Department of Anthropology

Scottish Spongeware

  • Type: White refined earthenware
  • Date range: c.1840-1920
  • Place of origin: Great Britain, predominantly Scotland

Spongeware is pottery which has been decorated by applying colour using a natural sponge. Sponging was popular from c.1840 to c.1875. Spongewares was usually produced in the form of teawares and bowls, and were among the cheapest wares available.

Colours include blue, red, purple, green and yellow.

Although the technique was not only applied in Scotland, it is considered a Scottish technique. The principal overseas customer for spongeware was Canada, where the ware was distributed from Quebec and the settlements on the St. Lawrence River.

Also see Cut Sponge Stamped Ware.

See Cruikshank 1982: 1-7, 52-53


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Photo: Scottish spongeware breakfast cup and saucer sherd