I believe that the true history of a time and place can be seen in our everyday lives— how we lived, what we valued and what we left behind. I found this bowl in the wild on a blanket at a small flea market—a leftover from a large estate sale. I recognized it immediately as a Redware trencher made between 1630 and 1860.

The red color comes from the rust colored clay that was commonly found along New England river banks. The clay was dug out by hand, mixed with lead and sand then topped with a glaze. The decoration was often applied with a goose feather. The redware plates and jugs were baked in kilns that dotted colonial America. During the Revolutionary War, most of the kilns were destroyed by the British because they could also be used to manufacture bullets.

Redware was linked to serious illness because of the lead content and was replaced by blue and grey salt glazed stoneware. Salt glazed pottery was expensive and was quickly eclipsed by long lasting and far less pricey peter plates, mugs and pitchers.

FYI Early redware pottery can be worth as much as $2,500. I paid $2

Have you inherited interesting items or like to pick up interesting bits and pieces at thrift shops and flea markets? I would love to see what you have uncovered and together we can identify their history and value. Send me a photo to my email (debchaseny@gmail.com) and give me the size and explain where it was discovered.