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.
It’s believed the Adams factory in Greenfield also produced Sponge ware as well as mocha ware. 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.
This mug was hand made and is 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. It was lost on the Baltic in the Great Bahamian hurricane of 1866. After resting for 130 years at the bottom of the ocean this very beautiful mug is 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.
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