Regrettably this is only a shard but can anyone share any info on the form? The small loop seemed unusual and made it worth saving. It was recovered at an old house site in south-central Indiana occupied from approx. 1816 to 1940.
The small loop looks more like the place to attach a handle (rope, wire,etc.) than like a handle itself. I don't know that this has much intrinsic value, but it is interesting. Do you have a county historical society that might have a place for it?
Believe it or not, there was a short era when handles like that were fairly common on stoneware and pottery. I have an old vase, I forget the maker now, but found a duplicate of it at one of the local antique shops with a three figure value, and I know it's early Ohio and it has a handle like that on both sides of the vase. Actually pretty functionless as a handle, but thar she sits. And on a jug, it would have been a handy hook loop so who knows? For the pottery collectors who might input, seeing functuional ware like this it's helpful to know your general location since it was often not distributed very far and it would help us to decide which reference materials to look through should we decide to pursue finding an era or maker.
Thanks for the comments. My interpretation of the small loop is that it was possibly used to tie the stopper (possibly a stoneware stopper?) to the jug to prevent loss. I presume a regular size loop handle existed on the opposite side. I was hoping the small loop might help identify a specific usage of the jug or possibly identify the stoneware maker.
Is there a nearby museum that has a collection of locally manufactured pottery? You could look there for comparisons and possibly even speak to someone who might have more information.
That's a reasonable suggestion and thanks. However, the absence of good local resources was the main reason I came to search the WWW for help. Alas, I shall continue my search for information on this piece as well as searching for other relics at this pioneer home site.
It isn't much, but there's a small section on pottery in Indiana in this history of the state published in 1924 (or so). Are you anywhere near Clay City? Or any of the other towns named?
Have you been to the state historical museum?
Here is a link that might be useful: History of Indiana -- see page 290
I appreciate your help. The link you included has some interesting info with some local potters listed. I will follow up the info you provided. Thanks.
The jug sherd appears to be from a wire handled whiskey or cider jug circa 1930 or before.
Cool! I love when mysteries are solved.