This is a sherd of stoneware bottle. Stonewares such as these are often times referred to as ÒFulhamÓ by archaeologists after one of the many places that produced such vessels in eighteenth century Britain. The ceramic type is distinguished in part by the dark brown coloration that occurs on the upper portion of vessels, which was achieved through the application of iron oxide prior to firing the pot in a kiln. During the eighteenth century, British potters saw an opportunity to produce food and beverage storage vessels that had primarily been imported from European, largely German, potteries for much of the preceding century. Eventually, the British potteries came to dominate this portion of the market. For this reason, British stonewares are ubiquitous on colonial era archaeological sites. Hollow stoneware vessels such as this held a full range of household liquids wine, cider, vinegar or even water for shipping or storage in eighteenth century households.

Though not visible on the landscape today, Mount Vernon once had a dairy and an earlier kitchen located just west of the Mansion and close to the midden. Excavated from Phase 1 of the midden (ca. 1735-1758), this bottle was used in Mount VernonÕs first kitchen. We know very little about this outbuilding. Clues come from archaeological digs done in the 1930s by Morley Williams, a landscape architect who studied Mount VernonÕs layout and evolution and exposed portions of the foundations of the pre-1775 outbuildings that stood on the MansionÕs west front. Lawrence WashingtonÕs 1753 probate inventory mentioned those buildings by name.

Width measurement is the widest point on vessel around the center.

Object Type

Where Was It Found?

Project Site: South Grove    [more details]





Manufacturing Technology

Wheel Thrown




Body, Handle, Rim

Decorative Technology




Country of Origin



163mm x 185mm x 120mm (W x H x L)

  • Rim Dimeter: 45mm

  • Illustration shows object in comparison to the size of a quarter


    514 gram(s)

    Object Number

    2597 EB v.1

    DAACS Number


    Project: South Grove

    "Beginning in the summer of 1990, a multi-year investigation of the area known as the South Grove, situated just south of the Mansion and the associated kitchen, was initiated. The site was selected as the result of numerous 18th-century artifacts being found there over the years, combined with its high potential for yielding surface-deposited domestic refuse associated with the Washington household. In addition to providing information relating to the daily lives of the Washington Family, analysis of refuse associated with the plantation household would allow direct comparison with the material culture associated with African-American slaves excavated at the “House for Families” quarter.

    An extensive sheet midden was partially revealed and tested in 1990, with two much larger portions exposed in 1991 and 1992. The midden was at least 30 feet in diameter and in excess of 1.5 feet in depth at its center. Excavations yielded enormous quantities of faunal remains, ceramics, wine bottle glass—including three different bottle seals—table glass, tobacco pipes, and a wide range of personal and household objects. Based on the materials recovered to date, the midden appears to have been deposited just prior to the American Revolution.

    In addition to the midden, several subterranean brick drains also were revealed. Two of the drains apparently connect with the Mansion basement and with the kitchen larder, and date to a period of Construction and major renovation carried out in the 1770s. A third drain may be associated with the earlier kitchen, built before 1752 and demolished in 1775.

    See All Objects From this Dig


    Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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