Rare circa 1890 to 1910 stoneware alkaline glazed lemonade pitcher, an indigenous piece that was made in the style of European porcelaine lemonade pitchers. This pitcher is an exquisitely hand made and alkaline glazed stoneware that stands 6" tall and 8" at the widest point. There is one old chip on the rim and an old crack about 1" long visible from the inside (see photos), a none structural firing crack at the end of the handle, and normal wear around the bottom of the pitcher indicative of use. Though regionally made, this was thrown by an experienced potter accurately applying European style to his pot.
The glaze on this piece is typical of Edgefield pottery, which was originally made in the old Edgefield district of South Carolina from early 19th century into the early twentieth century. Much of the Edgefield pottery was made before the Civil War in plantation run potteries by slave artisans. Edgefield pottery was alkaline glazed, unlike pottery from outside the South which used salt for glazing. Abner Landrum began the first Edgefield pottery and experimented with using alkaline glazes (as Chinese had 1000 years earlier), He did this because lead glazes were poisonous and salt glazing was expensive. Due to his success other potteries in the Edgefield district sprang up. As potters moved (or in the case of slaves were sold) they took the alkaline glazing technique with them, so that manufacture spread throughout South Carolina into to North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. After the slaves were freed they set up their own potteries and continued making pottery until about 1920s when mass production processes finally pushed them out of business.