THE CLARK DYNASTY OF NEW YORK STATE GREAT ANTIQUE AMERICAN STONEWARE

CORNWALL

POUGHKEEPSIE * JURY IS IN!

ATHENS * CLARK & HOWE

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THE HISTORY HERE IS VERY EARLY AND VERY SKETCHY BUT THE CLARK FAMILY WAS IN CORNWALL APPEARING IN THE CENSUS OF 1790. REUBEN CLARK TRAINS HIS SON NATHAN IN STONEWARE MANUFACTURE. POTTERS WHO WORKED AT CORNWALL DURING THIS TIME ARE MANY WHO EVENTUALLY PIONEERED NEW MARKETS UP AND DOWN THE HUDSON RIVER AND ERIE CANAL.


ATHENS * CLARK & HOWE

POUGHKEEPSIE * JURY IS IN!

ATHENS * CLARK & HOWE

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NATHAN CLARK AND HIS SISTERS HUSBAND CAPT. THOMAS HOWE, PARTNER TO BUILD A KILN IN 1805 IN ATHENS, N.Y.. STONEWARE IS STAMPED "CLARK & HOWE". HOWE PASSES AWAY IN 1813 AND CLARK BUYS HIS SHARE OF THE BUSINESS. CLARK THRIVES AND IS CONTROLLING THE MARKET ALONG THE HUDSON RIVER. CLARK BEGINS TO DISPATCH TRAINED POTTERS TO NEW TOWNS AND MARKETS. SALT GLAZED STONEWARE WAS STAMPED "N. CLARK ATHENS"

POUGHKEEPSIE * JURY IS IN!

POUGHKEEPSIE * JURY IS IN!

POUGHKEEPSIE * JURY IS IN!

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IN 1819 WILLIAM NICHOLS, A POTTER WHO HAD TRAINED AT CLARK & HOWE, ARRIVES AT POUGHKEEPSIE TO ASSIST DURELL WILLIAMS AT THE KIN THERE. THE INFLUX OF SETTLERS ESCAPING THE PLAGUE IN N. Y. CITY IS HUGE. WE HAVE UNCOVERED EVIDENCE THAT LEADS US TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THE POUGHKEEPSIE POTTERY AT VERY LEAST, AFTER WILLIAMS AND NICHOLS HAD BOTH ARRIVED THERE, WAS A CLARK SATELLITE POTTERY. EXPLANATION ON PAGES BELOW.

LYONS AND GEORGE WILLIAMS

ROCHESTER AND GEO.WILLIAMS, HARRINGTON AND BURGER

POUGHKEEPSIE * JURY IS IN!

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1822 NATHAN CLARK DISPATCHES LONG TIME EMPLOYEE GEORGE WILLIAMS (POSSIBLY DURELL WILLIAMS BROTHER) TO LYONS N.Y. TO FORGE A NEW KILN AND OPEN THE MARKET ON THE NEWLY OPENED ERIE CANAL AT LYONS.

THE STONEWARE IS STAMPED "N. CLARK & CO. LYONS"

MOUNT MORRIS AND GEORGE WILLIAMS

ROCHESTER AND GEO.WILLIAMS, HARRINGTON AND BURGER

ROCHESTER AND GEO.WILLIAMS, HARRINGTON AND BURGER

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1835 NATHAN CLARK BUYS PROPERTY IN MOUNT MORRIS. CLARK REPLACES GEORGE WILLIAMS IN LYONS WITH THOMPSON HARRINGTON AND DISPATCHES WILLIAMS TO MOUNT MORRIS. THE MARKET IS LESS SUCCESSFUL THAN THE LYONS POTTERY AND THE BUSINESS IS DISBANDED IN THE LATE 1840'S. THIS ANTIQUE STONEWARE IS STAMPED "N. CLARK & CO. MOUNT MORRIS". THESE EXAMPLES ARE SCARCE AMONG CLARKS' ANTIQUE AMERICAN STONEWARE FOUND TODAY.

