Thursday, May 29, 2014

Yard Sale Find: Queen City Pottery Stoneware Crock

Earlier this month, there was a great yard sale taking place down the street from The Girl's school. The gentleman running the sale had all sorts of things buried in boxes and set up across numerous tables and it was all going for pennies on the dollar. I got there a split second too late to nab a huge ball jar with class lid (for ONE DOLLAR!!!) but buried among tool boxes beneath a table was this stoneware crock. 

The outside was covered in dirt and there was no telling what it had been used for before finding itself tossed out with the rest of the goods. I wish now that I had taken a "before" picture because it really looked rough. I was told a similar jug-type crock went earlier for "a steal" so he would have to ask a little more for this one...$4.  I had been searching for crocks for awhile. New crocks of this size go for more than I wanted to spend right now, but still reasonable (Ace Hardware has their Ohio Stoneware 2 Gallon Crock for just under $30).

I paid the $4 immediately without knowing what the condition of the crock was under all that dirt. It was then stashed safely in the car before I resumed my browsing at the yard sale.

When I got home, I started cleaning up the crock. I was giddy with excitement the whole time (the glaze was still gorgeous). There was a tiny crack in the base but otherwise it still looked fantastic!

Then I looked it up online to find out a little something about it. I'm not an "antique" shopper but I like to know something about my belongings and I really like to find things with history (especially if there are personal stories to go with them). As it turns out, Queen City Pottery was one of the first pottery manufacturers in Colorado. It opened in 1892 and produced "jugs, crocks, pitchers and other house wares" until it was purchased by Western Pottery Company in 1906. (information source) Their clay was obtained mainly from Golden, Colorado. (information source)

Finding any information was difficult and the only other image of a crock similar to this one that I could find was on eBay but even it has a much different shape around the rim (less rounded) and didn't appear to be in as good condition. It was also all light colored while mine had a dark brown interior.

I'm not sure yet what I'll do with this yard sale find. The hairline crack keeps me from wanting to make pickles in it but it's beautiful and has character and I know it will have a prominent place in our home.

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