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|Brief description||Six earthenware flowerpots attributed to Bernard Klais, Mineral Point, 1858-1883.|
|Maker||Klais, Bernard, 1801-1883|
|Materials and techniques||Unglazed wheel-thrown earthenware|
|Original location||Mineral Point, Iowa County, Wisconsin|
|Current location||Mineral Point, Iowa County, Wisconsin|
|Description||Six unglazed earthenware flowerpots with rims flattened and formed into waves (known as a scalloped or "pie crust" edge)" Two examples feature a band of ornament impressed with a coggle wheel.|
Mid-nineteenth-century Wisconsin earthenware potters like Bernard Klais of Mineral Point took advantage of the state's rich natural resources. They dug locally for their red and yellow clays, mixed glazes from lead mined in the southwest part of the state, and powered kilns with wood from nearby forests. Like many of Wisconsin's early potters, Klais learned his craft in his homeland--Prussia--before immigrating to America. In 1858 he established a pottery in Mineral Point in the area now known as Shake Rag Alley. Two of his sons, John (b. 1839) and Michael (b. 1855), worked with him to produce utilitarian earthenwares such as flowerpots, food storage vessels and roofing tiles.
Earthenware flowerpots have been used in America since at least the early eighteenth century. For example, a group of ca. 1720 English flowerpots was discovered during the excavation of the Page house in Williamsburg, Virginia.
|Sources||Wayne B. Horney, Pottery of the Galena Area (1965); Kenneth Dearolf, Wisconsin Folk Pottery in the Collection of the Kenosha Public Museum (1986)""Bernard Klais Family" transcribed by Michelle Harder, Clark County, Wisconsin Internet Library (accessed April 24, 2007): http://wvls.lib.wi.us/ClarkCounty/clark/data/bios3/3013.htm For more on early earthenware flowerpots in the United States, see William Pittman and Robert Hunter "A Cache of Eighteenth-Century Flowerpots in Williamsburg" Ceramics in America (Milwaukee: Chipstone Foundation, 2002).|
|Related objects||Several similar flowerpots attributed to Klais are among the collections of the Kenosha Public Museum (object #s 73-105 and 72-140): http://content.wisconsinhistory.org/u?/wda,1269 and http://content.wisconsinhistory.org/u?/wda,1271|
|Owner||Pendarvis (Wisconsin Historical Society)|
|Rights||(c) 2006 by the Wisconsin Historical Society--Pendarvis Historic Site. Contact the owner for more information. http://pendarvis.wisconsinhistory.org/|
|Digital collection||Wisconsin Decorative Arts Database|
|Keywords||Ceramics; Pottery; Earthenware; Redware; Flowerpot; Planter (container); Container (receptacle); Furnishings and equipment; Household Accessory|
|Dimensions||5 ¼”H x 7” diam.|
|Rights||(c) 2006 by the Wisconsin Historical Society at Pendarvis. Contact the owner for more information. http://pendarvis.wisconsinhistory.org/|