ROCHESTER AND GEO.WILLIAMS, HARRINGTON AND BURGER

ROCHESTER AND GEO.WILLIAMS, HARRINGTON AND BURGER

ROCHESTER AND GEO.WILLIAMS, HARRINGTON AND BURGER

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1839 NATHAN CLARK BUYS A SHARE IN THE NEWLY FORMED PARTNERSHIP WITH JOHN BURGER, THOMPSON HARRINGTON AND GEORGE WILLIAMS. THE LOCATION IS NOT A PIONEER LOCATION BUT RATHER AN ESTABLISHED MARKET. THE STONEWARE THERE IS STAMPED EITHER "N. CLARK & CO. ROCHESTER" OR "CLARK & CO. ROCHESTER." 

MORE CLARK INVESTMENT? LOST IN TIME.

TROY AND "CLARK & LUNDY"

UTICA AND THE FAYETTE STONEWARE FACTORY

UTICA AND THE FAYETTE STONEWARE FACTORY

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1825 - 1826 JOHN CLARK AND WILLIAM LUNDY FORGE AN ILL FATED PARTNERSHIP THAT LASTS ABOUT A YEAR. WE KNOW THIS CLARK WAS FROM ATHENS AND IT IS ASSUMED HE WAS A MEMBER OF THE CLARK STONEWARE FAMILY.

STONEWARE IS STAMPED "CLARK & LUNDY TROY". THIS CLARK MAY BE THE SAME CLARK WHO SHOWS UP IN UTICA LATER THE SAME YEAR HELPING TO FINANCE JUSTIN CAMPBELLS KILN. THIS CLARK'S FULL BACKGROUND HAS NOT BEEN FULLY DOCUMENTED.

UTICA AND THE FAYETTE STONEWARE FACTORY

UTICA AND THE FAYETTE STONEWARE FACTORY

UTICA AND THE FAYETTE STONEWARE FACTORY

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1827 PARTNERS "CLARK AND FIELD" INVEST IN DAVID ROBERTS NEW VENTURE IN UTICA, THE FAYETTE POTTERY. THE "CLARK" MENTIONED IN DOCUMENTS IS THOUGHT TO BE JOHN CLARK WHO HAD JUST INVESTED IN JUSTIN CAMPBELLS FAILED POTTERY THE YEAR BEFORE IN UTICA AND POSSIBLY, THE JOHN CLARK WHO WAS IN TROY THE YEAR BEFORE THAT WITH WILLIAM LUNDY.

CLARK IS NOT NOTED ON ANY KNOWN STAMP FROM THIS POTTERY. THIS IS STILL BEING RESEARCHED.

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SO WHAT IS SO INTERESTING ABOUT THIS 1821 CREAM POT?

THIS SIMPLE CREAM POT WHICH SOLD FOR A MODEST $150 LAST YEAR AT AUCTION PERHAPS HOLDS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT CLUES INTO POUGHKEEPSIE, NEW YORK STONEWARE HISTORY. 

THIS POT IS NOT ONLY DATED ON ONE SIDE BUT HOLDS A VERY IMPORTANT CLUE TO THE MAKER ON THE OTHER. HUDSON RIVER STONEWARE ENTHUSIASTS HAVE WONDERED FOR MANY YEARS ABOUT THE TURN OF EVENTS IN EARLY POUGHKEEPSIE. IN GEORGE LUKACS BOOK ABOUT THE HISTORY OF POUGHKEEPSIE POTTERS LUKACS OUTLINES A DEFINATIVE LOOK INTO POUGHKEEPSIE HISTORY.

THE SECTION THAT INTRIGUED THIS AUTHOR WAS THE SECTION OF TIME AROUND THE 1817 TO 1825 PERIOD WHEN DURELL WILLIAMS AND WILLIAM NICHOLS WERE WORKING TOGETHER IN POUGHKEEPSIE. IT WAS NEVER DOCUMENTED WHY THESE MEN CAME TOGETHER WORKING ON THIS PROJECT, BUT PERHAPS WE NOW KNOW. 

MY OPINION IS THAT THE POUGHKEEPSIE POTTERY WAS A CLARK VENTURE...AT LEAST FROM 1817 ON, POSSIBLY MUCH EARLIER GOING BACK TO DURELL WILLIAMS FIRST ATTEMPT AT THE MARKET IN POUGHKEEPSIE.

WHAT WE KNOW FOR SURE IS THAT BOTH WILLIAMS AND NICHOLS WERE IN THE EMPLOY OF REUBEN OR DAVID OR NATHAN CLARK, BEFORE THEIR ARRIVAL IN POUGHKEEPSIE. 

