Face Vessel

The earliest face vessels known to have been produced by white southern potters were probably not made until the end of the 1800s. White potters working in the Edgefield area in the mid-1800s may have seen the slave-made vessels and taken the idea with them as they moved out of South Carolina.
Like many southern pottery families, the Brown family encompasses a line of potters generations long. The Browns began making pottery in west-central Georgia by the mid-1800s before migrating east to the Atlanta area after the Civil War. The family spread
from there to North and South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas. This piece, on the left, may have been produced by the Brown family of Georgia in the early 1900s.
This face vessel came to the Museum as part of the Van Alstyne Collection of American Folk Art. Eleanor and Mabel Van Alstyne collected more than 300 examples of American folk art over a period of about 40 years.
Currently not on view
Object Name
vessel, face
date made
early 1900s
Brown Pottery
Physical Description
ceramic, stoneware, coarse (overall material)
overall: 16 cm x 14.7 cm; 6 5/16 in x 5 13/16 in
overall: 6 3/16 in x 5 5/8 in x 5 5/8 in; 15.71625 cm x 14.2875 cm x 14.2875 cm
place made
United States: Georgia
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Domestic Furnishings
Cultures & Communities
Face Vessels
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass
Face Vessels
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
The Eleanor and Mabel Van Alstyne Collection of American Folk Art
Additional Media

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