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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

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Strawberry glaze Waco, Kentucky stoneware vase
Mar 17, 6:00 PM EDT
Strawberry glaze Waco, Kentucky stoneware vase
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$13012 Bids
8IN STONEWARE BOWL
Feb 29, 12:00 PM CST
8IN STONEWARE BOWL
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$2411 Bids
Stoneware pig flask by Henry Thomas - Louisville, Kentucky
Mar 17, 6:00 PM EDT
Stoneware pig flask by Henry Thomas - Louisville, Kentucky
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$6259 Bids
J.P. GRINSTEAD salt-glazed stoneware jar - Waco, Kentucky
Mar 17, 6:00 PM EDT
J.P. GRINSTEAD salt-glazed stoneware jar - Waco, Kentucky
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$1308 Bids
Louisville Stoneware Christmas Cookie Plates. 10"
Feb 27, 6:00 PM EST
Louisville Stoneware Christmas Cookie Plates. 10"
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$217 Bids
Stoneware Crocks
Mar 01, 5:00 PM EST
Stoneware Crocks
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$605 Bids
Louisville Stoneware Gaggle Of Geese Egg Plate And Dipping Bowl 13.5"
Feb 27, 6:00 PM EST
Louisville Stoneware Gaggle Of Geese Egg Plate And Dipping Bowl 13.5"
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$85 Bids
Genuine Bybee stoneware urn - Lexington, Kentucky
Mar 17, 6:00 PM EDT
Genuine Bybee stoneware urn - Lexington, Kentucky
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$255 Bids
Genuine Bybee tall stoneware candle holder - Lexington, Kentucky
Mar 17, 6:00 PM EDT
Genuine Bybee tall stoneware candle holder - Lexington, Kentucky
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$255 Bids
Handpainted Stoneware Dish, 3.5 Inches
Feb 27, 6:00 PM EST
Handpainted Stoneware Dish, 3.5 Inches
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$54 Bids
STONEWARE BOWLS
Feb 29, 12:00 PM CST
STONEWARE BOWLS
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$64 Bids
STONEWARE COOKIE JAR
Feb 29, 12:00 PM CST
STONEWARE COOKIE JAR
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$114 Bids
Selden Bybee stoneware vase - Lexington, Kentucky
Mar 17, 6:00 PM EDT
Selden Bybee stoneware vase - Lexington, Kentucky
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$304 Bids
German stoneware Bellarmine jug, 17th c.
Feb 28, 9:00 AM EST
German stoneware Bellarmine jug, 17th c.
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $400- $600
$4404 Bids
Stoneware Jugs
Mar 01, 5:00 PM EST
Stoneware Jugs
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$1003 Bids
Pre-prohibition stoneware jug - Jacksonville, Florida
Mar 17, 6:00 PM EDT
Pre-prohibition stoneware jug - Jacksonville, Florida
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$453 Bids
RARE ANTIQUE GERMAN METTLACH STONEWARE BEER STEIN
Mar 02, 10:00 AM EST
RARE ANTIQUE GERMAN METTLACH STONEWARE BEER STEIN
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$903 Bids
F.H. Cowden Harrisburg Stoneware Jug
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
F.H. Cowden Harrisburg Stoneware Jug
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$1203 Bids
Redware
Mar 02, 9:00 AM EST
Redware
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$102 Bids
Blue Stoneware "Shell" Bowl, 7 in. (17.8 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
Blue Stoneware "Shell" Bowl, 7 in. (17.8 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$152 Bids
USA STONEWARE
Feb 29, 12:00 PM CST
USA STONEWARE
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$22 Bids
Vintage Stoneware Pottery Art Vase
Mar 03, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Stoneware Pottery Art Vase
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$202 Bids
7IN STONEWARE BOWL
Feb 29, 12:00 PM CST
7IN STONEWARE BOWL
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$22 Bids
E & L P Norton Blue Decorated Stoneware Jug, Bennington, VT, 12 in. (30.5 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
E & L P Norton Blue Decorated Stoneware Jug, Bennington, VT, 12 in. (30.5 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$1002 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Stoneware China


Hindman

Hindman

Svendborg Auktionerne ApS

Svendborg Auktionerne ApS

Los Angeles Modern Auctions

Los Angeles Modern Auctions