to detail, it’s possible to tell an original crock from a reproduction.

Characteristics of original Crocks

Original salt-glazed antique crocks are an extremely heavy. An antique crock frequently has a thick structure wall, often with a telltale bow in the center.Antique crocks attribute very basic freehand-painted decorations, usually executed in cobalt blue ink. Stenciled or hand-drawn letters and also numbers likewise appear on many old crocks. Decorations were always applied to the crock before the glazing process.

An initial stoneware crock has a an extremely shiny, glass-like surface. Random bumps room telltale indications of a salt-glazed antique crock.

Characteristics of Reproductions

Three significant factors indicate that a crock is a reproduction rather than an antique. First, a copycat crock doesn’t regularly have any kind of signatures or distinctive marks. Second,the vessel’s identifying letters and numbers watch perfectly published or stamped. Many importantly, if the crock’s decorations have been painted end the glazing, the item is absolutely a copycat crock.

Where to uncover Antique Crocks

With so plenty of antique stoneware crocks ~ above the market, finding a good-quality piece must be relatively simple. By consistently visiting local estate sales, auction houses, and monitoring virtual auction and specialty retail sites, you’ll have actually the finest chance of scoring a ceramic crock in wonderful condition.

Online Auctions and Retailers

By surveillance an online auction website such together eBay, you have the right to bid on stoneware ceramic items from across the unified States. Friend may notification listings because that gallon crocks, pickle crocks, butter churns, and also other varieties of antique crocks.Antique-focused online retailers are great places to discover old crocks in good condition. Etsy, RubyLane, Z&K Antiques, and The web Antique Shop each have a respectable list of neck stoneware crocks.

Diverse local Venues

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

Surprisingly, you can often discover antique crocks at local flea markets. Dealers regularly clean out homes, or purchase whole lot of items the they bring to the flea market. Visit the very same flea industry every week, and also you can be the an initial person to view a just-arrived antique stoneware crock.

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