Alabama Stoneware & Pottery
Welcome to Bill Garland’s Alabama stoneware web site. I collect both merchant advertising jugs and hand-turned stoneware produced by Alabama potters or for Alabama merchants. I’m always interested in meeting new friends to share and learn about Alabama’s rich heritage. The stoneware tradition runs deep across our State. Salt glaze pottery appeared in the early 1800s along the shores of Mobile Bay. Names such as LaCoste and Marshall (Mareschal) attest to the French connection in the early years of this former French colony. Massive immigration from the Carolinas and Georgia following cessation of Native American lands, however, firmly established an alkaline glaze tradition across most of the State by the mid 19th Century.
By the late 1800s, potters were scattered across the state, many with local styles and glazes that allow present-day collectors and historians identify their wares. Included among these potters were those that produced truly amazing decorated and stylish pieces that are considered one of the finest art forms in the Southeast. We are fortunate in Alabama to have a detailed account of these potters published by Joey Brackner (2006) in his book “Alabama Folk Pottery”.
I started collecting Alabama stoneware and advertising jugs in 1985. In the early years, the history and potters were incompletely documented and, in some cases, totally unknown. The last 25 years have seen significant advances in detailing and interpreting stoneware production in the State. Even today, however, the story continues to change and evolve as new information comes to light, archaeological studies excavate kiln sites and new stoneware turns up.
Collectors should be aware that many advertising jugs on eBay, antique stores and flea markets are being reproduced. This is particularly apparent on eBay, where most advertising jugs over the past year have been reproductions. The White Elephant Saloon and A.B. Jones jugs from Tuscaloosa seem to be particularly favored by deceitful sellers.
Photo Galleries - I have attached four pdfs on Alabama stoneware as a resource for collectors, and to facilitate continuing discussions on Alabama’s stoneware legacy; Alabama Advertising Jugs, Miniature Alabama Advertising Jugs, Alabama Signed Stoneware, and Alabama Unsigned Stoneware. The advertising jug photos (miniature and larger) are adapted from my 2009 book, “Alabama Advertising Jugs” (Out-of-Print). I’m always interested in adding new and interesting items to my book and collection, and welcome discussions, potential corrections and differing opinions from other collectors and historians. Many of the attributions to potter and region are subjective, based on my opinion and knowledge, along with that of fellow collectors. My intent is to periodically replace the photo galleries with updated slides as new stoneware is added to the lists. The gallery of Unsigned Stoneware includes only those items in my collection. The advertising and Signed Stoneware galleries are more inclusive and include my collection, along with jugs and stoneware in the possession of other individuals . If jugs or stoneware are missing from my collection, the slide is marked as WANTED, and I’m always open to purchase or trade (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Stoneware For Sale - If passing through Anniston/Oxford on Interstate 20, please stop by Timeless Treasures Antique Mall, Exit 188, on Davis Loop across from Cheaha Harley Davidson. I maintain a selection of Alabama, Georgia stoneware and advertising jugs for sale in the mall.