WE KNOW THAT DURELL WILLIAMS BEING SENIOR TO NICHOLS, HAD BEEN IN POUGHKEEPSIE YEARS BEFORE, FROM THE MID 1790S TO AROUND 1806. THEN, WILLIAMS RETURNED AROUND BETWEEN 1815 AND 1819 TO REESTABLISH HIMSELF IN POUGHKEEPSIE. WE KNOW FROM WILLIAM KETCHUM'S BOOK ON NEW YORK POTTERS THAT DURELL WILLIAMS, PREVIOUS TO HIS RETURN TO POUGHKEEPSIE,  WAS IN CORNWALL, N.Y., THE ORIGINAL CLARK POTTERY HOME, AND WAS DOCUMENTED IN THE CENSUS IN 1810 THERE.

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WE THINK WE MIGHT BE ON TO SOMETHING HERE!

GREAT THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES

THEN, THERE IS WILLIAM NICHOLS, FAR YOUNGER THAN WILLIAMS, DOCUMENTED IN ATHENS, NEW YORK. AT THE CLARK AND HOWE POTTERY BEING TRAINED AS A POTTER. NICHOLS HAD MARRIED NATHAN CLARK'S SISTER AND HAD STARTED A FAMILY. THE STORY BEGINS TO THICKEN UP RIGHT ABOUT HERE.

NICHOLS AND WILLIAMS WORK TOGETHER IN POUGHKEEPSIE TO REESTABLISH THE POTTERY THERE BEGINNING IN 1819. WILLIAMS IS GONE BY 1821.

NICHOLS IS THE ONLY POTTER WORKING IN POUGHKEEPSIE, NEW YORK IN 1821. IT WAS STUNNING WHEN WE FOUND THIS EARLY POUGHKEEPSIE CREAM POT DATED 1821. IT HAD TO HAVE BEEN MADE BY THE  WILLIAM NICHOLS POTTERY! 

THIS HUGE FLOWER WE CALL, THE  "NICHOLS SNAP DRAGON FLOWER". STONEWARE WITH THIS DESIGN HAS TURNED UP FOR YEARS WITHOUT ATTRIBUTION IN THE NEW YORK/HUDSON VALLEY REGION.

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HEY! WAIT A MINUTE ISN'T THIS WILLIAMS NICHOLS WORK?

THERE IS STONEWARE WITH MAKERS STAMPS READING "W. NICHOLS PO'KEEPSIE" WITH THIS STONEWARE BLUE "TURNIP" DESIGN.  THERE IS ALSO A DESIGN CALLED THE "LOLIPOP FLOWER" STAMPED WITH NICHOLS NAME. BUT WHAT ABOUT THIS "SNAP DRAGON FLOWER"?

WELL, I THINK THAT WAS NICHOLS AS WELL. 

I BELIEVE THE "SNAP DRAGON FLOWER" IS THE WORK OF A COBALT ARTIST WHO WORKED FOR THE CLARK FAMILY AND ALSO IN POUGHKEEPSIE WITH NICHOLS. WE BELIEVE THAT THIS "SNAP DRAGON FLOWER" IS AN EARLIER DESIGN NICHOLS USED BEFORE USING THE "TURNIP". I BELIEVE THAT DURELL WILLIAMS, WILLIAM NICHOLS AND A THIRD PERSON, A WORKER WHO WAS A DECORATOR, WERE ALL SENT TO POUGHKEEPSIE TO REESTABLISH THE POTTERY THERE. IT WAS COMMON FOR STONEWARE DECORATORS TO MOVE AROUND TO FIND WORK AT THIS TIME.

DURING THE PERIOD RUNNING UP TO ABOUT 1821 THERE ARE NO SIGNED PIECES OF NICHOLS WORK. AS STATED IN LUKACS BOOK "HE WAS ALWAYS WORKING FOR SOMEONE ELSE". 

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THEN THERE WAS THIS! YEP...THE CLOSER

WE GOT IT!

THIS IS A PHOTO OF AN UNSTAMPED "SNAP DRAGON FLOWER" JUG THAT WENT THROUGH AN AUCTION IN 2019. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE LOWER TERMINAL OF THE HANDLE HAS A SQUIGGLY LINE COMING OFF THE HANDLE. SO, NOW WE HAVE THE "SNAP DRAGON FLOWER" WITH THIS VERY UNUSUAL AND VERY UNIQUE SQUIGGLE AS EVIDENCED WITH THIS JUG.

