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Five-Gallon Jug

circa 1850

William N. Craven (American, 1820 - 1903)

William Nicholas Craven and his three brothers, John Anderson, Jacob Dorris, and Thomas Wesley, learned how to pot from their father, the Reverend Anderson Craven (1801–1872). William, the oldest son, most likely worked with his father until his marriage to Hannah Cox in 1842. They had 10 children, and all 3 sons, as they became older, helped their father in the potting business. William bought land from his uncle, Samuel A. Craven, in 1843 and set up his own shop. By 1850 he employed 11 workers and made 10,000 gallons of stoneware per year.

This jug features a strap handle, which replaced the jump handles prevalent on earlier works. The strap handle gently folds from the base of the neck, up its side, then into a flowing arch to rest on the vessel’s shoulder. William Nicholas may have originated it, and it soon became a Craven trademark.

Place object was created: Randolph County, NC

stoneware, salt glaze

Measurements:    height: 17.5 inches    depth: 8 inches

Museum Purchase H1981.179

Not currently on view