Decorated Stoneware Cooler

Paul Cushman (1767-1833), Albany, NY Maker
1818 Date:
Salt-glazed stoneware with incised and cobalt-glazed decorations Materials
23 1/2 H x 13 1/2 Dia. (at waist) Dimensions

Impressed: PAUL:CUSHMAN

Marks
Bequest of James Ten Eyck Credit
1911.5.16 Accession number

This two-handled cooler ranks as a masterpiece of both craftsmanship and decoration. It was almost certainly made as a presentation piece to mark a special occasion, but its precise reason for being is not known. The two hearts may indicate a wedding, yet the Liberty Pole with flags suggests a political scene. The basket of tulips, though common in Germanic folk arts, is the only such design found on Cushman's stoneware. Paul Cushman was one of the founders of a regional stoneware industry that spanned the Upper Hudson Valley. When he moved to Albany around 1800, there were few local potters, but his pottery works became a long-lived and successful business that also initiated a century of tremendous growth and expansion in regional stoneware manufacturing.

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