Tennessee Monsarrat Pottery Lidded Stoneware Pitcher
Robert Allen Monsarrat was the sole proprietor of Monsarrat Pottery in Friendsville, Tennessee from 1977 to 1999. He made stoneware pieces with synthetic ash glazes like this handsome, extremely large and heavy lidded pitcher. Well-known professional ceramicists like Peter Rose and Shadow May also created pottery at Monsarrat. It has been 20 years since Robert stopped potting and sold his kiln. His works are in the collections of the American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, California; the Southern Highland Guild in Asheville, North Carolina and the Tennessee Valley Authority in Knoxville.
This tactile stoneware pitcher is truly monumental in size. Standing 12 inches tall, it weighs 6 pounds, 14 ounces and has a base diameter of 8 inches. The circumference around the widest part is 23 inches; the mouth measures 3 1/2 inches. There is an inner flange that the lid with the high, round knob sits on. The wide strap handle is finished with two thumbprints each where it joins the body at both the top and bottom. The cut rim of the pulled spout is somewhat rough.
Grooves, ribbons and raised buttons decorate the piece, along with the drip glaze that runs down and onto the dry bottom, which is hand signed in black with "Monsarrat" in a double circle, a signature he began using circa 1982. The drip glaze is reminiscent of the Southern "tobacco spit" glaze; done in brown and greens, it enables this pitcher to fit in well with modern, rustic and country interiors.
NOTE: A very similar lidded pitcher made by Monsarrat is pictured in his listing on the website The Marks Project.