Halley to speak about stoneware: made to be useful, now art

"American Stoneware: Objects Both Utilitarian and Beautiful" will be Robert Halley's presentation for the Guilderland Historical Society's program at its Thursday, Oct. 20, meeting. He will discuss the assorted fired clay containers such as the crocks, jugs, and churns in common use for food storage and preservation in the years before refrigeration. Often decorated by individual potters with blue designs, today surviving stoneware pieces are today considered prized antiques, the best now regarded as folk art.

Halley is a retired educator who turned his fascination with 18th- and 19th-century American antiques into an additional career when, in 1970, he and his late wife began to buy and sell early pieces such as coverlets, painted tin ware, and stoneware. Especially interested in stoneware, Halley has a large personal collection and will be bringing some examples for display Thursday evening as he describes their use and manufacture.

Anyone with an interest in 19th-Century Americana is invited to join Guilderland Historical Society members for the free program and the social hour following. The meeting is at 7:30 p.m. at the Mynderse-Frederick House at 451 Route 146 in Guilderland Center. For more information, call (518) 861-8582.

Editor’s note: Mary Ellen Johnson is the vice president of the Guilderland Historical Society.

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