Early New York Oyster Jars

Author(s): Chris Pickerell

Year: 2020


This is an abstract from the session entitled "Specialized Ceramic Vessels, From Oyster Jars to Ornaments" , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Pickled oysters were one of New York’s first and most recognizable exports. The earliest documented mention was in a mid-17th century letter that described how glass bottles containing oysters were shipped to the West Indies. Following this, it appears oysters were regularly stored and shipped in small wooden casks. By the third quarter of the 18th century, distinctive stoneware jars were being produced by Manhattan potters for use in shipping oysters to ports along the eastern seaboard as well as the West Indies. Despite considerable evidence that large numbers of jars were produced, to date they have not been identified in many archaeological excavations including those in New York City. This paper will illustrate the distinctive characteristics that set oyster jars apart from similar vessels and should allow for the identification of more examples in existing collections and new excavations.

Cite this Record

Early New York Oyster Jars. Chris Pickerell. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457525)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 228