Appearance Is Everything: Mary Washington And Her Specialized Ceramics Of Gentility

Author(s): Judith D. Jobrack; Mara Kaktins

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.

Mary Washington, mother to George, was widowed young. Her decision not to remarry, an unusual choice for women of her time, meant she faced an economic and social uphill battle raising five children to be successful adults and members of the Virginia gentry class. Consequently it was important that she cultivate a refined household with appropriate table and teawares. Excavations at Ferry Farm, her longtime home, reveal a woman who carefully selected ceramics to perform very specific tasks while at the same time not overextending her budget, which had decreased significantly following the death of her husband. These items contributed to her goal of remaining of the gentry class and giving her children a good head start to do the same, a task she overwhelmingly succeeded in.

Cite this Record

Appearance Is Everything: Mary Washington And Her Specialized Ceramics Of Gentility. Judith D. Jobrack, Mara Kaktins. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457526)


Ceramics Gentry Washington

Geographic Keywords
United States of America

Temporal Keywords
18th Century

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): 616