Early Hearth Cooking Pennsylvania Redware Pot and Maple Stir Stick Fabulous
If you would like to add a period correct and authentic touch to your open hearth fireplace…… this next offering may be just what you are looking for…..and by the way any country fireplace will also suffice as this pair promises to deliver! This redware pot with an applied handle has whispers of black manganese decoration sprinkled throughout and is glazed inside for the purpose of holding liquids. The early maple stir stick is the perfect size for this large pot and quite possibly could have been used in vessels such as this one to stir the contents.
Redware pieces, denoting this example usually had an unglazed exterior and were used in hearth cooking. To confirm this please see image 10 that shows the blackened bottom which has been exposed to fires in the hearth over time. This type of utilitarian redware was used for many years starting from1750 to 1840 because it was readily available, inexpensive, practical and served the cook well. This piece was found in Philadelphia and quite possibly could have Pennsylvania roots as many redware clay deposits are located here. This pot is quite heavy measuring in at almost 4 pounds!
Of course a piece this old has expected wear showing a couple chips located on the back, as referenced in image 7, on the outside rim. There is also an indication of surface wear located on the exterior body as referenced in this same image. This piece is free of cracks which is an outstanding feature! The inside has an array of random glaze loss in the form of tiny circles with appropriate scratches as well, (see images 4 & 9). There is also a larger inside chip as referenced in image 8. This pot is still strong as the durability factor seemed to hold up quite well after all of these years! Hurray!
A beautiful maple stir stick boasting warm and delicious patina looks great paired up with the pot. The size of this stick could not be better and I am so glad I remembered I had it! This piece dates around the early to mid-19th century and lends great form that includes a gentle bulbus handle (top area) with a slight curvature in the middle as referenced in images 12 & 16 (front and back, respectively). Of course the handle is as smooth as silk from years of use by the dedicated cook! Images 14 & 18 show the pronounced wear with exciting and warm color hues that this maple wood is known for. As shown in image 14, there are some chips in the wood located on the paddle area near the top and the middle. Both the front and the back possess slight indentations in the wood that have darkened to perfection over the years.
There is a hole located on the side of the handle (see image 20) but is not a hanging hole as it does not terminate on the other side. A small crack is also present on the top that seems to have worked its way down to the side as shown in image 19. It is a mystery as to why there is an “X” mark or “cross notch” located at the very top of the handle. I consulted with my friend who is also an antique dealer and he suggested this was intentionally done to prevent the crack from becoming any larger by way of expanding or splitting which makes sense. Overall this stir stick is in good, solid overall condition.
Decorating ones hearth can be quite challenging at times because most of the smithy forged iron pieces were dark and if the bricks have been blacked from years of use…well, there is no contrast as everything looks the same. A great alternative or perfect addition is to incorporate unglazed redware pieces to the mix of what is existing. This large pot lending a warm and earthy look will not only stand out but has history that is appropriately “fitting” to any hearth! The stir stick stands at the ready for a proficient cook to create a magical meal that can be enjoyed by all! Enjoy!
Redware Pot stands 7 ½” tall, measures 7 ½” across the top (right to left) and measures 5 ½” across the bottom. The applied, protruding handle measures 2” across (right to left) and measures 4 ½” tall. Overall height of the stir stick is 14 ½” tall, to bulbous handle measures 1 ½” across, handle itself measures 2” across, paddle stands vertically 5” and measures 1 ¾” across (horizontally).
~Freight (Standard Mail) included, however Insurance is optional and can be purchased @ checkout ~ within the continental U.S.