The stoneware manufacturing center of Ripley, Brown County, Illinois grew to become among the largest in America in the mid 19th Century. During 1850-1860 this infamous Illinois center was second only to Ohio.
Over 150 individuals involved in pot making are listed within the highly researched "Checklist of Potters and Potteries" by Eva Dodge Mounce. Produced were highly decorated utilitarian ware and admirable figurals. While the application of hand decorations in cobalt is quite uncommon within Illinois makers, many unique beautiful Ripley stoneware pieces exist.
A local authority on these Ripley produced ceramics, Mr. Jeff Jones,
has generously offered much knowledge to fellow collectors and researchers (in real time) on his Facebook blog "Ripley Stoneware."Please feel free to contact Jeff through Facebook and keep in mind that he is "looking to buy Ripley stoneware......any leads let him or his wife Crystal know."
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The above vessels were discovered by a Ripley resident while
digging off the side of his home to construct a deck in 2009. What an incredible discovery!
OFFICIAL WEB SITE
Uncommon Ripley lidded meat jar with fancy embossed figures, rare half gallon jar inscribed "Spencer & Leach/ Ripley, Ills," one gallon jar with cobalt stencil "W.H. Crawford and Co/ Ripley. Ill," and 6 gallon "J.T. Roberts / Ripley Ill."
Often, elaborately cobalt decorated Ripley jars
feature a fancy script numeral adorned by detailed arrows with dots; at center an artistic squiggly sideways "S" surrounded with cobalt dots; and many with a very distinctive cobalt "Bee with Stinger" with multi dot decorated wings. FABULOUS! (note: known is a shard with maker's mark "W. H. Hughes" bears this identical decorated bee with stinger design).
The Ripley Pottery Center
Brown County, Illinois