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May, 1991

Volume XVII, Number 1

The Museum of Early Southern

Decorative Arts


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is published in February and August. Other privileges include notification of the classes
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The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts is owned and operated by Old Salem, Inc.,
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Congregation Town founded in 1766. MESDA is an educational institution with the established
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decorative arts and craftsmanship from the 1600s to 1820. The Museum exhibits its collection for
public interest and study.

For further information, please write to MESDA, Box 10310, Salem Station, Winston-Salem,
North Carolina 27108. Telephone (919) 721-7360.




May, 1991

Volume XVII, Number 1

Published twice yearly in

May and November by

The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts

For my parents to whom I owe my interest
in archaeology and history.
And for the memory of Steve who
loved discovery.


Copyright © 1991 Old Salem, Inc.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27108

Printed by Hall Printing Company
High Point, North Carolina


Andrew Diiche: A Potter 'a Little Too Much Addicted to

Bradford L. Rauschenberg

Other Savannah River Potters, r]6-1814 102

Bradford L. Rauschenberg


Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Editor 's Preface:

Since 1973 Brad Rauschenberg, MESDAs Director of Research,
has been compiling information on two of the Souths early and
most colorful potters, Andrew Duche andfohn Bartlam. The dis-
covery of the first piece of pottery that could be attributed to Duche
in 1982 and its subsequent acquisition by MESDA was the impetus
for an extensive comprehensive biography of Duche that has taken
Rauschenberg until this year to complete. As Duche's story began
to unfold, Rauschenberg realized that it could not be told in a
vacuum, for his research included information on other Savan-
nah River potters that dispelled some of the myths propagated by
late nifu'teenth- and early twentieth-century ceramic historians
and helped bridge the gap between the histories of both Duche and
Bartlam. The result was the two articles that appear in this issue
ofthefournal of Early Southern Decorative Arts. 'Andrew Duche:
A Potter 'a Little Too Much Addicted to Politicks,' " and 'Vther
Savannah River Potters. n36-1814." which will be followed by
Rauschenberg s article on Bartlam in the November issue of the


Figure I. The points of Andrew Duche's travels in North Carolina. South Caroli-
na, and Georgia from 1736-48, both documented and surmised, are illustrated on
this map. The reported sources of kaolin — New Windsor, Savannah Bluff, and the
Valley — are noticeably located in this range. Line drawing by the author MRF



Andrew Duche: A Potter 'A Little Too Much
Addicted to Politicks

Bradford L. Rauschenberg

No single American potter has been the subject of more
speculative discussion than Andrew Duche. Ceramic historians have
long benefited from contemporary references to Duche's ceramic
history and political involvements. Duche, the son of a well-known
Philadelphia potter, produced pottery in both South Carolina and
Georgia, traveling that area (fig. 1) extensively, and he has had the
reputation of being one of the first American or English
experimenters with true porcelain. No examples of his
experimental porcelain have been found to date.' In fact, an
extensive examination of all the records that relate to him indicates
that his attempts were unsuccessful beyond the first stages of
production. There is little doubt that he knew what was involved
in the process of making porcelain — namely kaolin — but it would
seem that he was unable to put his knowledge to the task.

On the other hand, examples of Duche's other work have come
to light. In the early 1980s, Howard Smith, a ceramics collector in
Mayodan, North Carolina, located the only known marked example
that can be attributed to Duche's mainline production: utilitarian,
low-fired earthenware. The discovery, an unassuming lead-glazed
earthenware jar (fig. 2) in relatively good condition, probably made
in Savannah between 1736-42, was found in a Jacksonville, Florida,
collection some years ago at a flea market in that area. The
Savannah attribution is based on the six years Duche produced
pottery in that town versus his short, nine-month period of
production in Charleston during 1734-35. It is possible that the jar
was made in Charleston, but it is more likely to have been made in

May, 1991 1

Figure 2. Lead-glazed earthenware jar marked AD, attributed to Andrew Ducbe,
Savannah, Georgia, 1736-43. HOA 13", mouth diameter 6 3/8", base diameter, 6
1/8". waist diameter 10 1/2 ". MRFS-11.554. accession 3440.

