A maker’s mark can help identify the potter, origin, and date of a piece of redware
The mark “S. Bell & Son, Strasburg” on the outside of an early 20th century pitcher, indicates that it was made by Samuel Bell of Strasburg, Virginia.
Bell began his earthenware shop between 1833 and 1835 with his brother, Solomon. When Solomon died in 1882, Samuel’s sons came into the proprietorship and they began using the mark, “S. Bell & Son, Strasburg,” continuing its use until 1908.
Thus, by examining the pitcher’s mark, its maker, origin and date range is quickly established.
Above: Marks used by Samuel Bell between 1843 and 1908.
12, 13 Bell, Samuel, Strasburg, Va. 1843-52. Impressed.
Source: Thorn, C. Jordan. Handbook of Old Pottery and Porcelain Marks. New York: Tudor Publishing Company, 1947.
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