12″ antique Yellowware mixing bowl. No visible maker markings. #12 on bottom. Excellent condition.
MARTHA STEWART LIVING, MARCH 1995
From the 1830s until the 1940s, when Pyrex and plastics took over, yellowware was ubiquitous in American kitchens. Yellowware is a ceramic fired from the fine yellow clay that lines riverbanks from New York to Ohio. Its color ranges from butter yellow to deep mustard, and it was popular due to its low cost and durability — it could even withstand the heat of a woodstove.
In the past 15 years, yellowware has caught on with collectors, and values have soared. To identify a piece as authentic yellowware, make sure the glaze is clear — only the clay should be yellow. It is difficult to date yellowware, or determine its point of origin, because only about 5 percent of this pottery was marked. If you do find a piece with the original potter’s marking, expect to pay prices at least 30 percent higher than for a comparable unmarked vessel. There is an easy way to determine whether a piece of yellowware is English or American. Tap it solidly with your fingertip. If it rings clearly, it’s probably English; if you hear a thud, it was most likely made in the United States.