The body of the jar is a light buff color which further supports
a coastal attribution. The lead glaze on both the exterior and the
interior is a dark brown matte. The piece lacks the gloss often seen
on lead-glazed vessels, probably because of a high iron oxide
content in the lead glaze which in this case indicates over-firing.
This high content also produced the glaze's opaque quality —
much like a body that has a slip on the surface, although there is no
evidence of a slip. This can be seen underneath one of the two


pulled handles, both of which slightly touch the body throughout
the loop of the handle. The slight contact is incidental, not
intentional. With the exception of two parallel lines applied just
below and around the neck and two impressed initials, AD (fig. 2a),
which are just below these lines, the jar is plain. This plainness
coupled with the fact that so little is known about eighteenth-
century earthenware ordinarily would have caused the jar to be
passed unrecognized had the potter not marked it so clearly,
undoubtedly following an example set by his father, who also
marked some of his utilitarian ceramics.

Figure 2a. Detail of Figure 2 Mark size. HOA 9/16". WOA 1 1/4".
May, 1991

The nature of the AD mark is unusual in itself. The letters are
proportionately taller than the impressed marks normally found on
pottery, and each initial is an individual impression; i.e., the initials
were not made by a single stamp. The character of the letters can be
classified as early eighteenth-century and earlier. The chevronlike
cross bar in the A is often seen on English and European ceramics
and other decorative arts.^ Aside from those from his father's
pottery, the only other example of American ceramics with a
chevron cross bar in an A is a lead-glazed earthenware porringer
with the incised initials AC and the date 1720. This piece was
excavated intact in Yorktown, Virginia, at the 'Poor Potter' site.^

The discovery and examination of this jar led to extensive
research which in turn produced what is believed to be examples
of stoneware made by Duche. Excavation of a lot at the Frederica,
Georgia, archaeological site uncovered stoneware sherds that can
be attributed to Duche. This discovery is extremely important, for
it indicates that Duche was one of the earliest potters to produce
marketable stoneware in the South, and definitely the first south of

Andrew Duche's work, both as a potter and experimenter, was
only part of a personal history filled with disappointments,
frustration, discontent, politics, Indians, travel, and eventual
financial security. His thinking and emotions were affected
profoundly by the events of the worlds around him, especially in
South Carolina and Georgia. The result of these effects — Duche's
development as an impetuous and inflammatory politico disliked
by many of his contemporaries — is evident through a thorough
study of his life and the histories of his environments.

Andrew Duche was the son of Philadelphia potter Anthony
Duche and his wife Ann, nee Doz. He was born on 22 November
1710 in Philadelphia at 7:45 a.m. and was baptized by the Reverend
M. Jener, a French minister.^ Anthony Duche's father was Jacques
Duche, a Huguenot who fled from his home in La Rochelle, France,
where as a Protestant he had been persecuted by the Catholics
under the rule of Louis XIV. He left France with his Bible, pregnant
wife, and nine other children, went to London and became an
English citizen. Although there is a tendency to refer to both
Anthony and Andrew as French, they actually were English.
Anthony was born in England; he was the child Jacques's wife was
bearing at the time of their departure from France. Anthony arrived
in Philadelphia about 1700, supposedly on the same ship as William
Penn who, according to tradition, borrowed 30 from him.? He


married Ann on 19 June 1705, was a merchant on Front Street by
1721, and the earliest indication that he also was a potter was an
advertisement of 26 January 1725: "There is a large Square of
Ground, on the upper end of Chestnut Street, a little above the
House of Dr. Charles Sovers, over against the Pott-House belong to
Mr. Anthony Duche." Anthony did not run this notice himself, but
the reference to his pot-house (fig. 3) implies that it had been
constructed some time before 1725. His mercantile business was
moved to Chestnut Street in 1743, and he remained there until he
died. 6



:i i^t-i

17. * * ~ ,

■ - ^



"••-« in,.'




Figure 3. Detail o/Plan of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by Nicholas Scull, 1762,
Philadelphia. The arrow indicates the location of Anthony Duche's pottery
(1725?-r(')2). Photograph courtesy of I. N. Phelps Stokes Collection, Prints Divi-
sion, New York Public Library New York City MRFS-15,291.

