Thursday, July 19, 2012

Decker Tennessee Pottery

 Last week while in Tennessee with the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts I had the pleasure of going to the Tennessee State Museum and seeing the shop items from the Charles Decker pottery shop from the Keystone Pottery in the Nolichucky Valley of Tennessee. The pottery operated in the last quarter of the nineteenth-century into the early twentieth-century. The photo above is of the wooly bunch from the Decker pottery, with Charles Decker pictured in the upper right at the wheel.
Items from the shop of Charles Decker
 This photograph below is of the pottery shop at the Decker pottery. The chimney coming out of the center of the building is the kiln!
Photograph of the pottery shop and kiln
 This wheel below was used at the Decker pottery and was left in the shop. Luckily it was salvaged and donated to the museum.
Pottery wheel used at the Decker pottery
 Here are some tools below that were used in the shop and found at the shop. I was told that the edges fit many of the Decker pieces in the collection.
Ribs and molds used at the Decker pottery

Ribs and molds used at the Decker pottery
 These amazing pieces below were made by Charles Decker, Jr. They are advertising pieces that were placed in the yard. I was told by the registrar at the museum that when they were found they were covered in grass and vines and still sitting in the yard as they had been for the previous 100 years or so. Check out this site for more information on the Decker's and their pottery.
Stoneware advertising monuments
Tomorrow I wrap up the Summer Institute at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts with a presentation on my project looking at three pieces of Kentucky stoneware. I'll try to get some photos up and share what I have learned about these pieces in the coming week!


Dennis Allen said...

I enjoyed seeing Decker pottery at the East Tn History Museum last year.Where is the state museum?

Liberty Stoneware said...

I missed the Decker exhibition in Knoxville last year, but was glad I saw the TN pottery exhibition there. I do have the catalog from the Decker exhibition, which is really neat. the TN State Museum is in Nashville- definitely worth a stop if you're going through- LOTS to see!

Sumer Decker said...

Hi does anyone know if the plain jug signed by FF Decker was ever found? I ask because I think it may have been the one my grandfather had- my dad gave it to another relative after he passed away in '03. It was a plain brown jug. If anyone knows anything else about it email me at I actually didn't know much about my family and the pottery aside from that one jug always sitting in my grandpa's living room- until I was on ancestry recently- very interesting!

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