Artefact of the Week Series: Stoneware, Alcohol and Rumrunning
Updated: Jul 14, 2022
The first examples of salt-glazed stoneware include Bellarmine or Bartmann (bearded man) jugs from 15th century Germany. The Bartmann bearded face jugs featured a similar texture and patterning to the outside of our piece of stoneware. They were used, among other things, to store alcohol.
The salt glazing method was later copied in Britain, which made very similar jugs, along with the two-tone Fulham tankard. This tankard featured a bumpy, mottled dark brown top half and a smooth cream- or tan-coloured bottom half. The Fulham or Fulham-style tankard became a popular ale container in many taverns.
Salt-glazed stoneware soon made its way to America, and American stoneware was virtually indistinguishable from British stoneware by the time St. Pierre was resettled (1816). While it’s not really possible to tell where this fragment was made (and our professor and TA just might have different interpretations), this sturdy stoneware shard was likely once part of a liquor jug. One exciting possibility is that the jug was associated with St. Pierre’s 1920s liquor ventures - rumrunning!