Sgraffito Decorated Flower Pot, 1826
Attributed to Vickers Pottery (active 1786-1865)
Chester County, PA
Inscribed: Ann Shingle 1826
Flower Pot. Earthenware. Redware. Sgraffito. Design consists of 2 floral springs and the name Ann Shingle and the date "1826" appearing on the side of the bulbous pot. Dark green glaze is splotched over the surface of the pot which is on a pedestal base. Three "crotch" pattern motifs in brown glaze appear on the back of the pot. The top ruffled edge is chipped totally around its circumference. Base of the pot is unglazed.
Thomas Vickers (1757-1829) and his son, John (1780-1860) were Quaker potters, farmers, abolitionists and agents on the Underground Railroad. Often slaves were concealed in the hay among the pottery in the Vickers’ wagons.
Thomas Vickers established a pottery near Downington. In 1796 the tax lists for East Caln Township mentions 1 frame pot house for Thomas Vickers’ farm. There were several deposits of clay near the pottery. He also purchased clay from neighbors for $0.50 - $1.00/load. He produced various red earthenware, sgraffito ware, black glazed pottery, domestic queensware and green enameled ware. The pottery created glazed and unglazed pie plates, milk pots, masons, jugs, pitchers, bowls, mugs, cups, coffee and tea pots, sugar bowls, cream cups, salt cups, cake molds, candlesticks, salt sellers, mantel and toy figures, bricks, chimney ornaments, bread baskets, chimney stands, inkstands, dishes, plates and tobacco pipes.
When Thomas Vickers’ son joined the pottery it became Thomas Vickers and Son Pottery. John was in partnership with his father until he started a new pottery, John Vickers and Son Pottery, in Lionville, Uwchlan Township. Thomas left his pottery in 1823 and assisted his son in Lionville until his death. The John Vickers and Son Pottery continued operating under the Vickers name until 1865. It then remained open in other hands until closing.