Eye catching -- BIG and heavy at 12 inches across, over 3 inches tall, 1/4 inch thick and weighing nearly 4-1/2 pounds before packing -- this old Rockingham yelloware pottery bowl would be a star in any collection of antique country earthenware. We found it at an estate sale within 14 miles of Bennington, Vermont - but if it is from the Bennington Potters, it is not marked. Richly drizzled in warm dark brown, it resembles spatterware or spongeware. If you run your fingers over it, you can actually feel the uneven glaze surface. The rim is finished with an attractive, outward curving lip (see pictures).
This type of wide, flat bowl was used to cool fresh milk in the days before dairy farming became mechanized. The large size and extra-wide rim gave farm wives the best opportunity to chill milk fresh from the cow, by exposing a shallow layer of it to cool air. Now, in modern times, the bowls are a beautiful display.
CONDITION: This bowl is not perfect but you must pick it up and look closely to find issues. There are NO cracks, NO hairlines, NO repairs. There are very tiny, hard to find scars on the bottom from the stilts used during kiln firing (manufacturing flaw, not "damage"). Inside, you must tilt it in bright light to find flaws: there are very light, very fine surface marks overall; and there are perhaps 6 very small nearly round spots: (1) Two largest shallow flakes approx. 3/8" x 1/4", and (2) several more, much smaller, nearly round "dots" where it appears the glaze did not cover during firing.
IMPORTANT: Make it festive! Fill with fruit, holiday ornaments, colorful ribbon bows, pine cones -- your imagination is the limit ! but with the imperfections on the inside bottom, it should not be used for liquid -- it's retired from the farm, after all!
** We found this bowl at an estate sale in Hoosick, New York, within 14 miles of Bennington, Vermont, home of the renowned pottery whose version of Rockingham glaze became very famous.
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