National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Inhaler Inhaler
Rendered by Yolande Delasser (artist), c. 1939
watercolor, colored pencil, and graphite on paperboard
overall: 35.9 x 27.9 cm (14 1/8 x 11 in.) Original IAD Object: 7 1/4" High
Index of American Design
Not on View
From the Tour: Pottery from the Index of American Design
Object 14 of 17

The nineteenth century was a time of experimentation not only with novel forms, but also with a variety of glazes. Both the Norton and Fenton potteries of Bennington, Vermont, became famous for their "Rockingham" ware. Typically, Rockingham pottery is covered with a mottled brown glaze, made to imitate the tortoiseshell appearance of wares produced at the Marquis of Rockingham's pottery in England. This inhaler, or "croup kettle," displays the brown streaks and splotches characteristic of Rockingham glaze. The brown color is part of the glaze itself, which was spattered on the fired clay body. Variations in color were achieved by applying the glaze more heavily in some spots, thinning it in others, and by allowing it to streak. The glazing process permitted random and accidental effects; consequently, no two pieces of Rockingham ware were alike. Although Rockingham ware is associated primarily with Bennington, other American potteries also produced it. The Bennington pieces, at least until 1856, were exceptionally fine in finish because a double glaze technique was used. A glossy underglaze was applied to the clay piece. After an initial firing, the brown Rockingham glaze was spattered on and the piece was fired again. The result was a final glaze effect of extraordinary depth and brilliance.

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