Our story begins in 1859 when Otto Lewis established a pottery to produce utilitarian stoneware in Port Edward, New York. He used locally sourced clay from around the nearby Hudson River. The firm flourished over the next few years despite being destroyed by fire and having several changes in ownership. In 1867 the business was sold to Andrew K. Haxstun (1823-1890) and William R. Ottman (1820-1917). They ran the company as HAXSTUN, OTTMAN & CO. from 1867 - 1872. Because of its location the company was also known as HUDSON RIVER POTTERY. In 1872 Haxstun left the firm and was replaced by Gilbert Ottman. The company was renamed OTTMAN BROS. Over the subsequent years the company appeared to prosper and grow expanding their production with three kilns in operation and a workforce of 16 men and 5 boys. Unfortunately, the production of stoneware pottery was a very competitive business during this period and Ottman Bros. was forced to close its doors permanently in 1888-89. After leaving Haxstun, Ottman & Co. in 1872, Andrew Haxstun continued to be active in the pottery business and in 1874 he established a pottery which quickly became a major producer of stoneware known as HAXSTUN & CO. and FORT EDWARD STONEWARE CO. True to form, Haxstun left the company he founded in 1882 and sold the property where it was located in 1888. Apparently, there was a lot of wheeling and dealing going on in the late 19th century New York stoneware pottery business.
All of this background brings us to the featured Haxstun, Ottman & Co. stoneware jug from Yellow Garage Antiques dealer The Acorn Post. Made on a wheel, the salt glazed cylindrical jug has a semi-squared spout, an applied handle and is decorated with a cobalt design of a crested bird with long tail, perched on a stylized branch. The jug is incised with HAXSTUN, OTTMAN & CO. / FORT EDWARD, N.Y. As described in the above history, this mark firmly establishes a manufacturing date between 1867-1872. This rare jug is in good shape overall with the two small chips in the jug’s top rim being a testament to the outstanding strength and durability of stoneware pottery. The jug is 11” tall and 7” wide. This exceptional Haxstun, Ottman & Co. jug with meticulous provenance represents an exciting find for any serious stoneware collector.
Antique Haxstun, Ottman & Co. Cobalt Decorated Stoneware Jug