It is marked on two lines J. NORTON & CO: BENNINGTON VT. With a larger number 3 (gallon) stamped beneath. The J stands for Julius, grandson of the potterys initiator Captain John Norton, who had founded the pottery in the late 1700s, and son of Luman Norton.
Represents Julius cousin Edward and son Luman Preston. Mark only lasted from 1859 to 1861 when Julius died, and thus represents one of the shortest durations of any mark in the companys 110-year lifespan (the only near-equivalent we could find was the Norton & Fenton mark of 1845 to 1847).
The mark is unmistakable, but very faint and incomplete in areas. We do not think this is due to wear, but rather due to a weak impression being made at the time of manufacture, amplified by the raised, rippled texture found over the whole of the jug.
The large, elegant floral decoration spans in cobalt blue across nearly the entire width of the front/display side. The jug is large and heavy, measuring roughly 15 tall and 9 1/2 in diameter, and weighing just over 11 pounds.
The mouth measures roughly 2 1/8 across the rim and 1 1/4 across the opening. This substantial piece will display well but does have flaws as would be expected of a piece that is over 150 years old. To start, we have made no attempts to repair/restore the jug and it is presented as found. As noted, the entire jug has a raised, rippled surface texture that can be felt but still feels smooth to the touch (not rough). We are unsure as to whether this texture is intentionally created to enable the user to better hold onto this large jug while pouring.
The texture can most readily be seen in the areas that are decorated, where the cobalt has been applied to the raised ripples while the channels maintain their lighter color, providing contrast between the two surface planes. The mouth is not level horizontally and leans slightly to the right and back when facing the jug. The handle too leans slightly from vertical in the same direction.
We believe these features may also have been by design rather than unintentionally. There are some of the typical manufacturing imperfections expected in stoneware of this age, including an area on the back that slightly divots but is still fully glazed. Other flaws include three small, shallow chips on the display side, two by the 3 mark, and one below right of the decoration, as well as other worn spots; other small surface chips, flea bites, and other areas of wear that are mostly superficial, penetrating only as deeply as the glaze and barely detectable by touch; discoloration, staining, rust-colored areas, general wear, etc. The bottom of the jug is rough and dirty and there is one gouge/chip that measures about 1/2 by 3/16 and runs about 1/8 deep.
The gouge also has a longer roughly 1 long slice running through the center of the fissure. We do not believe that this chip penetrates, but we did not test the jug with liquid. Whatever its flaws, this early J. 3-gallon stoneware jug is still undeniably a quite beautiful piece and will certainly make a wonderful addition to your collection.
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We always do our best to satisfy our customers and work hard to offer excellent service. Your feedback is very important to us, and we welcome any comments or suggestions you might have to help us improve our service.Norton & Co Cobalt Floral Decorated 3-Gallon Stoneware Jug Bennington VT" is in sale since Saturday, May 13, 2017. This item is in the category "Antiques\Decorative Arts\Ceramics & Porcelain\Jugs". The seller is "bensmumma" and is located in Sutton, Massachusetts. This item can be shipped worldwide.