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Barber, Edwin Atlee, 1851-1916 / Tulip ware of the Pennsylvania-German potters : an historical sketch of the art of slip-decoration in the United States

Preface,   pp. 3-4

Page 3

The existence of the ancient art of Slip-Decoration in
America was not known to ceramic students until the year
1891, when the present writer's attention was first attracted
to the subject, while gathering material for "The Pottcry a(d
Porcelain of the United States," through the purchase of a red
earthenware pie plate. This piece, embellished with floral
and bird devices in the sgraffito style, and an inscription in%
German, with date 1826 (see illustration 66), was at first sup-
posed to be an example of European workmanship, but care-
ful examination revealed the fact that some of the words
scratched in the border were in Pennsylvania "Dutch."
From this clew a series of investigations was instituted which
resulted in the interesting discovery that this curious art,
which had been brought from Germany, was flourishing in
Eastern Pennsylvania before the middle of the eighteenth
Through the liberality of Mr. John T. Morris, of Phila-
delphia, the Pennsylvania Museum acquired the collection of
Pennsylvania-German slip-decorated ware formed by the
writer for the purpose of illustrating the work above men-
tioned. Around this, as a nucleus, have been gathered many
additional examples, showing the best work of the old Penn-
sylvania-German potters. This collection is now the most
representative and complete of its kind that has ever been
brought together, as it was formed before other investigators
were aware that slip-decorated pottery had been made in this
country. Many of these pieces were procured from the de-
scendants of the makers, and, through information obtained
from their recent owners, are known to have come from
particular potteries.

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