Sunday, 29 July 2012

Spongeware or Spatterware 1840- 1920

One website clearly states Scotland was the origin, another  Staffordshire. Some say 1775 others 1840. Whatever its roots, it’s claimed it was made in great quantities, several people imply most spongeware was exported either to the states or Canada. As the name suggests decoration was applied to whiteware with a sponge.  It tends to be referred to as Spatterware in the States. I seem to have found only the very basic type of spongeware,  the cheapest available in the form of teaware or bowls, most popular from 1840 – 1875.
Spongeware Pottery Shards found Mudlarking on the Thames. 
The main colours were blue, red, green, purple and yellow. I’ve only found blue and interestingly black, to which I’ve found no reference. It’s been quite a task tracking down pictures of the original objects, they clearly weren’t treated as precious family heirlooms. Now I compare the fragments I've found with the originals below I'm questioning whether they are in fact spongeware, but if not what could they be? There is one shard in the picture above which I later realised was an imposter. 

Spongeware Tea Cup 1830 - 1850  

Spongeware Sugar Bowl (ebay)

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