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Historian publishes two books on pottery

Hanover Historian Vince Martonis has published two books regarding redware pottery sites in Sheridan and Gerry.

Hanover Historian Vince Martonis recently published books about early 1800s redware pottery sites in Sheridan and Gerry. This is the culmination of over 40 years of research involving the two potteries.

The Haven and Kenyon Redware Pottery of Sheridan (1818) was published in March and the Caleb Mathews (1821) Redware Pottery of Gerry in April.

The Haven and Kenyon book has 16 color photos, and the Mathews book has 30 photos.

Martonis found evidence of the H & K pottery in an 1819 Fredonia newspaper. It took him four years to locate the site, and since then, he has been able to accumulate over 3,200 sherds from the site with the property owners’ permission.

The sherds enable him to study the form and glaze elements the potters used and draw conclusions about what they produced, thereby identifying unmarked pieces they made. Four of these are featured in the book.

He also includes an explanation of redware production and the key factors of provenance, form, and glazes.

Those interested in area genealogy and history will find other Haven and Kenyon facts related to Sheridan, Forestville, Fredonia, and Jamestown.

The Mathews site was a known Chautauqua County pottery with some of its history being published in several early history books.

Since the middle 1980s, Martonis has worked with the property owners and with their help has been able to collect over 1,000 sherds from the site. By studying the sherds, he has been able to identify many unmarked Mathews pottery pieces.

Thirty-one Mathews pieces are featured in color photos, including five from the Fenton History Center and one from a private collection. Mathews’ family history and his early work at the Paul Cushman stoneware pottery in Albany from 1815 to 1821 are also covered.

Those interested in purchasing either book will find them at the Barker Museum in Fredonia or the Fenton History Center in Jamestown, also by contacting the author at 716-208-1013.

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