Face Jar


Unidentified Artist from Miles Mill Pottery, Edgefield district, South Carolina


ca. 1870


Alkaline-glazed stoneware and unglazed porcelain


28 x 14 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches


Purchase with funds from the Decorative Arts Acquisition Endowment

Accession #


On View

On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway, Gallery 404

Face jugs appeared in Edgefield, South Carolina, some time before 1862. They represent a creolized form that likely has both African and European roots. The maker of this pot hand modeled its grotesque features in clay and applied them to a wheel-turned vessel; teeth and eyes were formed from white clay pieces or other materials and inserted into the stoneware body. Highly sculptural and beautifully modeled, this jug’s form is unusual among Southern face jugs for its size—it is currently the largest known example by a nineteenth-century African American Southern potter. With a hole near the bottom edge, the function of the jar remains unknown.