: Same as North Italian Sgraffito.
Glaze: Swirling bichrome or polychrome slips adorn
marbled slipware. This decoration is on the exterior of
costrels and jugs. Bowls and dishes are covered entirely
on the interior and usually to just above the base on the
exterior. Occasionally the slip, but not the glaze,
covers the exterior base. Bichrome examples are decorated
with a mix of white and red slips that are covered with a
colorless lead glaze and appear ginger red and cream
colored. Polychrome North Italian slips are a blend of
white, red, and dark brown slips, which are either
applied to a pure white slip ground or directly to the
body. The different techniques may be indicative of
chronology or perhaps different sources of manufacture.
The colors are green-tinged cream, rust, and blackish
brown under a lead glaze containing copper oxide.
Form: The ware was made in the forms of bowls, dishes,
jugs, and costrels, although bowls are the most predominant
form on Virginia sites. Bowls are small with a rounded
rim or deep with a round, everted or vertical rim.
Footrings are beveled and the concave bases display
concentric potting circles as with the sgraffitoed wares.
The standing costrels are made in narrow and wide forms.
The latter are found in Virginia and consist of two pairs
of bilateral lugs, sometimes in the shape of stylized
lion heads, attached to opposite sides of an ovoid-shaped
body. These are for looping cordage by which the costrel
could be transported. The body is constricted above the
foot, which has an upturned edge.
Note: An unusual handled bowl was recovered
from a ca.1625 deposit at Jamestown. It is a
wide form with a rounded everted rim. It is decorated
with dabbed, rather than swirled, white and red slip.
Copper oxide in the lead glaze gives it a green mottled
and streaked appearance.
Pisa does not appear to be the only source of
production for the marbelized slipwares as it does for
the sgraffitoed wares. Many other centers in Northern
Italy were probably also involved.While North Italian
slipwares are widely distributed in Britain, they are not
found in large quantities and are most heavily
concentrated in London and coastal towns. The archival
records show little evidence of Italian shipping in
English ports during the late 16th and early 17th
centuries. Instead, Spain appears to be the intermediary
in the distribution of Italian wares. North Italian
slipwares occur on Virginia sites dating to the second
and third quarters of the 17th century, which is a
context coinciding with intense Dutch trade with the
English colonies. This commerce is believed responsible
for the presence of these Italian wares on Virginia
Hurst, John G. et al. (1986) Pottery
produced and traded in north-west Europe 1350-1650.
Rotterdam Papers VI. Museum Boymans-van Beuningen,
Jennings, Sarah (1981) Eighteen centuries of pottery
from Norwich. East Anglian Archaeology Report No. 13.
Norfolk Museums Service, pp. 94-95.
: Ditch 1, ca.1625-1640
Jamestown NPS collection
River Creek (44YO67)
Jordan's Journey (44PG302)
Pettus Plantation (44JC33)
Flowerdew Hundred (44PG65), (44PG92)
Martin's Hundred, Site A
St. Mary's City; Chapel, Town Center
Hampton University (44HT55)
Hatch Site (44PG51)
Claremont Manor (44SY5)
Prepared by Merry Outlaw