Subject:Unusual stoneware bottle, possibly Shiwan kilns
Posted By: Robert Mon, Oct 23, 2023 IP: 2607:fb90:db01:ed81:
I present an unusual stoneware bottle that I found it in an old barn in Maryland about 20 years ago. It is nearly identical to the so-called ‘shaft and globe’-form English and Dutch glass wine bottles, circa 1650-1675, including the presence of a double-flange at the mouth rim, presumably for securing a stopper.
The biscuit is a smooth, dense, pinkish-buff firing stoneware, heavily potted. The base is hollowed out to form a broad, flat foot ring. It has at least two glazes: A very dark, opaque but shiny blue-black glaze (or possibly a slip + glaze combination) on the exterior, as well as a transparent, lilac-colored glaze on the interior of the bottle. The exterior glaze, at least, appears to be lead-fluxed. The near black surface is decorated with opaque mottles varying from turquoise-green to grey-violet, probably by splashing with a glaze or solution containing copper oxides. The overall effect is like that seen on some Henan blackwares with russet-colored ‘partridge feather’ mottles.
Although I cannot rule out a European origin, considering the heavily potted form and multiple glaze applications my best guess is Chinese Shiwan ware copying a European shape. I would appreciate hearing other suggestions since I have been unable to find any comparable pieces.