Ceramics and Glassware

Creamware Jug
Creamware Jug
During the colonial period, a variety of ceramics and glassware products were available to consumers in Virginia. Glass was a highly valued commodity that consumers praised for its translucent beauty. Forms created during the 18th century ranged from simple bottles to elaborately decorated wine glasses.

Ceramic objects, such as earthenware (creamware, delftware, pearlware, and redware), porcelain, and stoneware also combined utilitarian forms with decorative features. Simple but sturdy domestic wares were those forms most commonly used by the average Virginian. Until the late 18th century, highly stylized and fragile pieces of creamware, pearlware, or porcelain were generally only available to members of Virginia’s elite. Examples of objects made of these materials include figurines, garniture, and specialized dining pieces, such as teacups, teapots, and saucers. Ownership of expensive and unique ceramics and glassware demonstrated to all one’s wealth and taste.