We are avid watchers of the show “The Curse of Oak Island”, a reality show which documents the efforts to search for historical artifacts and treasure and find the speculated treasure or historical artifacts believed to be on Oak Island. Recent findings included a button, wood, a cross and some pottery, and everyone gets very excited over these finds.
As potato farmers, we find a lot of clues as to who lived here before us. Things appear when the land is worked up, potatoes are dug up, items founds when potatoes are graded.
Today this piece of pottery or stoneware was found by my husband, while getting the fields ready for planting. It is about 5mm in thickness, quite heavy, and the maker’s mark is about the size of a quarter.
Nowadays, with the help of the internet, we have such an easy access to information and knowledge and it only took a few minutes to find out where this piece of pottery originated.
Hanley was the most populous town in North Staffordshire, England, and generally described as the capital of the Potteries.
According to the 1893 trade directory, the Clementson Brothers made white, granite and printed goods such as dinner, tea and toilet ware, as well as plain and printed semi-porcelain.
According to the North Staffordshire Pottery Marks this mark (Circular band with Phoenix above) was used circa 1870 and later.
see also Book of Pottery Marks : William Percival Jervis
This shard of pottery tells us where and roughly when it was originally created.
However, it does not tell us what piece of pottery it was, whether a chamber pot, a platter, a pitcher, part of dinner set or another piece.
It also does not tell us how it came to be in the potato field – how did it make its way to Prince Edward Island.
One can only imagine :).
Clementson Bros. was a manufacturer of earthenwares at Phoenix and Bell Works, Shelton, Hanley, c.1865-1916. Joseph Clementson was born in 1794. In 1856 he bought the former Ridgway Bell Works in Hanley, Staffordshire, England and operated it in conjunction with his nearby Phoenix Works. He catered to the American markets and his answer to the Tea Leaf craze was his original “Coffeeberry” design – perhaps his tribute to those who preferred coffee as a beverage rather than the highly touted tea from China. The designs varied: some had as few as eleven little berries and very sharply serrated leaves while others had as many as eighteen hanging berries and rounded leaf edges. In 1867 he turned the business over to his four sons who carried on as Clementson Brothers from 1872 to 1916.
Nineteenth century pioneers favored heavy practical dishware that would stand long moves by river boats, heavy wagons or trains. Dishes had to withstand countless washings using homemade lye soap. Most American housewives followed fashions set by their English sisters – from pewter to yellowware, to cream colored