Artifact Highlight: Staffordshire Slipware

Reproduction of Staffordshire Slipware

Reproduction of Staffordshire Slipware

by Elizabeth PaynterArchaeological Laboratory Director

A common ceramic we find during our excavations of early historic sites in this area is Staffordshire slipware. It was produced in England and exported to America starting in the later part of the seventeenth century and continued to be exported widely through much of the eighteenth century. Typically, it can be found on American sites that range from about 1675 to 1775.

Staffordshire slip vessels are usually buff to yellow bodied and often have sand or minerals within the paste. The clear lead glaze is often yellowish as a result of iron inclusions and the underlying slips. The distinguishing factor of Staffordshire slip is primarily the slip decoration. A piece is typically coated with a cream or brown slip and the design created in the contrasting color. Most of the Staffordshire slipwares we recover during our excavations have simple designs such as a trailed slip lines or dots. Typical forms include bowls, candle holders, chamber pots, cups, mugs, pitchers, plates and platters. Platter edges are often crenulated to give it a “pie crust” rim.


FLMNH Ceramic. (n.d.). Ceramic Types in Collection. Historical Archaeology. Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH). Electronic. accessed May 3, 2017

Hume, Ivor Noël. 1974. A Guide to Artifacts of Colonial America. Alfred A Knopf, Inc., New York, New York. Originally Published 1970

MAC Lab. 2012. Diagnostic Artifacts in Maryland. Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab (MAC Lab). Originally Published 2002. Electronic. accessed May 3, 2017


About cartarchaeology

We are the County Archaeological Research Team, part of the Archaeology and Collections Branch, Resource Management Division, Fairfax County Park Authority. We are tasked with understanding and managing the cultural resources on Park land throughout Fairfax County.
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3 Responses to Artifact Highlight: Staffordshire Slipware

  1. Kimbel Stephen F. says:

    Another great highlight 👍🏻 I really enjoy Elizabeth’s and everyone’s contributions 😊



  2. Pingback: The City of Pottery Love! | C.A.R.T. Archaeology

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