back bounded-next cafe calendar-large calendar cart close coat-check collapse donate download elevators expand explore filter grid-view hamburger heart hours join link list-view location mail more next nursing-room phone print programs ramp restrooms right-arrow search share shop thumbs-down thumbs-up tickets up toilet heart-filled zoom Skip to Content

Face Jar

Decorative Arts and Design

Search and Share Tools

Face Jar

Artwork Details


Unidentified Artist from Miles Mill Pottery, Edgefield district, South Carolina


ca. 1870


Alkaline-glazed stoneware and unglazed porcelain

Accession #



28 x 14 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches


On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway, Gallery 404


Face jugs appeared in Edgefield, South Carolina, some time before 1862. They represent a creolized form that likely has both African and European roots. The maker of this pot hand modeled its grotesque features in clay and applied them to a wheel-turned vessel; teeth and eyes were formed from white clay pieces or other materials and inserted into the stoneware body.

Highly sculptural and beautifully modeled, this jug’s form is unusual among Southern face jugs for its size—it is currently the largest known example by a nineteenth-century African American Southern potter. With a hole near the bottom edge, the function of the jar remains unknown.


Purchase with funds from the Decorative Arts Acquisition Endowment