Miles Mill Pottery
Nationality & Life Dates:
Edgefield district, SC
Alkaline-glazed stoneware and unglazed porcelain
28 x 14 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches
Purchase with funds from the Decorative Arts Endowment
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 grotesque features were hand modeled in clay and applied 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 form is unusual among Southern face jugs because it is the largest currently known example from the nineteenth-century African American South. With a hole near the bottom edge, the function of the jar remains unknown.