February 21, 2008

Paul Cushman Albany NY Potter

Here are a few images from the Cushman book I mentioned in yesterday's post. Again these images are taken with my camera and don't reflect the fine quality of the original catalog. Pot
Paul Cushman (1767-1833)
Albany c. 1805-1833
salt-glazed stoneware
Albany slip glazed interior
coggling around upper waist
h. 13 in. diameter (at waist) 9 5/8 in
stamped on waist PAUL: CUSHMANs
Collection of Paul Cushman, Jr.

h. 12 1/8 in, diam. 10 in
Collection of Warren F. Hartmann

h. 14 3/4 in. diam (at waist) 10 5/8 in.
from the collection of A. J. Gambino

h. 10 in. diameter (at waist) 7 1/4in.
from the collection of Leigh Keno

from the description in the catalog of this interesting piece:
Exuberant best describes the uninhibited application of marks that crisscross this rotund jar. The marks assume a decorative function, segmenting the surface into horizontal bands and vertical halves. Most certainly the jar was intended as a presentation piece. The incised inscription"C Russell/ Pott/ Sunday" and the date 1809 offer some tantalizing clues to the vessel's history. Records show that Cushman purchased lots 9 and 10 on Lion St.(later Washington St) in Albany in 1805, yet the date 1809 is the earliest recorded on any Cushman stoneware. Does the date 1809 represent the beginning of production for Cushman, or at least the first firing? The Albany Directory of 1813 lists Caleb Russell, a mason living at 51 Deer St.( near State St). Could the "C Russell" incised on this jar be Caleb Russell who assisted Cushman with the building of his kiln? And could the jar have been a presentation piece to Russell to commemorate the first successful firing at the Cushman pottery, on a Sunday? Caleb Russell was also the fire inspector for Albany's 2nd ward, a large section of the city including the Public Square and the area west along Lion St. where Cushman had his pottery. This connection between Cushman and Caleb Russell seems more likely. Without a family history, however, the reason for the unusual marking may never be known for certain.
Follow this link if you would like to purchase your copy. You can also ask your local bookstore to order
ISBN 0-939072-15-7. or call the Albany Institute of History and Art: 518-463-4478.
I may offer my extra copy up in a contest to be announced. Check back.

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