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THE WILLIAM NICHOLS SQUIGGLE!

TURNIPS, SNAP DRAGONS, SQUIGGLES AND SUCCESS!

THIS IS A PICTURE OF THE LOWER HANDLE TERMINAL OF A WILLIAM NICHOLS JUG WITH THE "TURNIP" ON THE FRONT SIDE. IT HAS THE SAME SQUIGGLE AT THE BASE OF THE LOWER TERMINAL AS THE "SNAP DRAGON FLOWER" JUG THAT WENT THROUGH THE AUCTION SHOWN ON THE PREVIOUS PAGE!


THE FAMILY CONNECTION OF NICHOLS TO THE CLARKS

THE PROFESSIONAL CONNECTION OF BOTH WILLIAMS AND NICHOLS TO THE CLARKS

THE "SNAP DRAGON FLOWER" ON DOCUMENTED POUGHKEEPSIE STONEWARE

THE "SNAP DRAGON FLOWER" ON DATED STONEWARE FROM 1821

THE UNIQUE SQUIGGLE COBALT DESIGN ON BOTH "SNAP DRAGON FLOWER" AND      "TURNIP" DESIGNED STONEWARE WHICH WAS STAMPED BY NICHOLS


THE DATES MATCH

THE DESIGNS MATCH

      

SO IN THE ENDING OF OUR JOURNEY INTO EARLY POUGHKEEPSIE, YOU CAN SEE THAT THE "SNAP DRAGON FLOWER" WAS ONE USED AT CLARK & LUNDY TROY N.Y. , N. CLARK & CO. ATHENS, N.Y. , AND POUGHKEEPSIE N.Y. THERES MOST LIKELY MORE...PLEASE HELP FIND THEM! WE BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE CORNWALL EXAMPLES OF THIS DESIGN.

THIS LEADS US TO BELIEVE THAT ALONG WITH WILLIAM NICHOLS, THE CLARK'S SENT A DECORATOR/HELPER TO REESTABLISH THE POUGHKEEPSIE POTTERY AFTER WILLIAM CARROLLS DEPARTURE. DURELL WILLIAMS, EXPERIENCED AND KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT CONSTRUCTION AND SETUP OF A POTTERY, ALONG WITH YOUNG NICHOLS, DESTINED TO BECOME THE MANAGER OF THE POTTERY AND A HELPER/DECORATOR TO HELP THINGS ALONG, ALL JOINED TOGETHER IN POUGHKEEPSIE IN 1819. THIS WAS SORT OF AN AWAY TEAM SENT BY THE CLARKS, A PRACTICE THEY USED LATER ON WITH MANY OF THEIR POTTERIES OF THE 1800'S. IT MAY ALSO BE TRUE THAT THE POUGHKEEPSIE POTTERY HAD BEEN A CLARK POTTERY BACK TO THE TIME OF WILLIAMS FIRST PERIOD OF WORK THERE IN THE LATE 1790'S TO 1806. SO FAR THIS IS UNDOCUMENTED, BUT WE BELIEVE IT CAN BE!

WE BELIEVE THAT AT VERY LEAST THE NICHOLS/WILLIAMS POUGHKEEPSIE POTTERY WAS A CLARK SATELLITE POTTERY MUCH LIKE LYONS, MOUNT MORRIS AND OTHERS. WILLIAM NICHOLS WAS A MEMBER OF THE FAMILY AND TRUSTED PERSON TO SEND TO THRIVING POUGHKEEPSIE AT THE TIME OF THE PLAGUE. HIS EARLY DEMISE IN 1823 WAS CERTAINLY A CRUSHING BLOW TO HIS YOUNG FAMILY AND TO THE CLARK FAMILY WHO HAD SO ENTRUSTED HIM WITH THE JEWEL OF POUGHKEEPSIE, NEW YORK.

NICHOLS CHILDREN WERE ALONG WITH THEIR MOTHER WERE PUT AS WARDS UNDER NATHAN CLARK'S WATCHFUL EYE AND GREW UP IN THE MIDST OF THE CLARK DYNASTY OF THE 1800'S HUDSON VALLEY.