Archaeological investigations in Philadelphia have revealed many
sherds attributed to Anthony s pottery, all of which, so far, are only
salt-glazed stoneware representing both a Westerwald and an
English style.'' From the beginning of the seventeenth century on,
German stoneware of the Westerwald region of the Rhineland was
exported to England and America. Excavations in Philadelphia, as

May, 1991


well as other cities along the eastern seaboard, have produced
evidence of the popularity of Westerwald ware in America. English
brown stoneware was also in high demand.^

As these two types of imported pottery sold so well, it was only
natural that American potters would imitate them. Marked examples
of both styles from Anthony's pottery demonstrate his apparent
success doing so. It is not known where he learned his trade,
although it is likely it was in London. Archaeology has revealed
kilns which demonstrate that Dutch stoneware and tin-glaze potters
were working in London from the late seventeenth century, and
Anthony's abilities indicate that he apprenticed under one of them.^
He was about eighteen when he arrived in Philadelphia and had
probably already completed his indenture. If Anthony learned his
trade after his arrival in Philadelphia, his master is unknown. His
marriage was the first recorded evidence of his presence in

Some of the sherds excavated from Anthony's pottery in
Philadelphia exhibit the initials AD. A close examination of
Anthony's marks compared with that on the Andrew-attributed jar
demonstrate a difference strong enough to merit separate
attributions but similar enough to warrant a father-son or master-
apprentice relationship. Apparently, Anthony's pottery had
three distinct marks that are difficult to arrange chronologically.
The mark illustrated in fig. 4 appears to be the least-used mark of
the three. It is a plain, single-impression, raised AD in an intaglio
rectangle. This mark, as well as the other two, has the chevronlike
crossbar in the A illustrated in fig. 2a. This letter style may have
been used in Anthony's master's pottery, or Anthony may have seen
it on the imported stoneware bearing the AR cipher made during
the reign of Queen Anne (1702-14). The initials of all three different
marks from Anthony's pottery are large and distinct. Figs. 5 and 6
represent the second type of Anthony's marks. Several examples are
known ."^ This, too, is in an intaglio rectangle; however, the rectangle
surrounds a raised quatrefoil decorative border. Within this, again,
are the raised initials AD. These initials differ from those in fig. 4;
the A and the D have a double-line backing and are separated by
two vertically-placed, raised stars. The third type (fig. 7) is a shield-
shaped impression. This mark has not been encountered as
frequently as the second; it appears as a decorative element on the
lower terminal handle of a mug. In this raised border shield are
other raised elements: an AD and four stars. Three of the stars are
placed over the initials, and one is located under the initials.


Figure -i. Detail of a handle lower terminal from a Westerwald type, salt-glazed
stoneware chamber pot. r25'''-62. showing Anthony Duche's impressed mark. Type
I. Mark size: HOA 3M ". WOA ^/8 ". The chamberpot was excavated at 114 South
Front Street in Philadelphia. Collection of Independence National Historic Park.
Philadelphia. MRF S-I5. 293.

May, 1991

Figure 5. Detail from base of handle on a Westerwald type, salt-glazed stoneware
chamber pot, 1725?-62, showing Anthony Duche's impressed mark. Type II.
Dimensions not recorded. The chamber pot was excavated from 8 South Front
Street in Philadelphia. This mark also appears on Anthony Duche's English-type
salt-glazed stoneware tankards. Collection of Independence National Historic
Park. Philadelphia. MRF S-15,294.

The variations of tlie mark used by Anthony s pottery clearly
demonstrate the difference between the salt-glazed stoneware ex-
amples of Anthony's pottery and Andrew's Savannah lead-glazed
earthenware example. A comparison of the father-son pieces reveals
a definite difference in the marks of each: Anthony's letters are
raised whereas Andrew's letters are impressed and lack the decora-
tive borders of his father's marks. The dissimilarity can be viewed
as an example of genetic development: the father and son marks
shared basic qualities, yet since they were different people, their in-
terpretations of the same initials echo that relationship.



