Artifacts from the 1866 Shipwreck “Baltic”
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William Adams IV
William Adams IV was the son and first partner of William Adams III. In 1819 when he became partner, the name of the firm was changed to William Adam and Son, and subsequently to William Adams & Sons when three other sons joined the firm. William Adams IV was a prolific producer of American scenic and historic China. On his father's death bed he became managing director of the family business. Around 1834 he built the Greenfield pottery in Tunstall, England, the first important pottery manufacturer there, to which the firm's offices, styled Adams & Sons, were moved. Active in the American trade, he visited the United States in 1821 and 1825. Then, or later, he secured prints of American scenes done after paintings by Thomas Cole, W.G. Wall and others. In 1966 the Adam's firm was amalgamated with the Wedgewood group. Some of the items recovered from the "Baltic" shipwreck, and identified as work produced by Adam's includes:
1. The Imperial French Porcelain Porridge Bowls
2. The Porcelain Soup Bowls - 1858 Greenfield Potteries
3. The Corn Jugs - 1858
4. The Blue Worm Bowls and Blue Mochaware Bowls
5. The Banded Creamware Cider Mugs
6. The "Spongeware" Seaweed Design Cider Mugs (Mochaware)
7. Two Minature Tea Sets including Cups and Saucers, Teapot with lid, Cream Jug, and Sugar Bowl
Yellow Ware/Queens Ware Mug Blue Mocha Seaweed design William Adams IV Colbridge, England
The seaweed mug was called Mocha ware and was manufactured at the Staffordshire potteries of William Adams IV at his Greenfield factory in Tunstall England sometime between 1845 and 1850, the mug was stored at Adams Stoke Upon Trent works factory in England and when the Stoke works were closed in 1864 the stock was transferred to the Greenfield factory warehouse and because it was from an earlier era it was stored in the back of the old warehouse and when moved to the new warehouse it was placed in the front so that when the purchasers for the Baltic's cargo came calling it was one of the first crates of mugs put aboard the ship, this caused a great deal of research to figure out how an 1845 mug got placed aboard an 1866 shipment to Galveston Texas but there was a great shortage of eating utensils at the time because of the war and the buyers needed any kind of plates and mugs they could get so old stock was dug out and sold to them.
W.Adams IV Spongeware and Spatterware
It's believed the Adams factory in Greenfield also produced Scottish Sponge ware and Spatterware much of it was done by means of cut sponges, and was first made in Staffordshire by William Adams at his Greenfield pottery in 1845 to 1850. In order to introduce it he procured persons from Scotland who understood the process. Adams is also said to have originated Mocha ware in the late eighteenth century in his factory at Colbridge (named after Mocha stone said to have been originally from Mocha in Arabia.) The dark markings simulating miniature trees and shrubs are caused by the infiltration of iron or manganese oxide solutions into the cracks of the stone and was used by Adams on cream colored earthenware.
These mugs were hand made and are an extremely rare one of a kind piece of Mocha ware that would have been used by one of the many soldiers awaiting release from the military in Galveston Texas at the end of the Civil war. They were lost on the Baltic in the Great Bahamian hurricane of 1866. After resting for 130 years at the bottom of the ocean these very beautiful mugs are being offered for sale to the public.
William Adams IV was the son and first partner of William Adams III. In 1819 when he became partner, the name of the firm was changed to William Adam and Son, and subsequently to William Adams & Sons when three other sons joined the firm.
In 1966 the Adam's firm was amalgamated with the Wedgwood group.