Stoneware Butter Churn

Paul Cushman (1767-1833), Albany, NY
Date: c. 1809
Maker: Paul Cushman (1767-1833), Albany, NY
Dimensions: 14 3/8 H x 7 1/2 Dia.
Materials: Salt-glazed stoneware with cobalt glaze


Provenance: Purchased from George Abraham and Gilbert May, West Granville, MA
Credit: Albany Institute of History & Art Purchase
Accession Number: 1957.13

Straight, even walls, a well-formed opening, and uniformly shaped handles all indicate the work of a careful and talented potter. Although it has no decorative figures, this churn displays beauty in its simple shape and incised rings that divide the body into sections. The Roman numeral incised near the top allowed the potter to match the churn body with a custom-fitted lit with the same numeral. 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.