Figure 6. Salt-glazed stoneware cook pot, or pipkin, handle sherd, Philadelphia,
c. 1746, showing Anthony Duche's impressed mark, Type II. Sherd measurements:
HOA 2 3/4 ". WOA 2 3/4 ". Handle diameter 1 3/16 ". The mark was at the bottom of
the hollow handle when the vessel was in use. This sherd was excavated at Brun-
swick Town, North Carolina. Collection of the North Carolina Department of Cul-
tural Resources. Raleigh. MRFS-13J53.

May, 1991

Figure "^ Handle base terminal on an English-type salt-glazed stoneware tankard,
Philadelphia, 1725?-62, showing Anthony Ducbe's impressed mark. Type III. Mark
size: HOA 7/16", WOA3/8". Courtesy of the Atwater Kent Museum, History Muse-
um of Philadelphia, ace. 81. 9. 1. MRF S-15. 295.



Anthony had four other sons besides Andrew: Anthony, Jr.
(1706-72), Jacob (1708-88), James (1716-50), and Philip, who' was
born and died in 172-4. Anthony also had two daughters: Elizabeth,
born in 1712, and Ann, born in 1720. Andrew probably learned his
trade from his father, possibly with all his brothers, altht)ugh James
was the only brother other than Andrew who pursued the career in
earnest after 1731."

Andrew paid Benjamin Franklin eleven shillings for the publica-
tion of an advertisement in three issues of the Pennsylvania
Gazette in 1730. According to Franklin s records, the notice first ap-
peared in number 81, which was dated 4 June 1730.'- On 7 January
1731, Andrew, his father, and brothers Anthony, Jr., and Jacob peti-
tioned the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, asking for the
"sole privilege of making Stone-ware within [the] Province" for
twenty-one years, explaining that they had spent several years ap-
plying themselves to the art. They also requested that the importa-
tion of stoneware from nearby colonies be discouraged. Their
petition was denied the following day'^

Nine months later, on 7 October 1731, Andrew s wife Hannah was
buried at Philadelphia's Christ Episcopal Church; the date of their
marriage is unknown. After mourning Hannah s loss for a scant two
months, Andrew married Mary Mason at the same church on 12 De-
cember 1731.''' About a year later, on 20 January 1733, Joseph
Breintnall, secretary of the Library Company of Philadelphia,
recorded the delivery of two issues of the London Magazine to the
Philadelphia Library Company, adding that he had received them
from "Thomas Hopkinson by Andrew Duche."'^ Why Andrew was
the deliverer has not been determined.

Between 20 January 1733 and the fall of 173-4, Andrew left
Philadelphia and moved to Charleston, South Carolina (see fig. 1).
The reasons for his move were not documented; however, An-
drew's circumstances in Philadelphia explain it well enough. At the
time of his second marriage, Andrew and his brothers were still
working in the family pottery. Andrew, over twenty-one, with a
new wife, probably felt the need to de\'elop a business of his own,
but if he built it in Philadelphia, he would naturally be competing
with the family business. Charleston was a logical choice as a site
for a new pottery There were no potters in Charleston before his
arrival; in fact, he was the earliest recorded potter south of Virginia.
He probably read Peter Purry's description of South Carolina pub-
lished in the August, September, and October 1732 issues of the

May, 1991 11

Gentleman s Magazine A portion of the narrative in particular con-
tained a compelling message: "There is not one Potter in all the
Province, and no Earthen-ware but what comes from England . . .
so that a Pot-house . . . would succeed very well . . . There is a kind
of sand and earth which would be very proper for these pur-
poses''^^ The Gentleman s Magazine was popularly subscribed to
in the Colonies, and it was quoted in the newspapers with some
regularity. The records of the Library Company of Philadelphia rev-
eal that the 1732 issues of this magazine were in their collection
shortly after publication. It is possible that they were the issues An-
drew delivered to the Company in early 1733.

