A stoneware jam jar

Yesterday we featured a paper bag and today we have another item of near ephemera – a jam jar.

Back in 1985 a new extension was opened at Samuel Moore Foods – the Easterton jam factory. During the excavations for foundations, quite a large number of old stoneware jam jars were uncovered. It seems workers at the plant, at that time, were able to take one as a souvenir. One of these jars has just made its way to Market Lavington Museum, given by a person who worked at the jam factory back then.

Old stoneware jam jar found at Samuel Moore's Easterton jam factory

Old stoneware jam jar found at Samuel Moore’s Easterton jam factory

This jar is about the size of a one pound jam jar made of glass. It stands about 4 inches tall and has a diameter of about three inches across the top. As we can see, it is a yellowy cream colour with a black line around the rim.

We can also see it is not in A1 condition. There is a visible crack down the far side of the jar – and it goes from top to bottom. There is chipping to the glaze near the bottom as well. There is a red staining to the jar as well, albeit cunningly hidden round the back in this photo.

We have to make the assumption that this jar dates from early days at the factory as do the other, similar jars found. There are no marks of any kind on the jar to assist with identifying manufacturer or age.

Similar jars marked with a Hartley badge are quite frequently seen on internet auction sites. They are usually described as ‘Victorian’.

Because of the location where these were found, we are inclined to imagine them as more like 1920. Prior to the First World War, Samuel Moore and his family ran a cottage jam making business at their home, Woodbine Cottage on The Drove in Easterton (Now also called Sam Moore’s Lane). It seems unlikely that they would have dumped or stored jars on what later became the factory site.

We have found very little information about such jars as yet so maybe somebody out there could come up with a likely age and even a possible manufacturer. By the way, we have no interest in or knowledge of any value – except, for what it is worth, we think in cash terms it is worth next to nothing but in local history terms it is a valued treasure. That is what matters to us.

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One Response to “A stoneware jam jar”

  1. vicki Says:

    good evening, my husband is a builder and often digs up old items he recently come across an old jam jar very similar to one you have, did you get any more information on it if so would love to learn more please contant 07814228163 🙂

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