Winterthur’s ceramics collection includes some 19,000 objects of types made in or imported into America from the 1600s through the mid-1800s. The earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain in the collection represent an unusually broad range of manufacturing and design types and have special strengths among American, English, and Chinese wares.
The American earthenware in the collection includes approximately 300 objects, about 100 of which are slipware, or slip-decorated earthenware. This important group features iconic work by sgraffito (incised) slipware potters such as Pennsylvania’s George Hubener, John Neis, and Conrad Mumbouer. Other highlights are pieces by Virginia’s Samuel Bell and Sons and Anthony Wise Baecher. Winterthur’s respected collection of more than 150 pieces of American stoneware features work by important potters: the African-American potter, Dave, of South Carolina; Maryland’s William Morgan; the Remmey family of Pennsylvania; the Croliuses of New York City; and Warne and Letts of New Jersey.
Additional highlights of the ceramics collection include nearly 5,000 Chinese export porcelain objects, many of them produced for the American market, as well as special-order wares once owned by famous historical figures. George Washington’s Order of Cincinnati dinner service is particularly well-represented by more than 70 pieces. Other pieces are from services once owned by New York’s Governor DeWitt Clinton and President Ulysses S. Grant, among many others. An astonishingly wide array of American market and other table-, tea-, and ornamental ware helps illustrate the broad range of shapes available to the general consumer.
European ceramics at Winterthur range from early Dutch delftware (tin-glazed earthenware) to elegant Meissen (German) porcelain, but best represented are the wares of England. English earthenware, stoneware, and, to a lesser extent, porcelain are found extensively among American archaeological material and, until well into the 1800s, joined Chinese porcelain as major imports to this continent.
Books about Winterthur Ceramics
Fennimore, Donald L. and Patricia A. Halfpenny. The Campbell Collection of Soup Tureens at Winterthur. Winterthur, Del.: Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, 2000. Order online.
Fuchs, Ronald W. and David S. Howard. Made in China: Export Porcelain from the Leo and Doris Hodroff Collection at Winterthur. Winterthur, Del.: Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, 2005. Order online.
Palmer, Arlene. A Winterthur Guide to Chinese Export Porcelain. Winterthur, Del.: Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, 1976.
Teitelman, S. Robert, Patricia A. Halfpenny, Ronald W. Fuchs with essays by Wendell D. Garrett and Robin Emmerson. Success to America: Creamware for the American Market Featuring the S. Robert Teitelman Collection at Winterthur. Antique Collectors' Club, Woodbridge, Suffolk, England, 2010. Order online.