In 1730 the estimated white population in Charleston was 2,000,
and by 1740, 3,000.'^ As this was the largest population concentra-
tion south of Philadelphia, Duche must have decided that
Charleston would be a good place for the sale of his pottery, espe-
cially since any earthenware found in Charleston before Duche's ar-
rival was imported, either from Europe or domestically.
Advertisements in the South Carolina Gazette indicate that ceram-
ics were frequently shipped there, particularly from Europe.'^
Philadelphia earthenware was also exported to Charleston, perhaps
providing Andrew with a vision of consumers crying out for cheap-
er, Charleston-made earthenware.''^

Andrew probably left Philadelphia in the late spring or early sum-
mer of 1734; this supposition is based on Anthony Duche s activi-
ties at that time. Advertisements in the American Weekly Mercury
for July and August 1734 indicate that he tried to sell his pottery
then. It appears that this attempt, as well as one in 1737, was unsuc-
cessful, for in Anthony's 9 June 1762 estate inventory, "Unburn't
Earthen ware. Tiles & Slugs & Abt . . . 2 Load Clay ... 2 Clay Mills
& 3 Potters wheels" were listed. -° If Andrew left before July 1734,
Anthony had no one to run the pottery, for James was only eight-
een years old at that time. He may have decided, for the sake of his
mercantile business, to rid himself of the burden of maintaining his

Andrew was in Charleston before the last months of 1734. On 9
November 1734, Robert Johnson, the governor of South Carolina,
reported to the London Lords for Trade and Plantations that the
only addition to the manufactures created and trade carried on
described in his last letter was "a Potter sett up here who makes
Course Potters ware."-' The earlier letter, in reality a part of a se-
quence of reports to Great Britain, has yet to be found, and the fre-


quency of Johnson s reports is not known. This is unfortunate, for
such a letter and its date might suggest the time of Duche's arrival
in South Carolina."

There is little doubt that the potter to whom Johnson referred
was Andrew Duche. What is most interesting about Johnson's
report is the statement that Duche was already turning out "Course
Potters ware" at the time the 9 November 173-4 report was made. If
Andrew was in Charleston by July 1734, he had roughly three
months to negotiate for land, hire workmen for the construction of
the pottery and kiln and perhaps an assistant or apprentice, locate
a fuel and clay source, experiment with the new clay and kiln, and
finally, produce the pottery itself. It need not have been worthy of
sale, but it most certainly had to have been worthy of note. Three
months appears to have been a short time to accomplish all this,
but, in actuality, it was well within the realm of possibility. At
Bethabara, North Carolina, a Moravian community established near
what is now Winston-Salem, in 1755, the first potter to settle there,
Gottfried Aust (I722-88)/arrived on 4 November of that year. On 15
November, he began searching for the resources necessary for pot-
tery manufacture, and by the middle of December, he was produc-
ing pottery somewhat successfully.-''

Five months after Johnson's report, Duche confidently placed an
advertisement in the South Carolina Gazette of 5 April 1735: "This
is to give notice to all Gentlemen, Planters, and others, that they
may be supplied with Butter pots, milk-pans and all other sorts of
Earthen ware of this Country make, by whole sale or retail, at much
cheaper rate than can be imported into this Province from England
or any other Place, by ANDREW DUCHE Potter next door but one
to Mr. Yeomans, or at his Pot-house on the Bay." He was producing
wliat was probably lead-glazed earthenware, for he used the term
in his notice, and he and his family generally were specific about
their products.'-* This indicates Duche's versatility, for it suggests
that he was able to convert from making stoneware in Philadelphia
to lead-glazed earthenware in Charleston, where the conditions
warranted such a transformation. In the Charleston vicinity during
that period, clay suitable for the production of low-fired ceramics
like earthenw^are was available. Apparently, higher-fired stoneware
clay was not, for no Charleston-made stoneware has been record-
ed by archaeologists or historians. ^^

Duche gave his customers two locations (fig. 8) at which they
could purchase their goods. They could go to his outlet (and

May, 1991 13

^ c/ a


^ 5^


^ :t



perhaps his residence) or they could apply at his pottery near water.
The Yeomans of the notice was William Yeomans, a Charleston
merchant who died in 1752. An attempt to determine Yeomans s lo-
cation in Charleston proved inconclusive. Yeomans advertised in
the South Carolina Gazette frequently in 1735, but he never gave an

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