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Toilet Box

A work made of earthenware.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of earthenware.




Lyman, Fenton & Co.
American, 1849–1852
Bennington, Vermont

About this artwork

Beginning in the mid-18th century, English manufacturers introduced yellow-bodied pottery with mottled brown glazing, commonly known as Rockingham ware, to the United States market. By the 1840s, factories in America, aided by English immigrant craftsmen, were producing the pottery to great success. Two of the most notable American makers of Rockingham ware were located in Bennington, Vermont, where potteries had existed since at least 1785, but there were also manufacturers in New Jersey, Ohio, Maryland, and elsewhere. Responding to the utilitarian needs of America’s middle class, these potteries produced a large range of objects, from spittoons to inkwells, snuffboxes to pitchers, and candlesticks to doorknobs.

The exceptionally rich glazing on this toilet box is an excellent example of a surface treatment for which Lyman, Fenton, and Company was known. After an initial firing, the object was dipped into a clear or yellow glaze and left to dry. It was then dripped, spattered, or sponged with lead glazes to which metallic oxides had been added, manganese for brown and cobalt for blue.


Currently Off View


Arts of the Americas


Lyman, Fenton & Co.


Toilet Box


Bennington (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

c. 1849–1852




l: H.: 19.7 cm (7 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Emma B. Hodge

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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