National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Pennsylvania German Puzzle Jug Pennsylvania German Puzzle Jug
Rendered by Yolande Delasser (artist), c. 1938
watercolor, graphite, and gouache on paperboard
overall: 40.7 x 30.9 cm (16 x 12 3/16 in.) Original IAD Object: 8" high
Index of American Design
1943.8.7500
Not on View
From the Tour: Pottery from the Index of American Design
Object 5 of 17

This jug, probably a product of a Pennsylvania craftsman, illustrates a technique known as "sgraffito." In this technique, a piece was completely covered with a thin coating of a light-colored slip. When the slip was partially dry, the design was drawn by scratching lines through the slip coating, exposing the clay beneath. In addition to the floral design that covers the surface of the jug, a German inscription appears on the neck. It says, "This and the giver are thine forever. 1775." Inscribed and dated pieces such as this one were customarily made as special marriage gifts, although elaborately decorated wares were also made to commemorate other occasions, such as births and baptisms.

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