Department of Anthropology

Yellow Ware

  • Type: Refined earthenware
  • Date range: c.1840-present
  • Peak: 1870-1900
  • Place of origin: England, North America

Yellow Ware has a buff to dark yellow fabric, sometimes vitrified, with a clear lead glaze giving the vessel a yellow appearance.

By the mid-19th century, there were many forms and decorations used for Yellow Ware. Cups, pitchers and bowls were slip-banded in different colours, mostly white or blue. Mocha designs over a white slip were also used for this ware. Another variation in design included a thick slip with an elaborate decoration. Over time, the colours became paler and brighter. Other decorative methods included moulded relief, underglaze painted, finger trailing, and luster.

In general, this ware was used primarily for kitchenwares and storage vessels.

Though much of the Yellow Ware found in Nova Scotia was produced in England, there were several producers in Canada who operated from the mid-19th century until about 1930. Yellow Ware declined as white wares began to dominate, but production of Yellow Ware continued on into the 20th century.

See Gallo 1985


Photo: Slip-banded yellow ware bowl with blue mocha-style decoration