the grays make donation to elhs and moc
Look What We Got!
The Museum of Ceramics and the East Liverpool Historical Society announce the donation of a significant artifact of the pottery industry. William (Bill) and Donna Gray, avid collectors and authors of “Harker Pottery: From Rockingham and Yellowware to Modern,” have donated a rare Rockingham inkwell that depicts the Iroquois Indians in a treaty ceremony with William Penn.
The inkwell was made by Harker-Taylor sometime between 1846 and 1854 and is the only known extant piece that has not suffered severe damage. The Museum of Ceramics owns two such inkwells, a whiteware and a Rockingham version, but both are badly chipped and broken. The pristine condition of this Rockingham inkwell and its age and rarity make it a highly valued and coveted piece. It has a yellow clay body and is glazed with the bottled brown, manganese glaze called Rockingham.
Devotees of anything Harker, the Grays have pursued this particular piece for twenty years. William described the hunt: “When we first learned of it, the asking price was $20,000. We couldn't afford that and it vanished as far as we knew. Years later, it surfaced in a Sotheby's Auction. It sold to a landscaper in the Philadelphia Area. A contributor to Antiques and Fine Art Magazine later contacted us and suggested we get in touch with the owner. We convinced him to donate it to East Liverpool Historical Society, when he was ready to let it go. Four years ago, he called to say he had decided to sell it. We negotiated a price and enjoyed it until this past December.” At that time the Grays donated it to the East Liverpool Historical Society with the understanding it would be on loan to the Museum of Ceramics. Donna Gray stated, “We are proud to be able to return such a fine example of locally made artistic pottery to its place of manufacture for everyone to enjoy.”