Loading Spinner

Stoneware China

Stoneware is so named because of its dense stone-like character which is waterproof and opaque. It is naturally gray, then turns light brown or buff during the firing process. Glazes in various colors may be applied after firing at temperatures between 1100 and 1300 degrees Celsius. Stoneware differs from porcelain because it is much more opaque and only partially vitrified, a process that transfers a substance into glass. The main material in stoneware is either naturally occurring clay or non-refractory fire clay. Small amounts of various minerals such as mica and quartz are also present.

Stoneware production can be traced back as early as the Shang Dynasty in China around 1400 B.C. It was not until the 15th century that it appeared in Europe. In 1768, Josiah Wedgwood created black stoneware known as Black Stonewood made from reddish-brown clay that turned black after the firing process. A richer color was obtained by adding manganese. Black Stonewood was so successful and superior in appearance that Wedgwood still creates ornamental pieces using this process.

Stoneware production was extremely popular in 19th century North America and was the primary material for many houseware items. Salt glaze is the typical glaze technique seen on American stoneware, followed by various decorating techniques. Stoneware was so valued in America because of its lead-free production, as opposed to the lead-glazed earthenware that was so popular beforehand.


Quick Facts

  • The term "crock" is sometimes used to refer to American stoneware
  • Stoneware clays are preferred by manufacturers and artists creating pottery
  • An O-Meibutsu stoneware tea leaf storage jar from the 13th-14th century was sold at Christie's New York in September 2009 for $662,500

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

Fine 3 gallon cobalt decorated Cowden & Wilcox stoneware jug
Nov 20, 9:00 AM EST
Fine 3 gallon cobalt decorated Cowden & Wilcox stoneware jug
by Horst Auctioneers
Est: $0- $0
$57512 Bids
Antique Stoneware And Pottery Jugs
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Antique Stoneware And Pottery Jugs
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$219 Bids
5 gallon cobalt decorated Shenfelder stoneware crock
Nov 20, 9:00 AM EST
5 gallon cobalt decorated Shenfelder stoneware crock
by Horst Auctioneers
Est: $0- $0
$5257 Bids
2 gallon cobalt decorated stoneware pitcher
Nov 20, 9:00 AM EST
2 gallon cobalt decorated stoneware pitcher
by Horst Auctioneers
Est: $0- $0
$2106 Bids
2 gallon cobalt decorated Cowden & Wilcox stoneware jug
Nov 20, 9:00 AM EST
2 gallon cobalt decorated Cowden & Wilcox stoneware jug
by Horst Auctioneers
Est: $0- $0
$1306 Bids
Antique Stoneware Crock with Blue Decoration
Oct 24, 6:00 PM EDT
Antique Stoneware Crock with Blue Decoration
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$1106 Bids
Antique Stoneware Jug Collection
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Antique Stoneware Jug Collection
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$555 Bids
Stoneware Jug Casey Bros. Scranton Pa 4 Gallon Jug
Oct 23, 12:00 PM EDT
Stoneware Jug Casey Bros. Scranton Pa 4 Gallon Jug
by Lettieri Auction & Appraisal
Est: $50- $100
$805 Bids
RARE Antique Cobalt Blue Williams & Reppert Greensboro, PA Stoneware 10 gallon Crock, EC
Jan 08, 1:00 PM EST
RARE Antique Cobalt Blue Williams & Reppert Greensboro, PA Stoneware 10 gallon Crock, EC
by Homestead Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$254 Bids
Pair of Blue Decorated Stoneware Crocks
Nov 07, 10:00 AM EDT
Pair of Blue Decorated Stoneware Crocks
by Paul Arsenault Auctioneers
Est: $0- $0
$304 Bids
Vintage American Stoneware Collection
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Vintage American Stoneware Collection
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$214 Bids
Antique Stoneware And Pottery Jugs
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Antique Stoneware And Pottery Jugs
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$174 Bids
Antique Stoneware Jars
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Antique Stoneware Jars
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$174 Bids
Antique 5 Gallon Cloverleaf Stoneware Jug
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Antique 5 Gallon Cloverleaf Stoneware Jug
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$224 Bids
Cobalt decorated C E Orr & Son stoneware jug
Nov 20, 9:00 AM EST
Cobalt decorated C E Orr & Son stoneware jug
by Horst Auctioneers
Est: $0- $0
$1304 Bids
Cobalt decorated Moyer, Harrisburg stoneware jug
Nov 20, 9:00 AM EST
Cobalt decorated Moyer, Harrisburg stoneware jug
by Horst Auctioneers
Est: $0- $0
$2104 Bids
§ Dame Lucie Rie D.B.E. (British 1902-1995) Footed Bowl
Oct 29, 10:00 AM BST
§ Dame Lucie Rie D.B.E. (British 1902-1995) Footed Bowl
by Lyon & Turnbull
Est: £7,000- £9,000
£3,4003 Bids
Antique 9" Blue & White Spongeware / Splatterware / Stoneware Pitcher
Jan 08, 1:00 PM EST
Antique 9" Blue & White Spongeware / Splatterware / Stoneware Pitcher
by Homestead Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$103 Bids
Stangl Stoneware Jug
Nov 07, 10:00 AM EDT
Stangl Stoneware Jug
by Paul Arsenault Auctioneers
Est: $0- $0
$103 Bids
Cobalt decorated stoneware pitcher
Nov 20, 9:00 AM EST
Cobalt decorated stoneware pitcher
by Horst Auctioneers
Est: $0- $0
$753 Bids
John Perceval Australian ( 1923-2000) A rare sgrafittio decorated stoneware set for four dated 1957
Nov 14, 2:30 PM AEDT
John Perceval Australian ( 1923-2000) A rare sgrafittio decorated stoneware set for four dated 1957
by Artvisory
Est: AUD2,000- AUD3,000
AUD1,3002 Bids
bp parity badge
UNKNOWN, Cat Sculpture, Stoneware sculpure
Oct 23, 1:00 PM EDT
UNKNOWN, Cat Sculpture, Stoneware sculpure
by Bakker Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$2252 Bids
The Weir 1901 Stoneware Crock #3 Canning Jar With Lid
Jan 08, 1:00 PM EST
The Weir 1901 Stoneware Crock #3 Canning Jar With Lid
by Homestead Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$52 Bids
Group of artifacts
Oct 27, 9:00 AM EDT
Group of artifacts
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $60- $80
$402 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Stoneware China


Pook & Pook, Inc.

Pook & Pook, Inc.

Nadeau's Auction Gallery

Nadeau's Auction Gallery

Horst Auctioneers

Horst Auctioneers

Hindman

Hindman