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4. Sgraffito Catalogue

From a total of 200 boxes of pottery wasters and kiln material excavated at Brookhill, three boxes contained 447 sherds of sgraffito ware. The minimum number of vessels is 136, which includes one imported vessel, a north Devon sgraffito dish (2 rim sherds) which was found in two separate areas of the site, in BrC kiln U12, and in layer 4 on site Br, along with nine Buckley-made sgraffito dishes. There were five sgraffito vessels of a later date also found in the Br area of the site, which are not analysed in this study.

All the vessels are thrown dishes, which have been once-fired. No early tools have been found on the site but an examination of the sherds indicates that the decoration was done with a single point. The non-sgraffito slipware assemblage from the site consists of very similar thrown dishes and also press-moulded dishes and thrown hollow-ware (Amery and Davey 1979). The press-moulded vessels are dated to the early 18th century and are similar to the wares from the Pinfold Lane site (Davey 1987, 96). Two moulds recovered from kilns dated 1640-1680 are of a finer, pale clay, not usual in Buckley, and may have been supplied from elsewhere (ibid). No fragments of pottery from the moulds have been recovered in Buckley (ibid).

The colour of the fabric is listed in the catalogue. Apart from two vessels which have laminated buff and red clays (numbers 142 and 143), all the pieces are of varying degrees of red clay and contain small amounts of quartzite inclusions. Sixty-four vessels have been double slipped, with an orange or red slip underneath the white slip. The non-sgraffito assemblage consists of similar clays to the sgraffito pieces, with an occasional vessel made in buff clay (Amery and Davey 1979).

The vessel numbers were allocated at the time of the initial assessment in the 1970s. Additional numbers were assigned as sgraffito sherds were recovered from the complete finds archive during the preparatory work for this research. The numbering system, BU1/1/001 to BU1/1/151, has been retained to avoid any confusion when consulting the archive in National Museums Liverpool.

Drawing of BU1/1/014
Drawing of BU1/1/014

There is one drawing of a typical dish here for reference (above). As all the early vessels are dishes of a similar form, it was decided that no useful purpose would be served by publishing drawings of each sherd. When it is possible to determine the rim and base diameters, they are listed within the catalogue. There is a complete set of drawings in the paper archive.

Alongside each entry there is a thumbnail colour image of each vessel, to be used as a reference, with a larger image to provide greater detail of the design motifs.

Numbers 148-151 are not sgraffito vessels. They have been included in this catalogue for reference purposes because of their design similarity to sgraffito vessels containing bestiary images (see Section 6).

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Last updated: Wed Mar 24 2004