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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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A Collection of Le Creuset Blue Heritage Stoneware
Jun 26, 9:00 AM PDT
A Collection of Le Creuset Blue Heritage Stoneware
by Abell Auction
Est: $200- $300
$2004 Bids
Antique 2 Gallon Stoneware Jug
Jun 23, 6:00 PM EDT
Antique 2 Gallon Stoneware Jug
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$404 Bids
Williams And Reppert Greensboro PA Stoneware Crock
Aug 01, 4:00 PM EDT
Williams And Reppert Greensboro PA Stoneware Crock
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $10,000
$213 Bids
Stoneware Crock
Jun 29, 9:00 AM EDT
Stoneware Crock
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$253 Bids
Stoneware Crocks
Jun 28, 5:00 PM EDT
Stoneware Crocks
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$553 Bids
Stoneware Crock
Jun 29, 9:00 AM EDT
Stoneware Crock
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$353 Bids
5 GAL WESTERN STONEWARE CROCK
Jun 27, 4:00 PM CDT
5 GAL WESTERN STONEWARE CROCK
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$63 Bids
Piedmont NC Stoneware Jug, A. L. Moody
Jul 07, 1:00 PM EDT
Piedmont NC Stoneware Jug, A. L. Moody
by Case Antiques, Inc. Auctions & Appraisals
Est: $300- $400
$1502 Bids
19th c Double Handled Crock
Jul 10, 11:00 AM EDT
19th c Double Handled Crock
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $100- $200
$102 Bids
Three pieces of stoneware, 19th c.
Jun 26, 9:00 AM EDT
Three pieces of stoneware, 19th c.
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $100- $200
$502 Bids
Remmey type one-gallon stoneware cake crock
Jun 26, 9:00 AM EDT
Remmey type one-gallon stoneware cake crock
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $220- $320
$1302 Bids
Three Pennsylvania stoneware crocks, 19th c.
Jun 26, 9:00 AM EDT
Three Pennsylvania stoneware crocks, 19th c.
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $300- $400
$1602 Bids
Massachusetts stoneware jug, 19th c.
Jun 26, 9:00 AM EDT
Massachusetts stoneware jug, 19th c.
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $120- $160
$702 Bids
Juliska Glazed Covered Stoneware Palace Floor Urns
Jun 26, 12:00 PM EDT
Juliska Glazed Covered Stoneware Palace Floor Urns
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$502 Bids
Cowden & Wilcox Crock
Jun 28, 5:00 PM EDT
Cowden & Wilcox Crock
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$202 Bids
3 Stoneware Match Holder
Jun 25, 9:00 AM EDT
3 Stoneware Match Holder
by Wehrly's Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$52 Bids
6.5" Stoneware bowl
Jun 25, 9:00 AM EDT
6.5" Stoneware bowl
by Wehrly's Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$102 Bids
Antique 1 Gallon Western Stoneware Jug
Jun 23, 6:00 PM EDT
Antique 1 Gallon Western Stoneware Jug
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$102 Bids
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Vintage Ceramic Pfaltzgraff 4-Piece Stoneware Set
Jun 26, 6:00 PM EDT
Vintage Ceramic Pfaltzgraff 4-Piece Stoneware Set
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$22 Bids
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Attributed to Janet Mansfield (Australian, 1934-2013) Rectangular Vase, height 14 cm
Jun 26, 4:00 PM AEST
Attributed to Janet Mansfield (Australian, 1934-2013) Rectangular Vase, height 14 cm
by Shapiro Auctioneers
Est: AUD100- AUD200
AUD702 Bids
Cowden Crock
Jun 28, 5:00 PM EDT
Cowden Crock
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$202 Bids
Baltimore one-gallon stoneware pitcher, 19th c.
Jun 26, 9:00 AM EDT
Baltimore one-gallon stoneware pitcher, 19th c.
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $200- $400
$1102 Bids
Stoneware crock pot by Fowler (30 x 32cm)
Jun 27, 10:00 AM AEST
Stoneware crock pot by Fowler (30 x 32cm)
by Lawsons
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD202 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Stoneware China


Pook & Pook Inc.

Pook & Pook Inc.

Shapiro Auctioneers

Shapiro Auctioneers

Case Antiques, Inc. Auctions & Appraisals

Case Antiques, Inc. Auctions & Appraisals