1830s "Egyptian Black" Glazed Basalt Cream Jug Pitcher, Cyples Pottery
Although often called Black Basalt ware, this is actually a beautiful circa 1830's 19th c. English pottery jug or milk cream pitcher known as "Egyptian Black." It was mostly likely made by the Cyples family on Market Street, Lane End, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. They had begun making their black pottery ware in the late 18th century. This kind of pottery was also called "Shining Black."
Jesse Cyples is listed in the 1805 census as an "Egyptian Black Manufacturer" according to the Jewitt "People of the Potteries" book. When he died 5 years later, his wife, Lydia Steel Cyples 1775-1845 took over the business on her own and ran it for 35 years. As her sons grew (age 6 and 3 years at Jesse's death) they also stepped into the business. She died at age 70 in 1845. It appears the business belonged to Thomas Barlow by 1849.
The Cyples firm glazed their black earthen ware to a glossy shine. It should be noted, this is not Basalt ware, nor engine tuned basalt ware, It is an earthenware, and not fired at the high temperatures to be a stoneware as Basalt is.
This is a stunning piece condition wise. We wonder how it ever got to us along this 200 year old journey and in this condition. There are no chips, cracks or repairs and it is clean, shiny and beautiful. It was found in Newton Abbot, Devon, England. Click images to see condition in close up views. We salute Lydia Cyples and her pottery making firm and her excellent work. A wonderful old unmarked piece.
Size: 3.25 inches tall x 4 inches wide
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Book: Anthology of British Cups, Michael Berthoud 1982 (Coffee Cans too)