Crocks have been used by people for thousands of years, from the ancient Egyptians to modern day. Today, crocks are still in use as cooking vessels, storage containers and even art pieces! If you have an interest in antique crocks and want to find some for your home or collection, read on for information about where to look and what kinds you should buy.
What Kind of Crocks to Look For: History of Antique Crocks
The history of antique crocks is a fascinating and long one. The first known use of pottery was found in places like Mesopotamia, where it was used to make crude vessels. These vessels were made from clay mixed with straw ash and grasses, which provided insulation but were not very strong. As time passed and civilization grew, so did the technology used to create pots and pans; by 2500 BC, people were using wheeled carts to transport their goods instead of carrying them around on their backs!
In Egypt during this same period (2500-1700 BC), there was a shift toward making more durable pots out of fired clay rather than molding them out of wet soil mixed with straw ash. This method resulted in items that could withstand heat better than earthenware or terracotta (a type of hard-fired clay). However, these early forms weren’t perfect—they still tended to crack easily while being transported on carts due to expansion caused by heat during transportation.
Stoneware Crock Construction and Appearance
The first thing to look for in a stoneware crock is how it was glazed, if at all. An unglazed crock will have a rough surface and often have air pockets in the body of the pot itself. A glazed crock should be smooth and shiny, with no signs of chips, cracks or other imperfections.
There are many types of glazes that can be used on stoneware pots. One type is called salt glazing where salt is added to an alkaline fluxing agent and then applied to the inside of the pot before firing; this gives it an iridescent appearance when fired in an oxidizing flame such as an open pit fire or kiln (preferred for earthenware). Another type is lead based slip, which produces a smooth glossy finish that requires less polishing after firing than salt glazing does because it blends into clay particles on contact rather than sitting atop them like salt does before being melted away during baking cycles (used most often for porcelain). High lead content also makes these pieces toxic when ingested so unless you plan on consuming stored food from these containers regularly then you should seek out low lead content alternatives instead!
Uses of Antique Crocks
Antique crocks have many uses. They can be used for food storage, decoration, gardening and farming. They were used for fishing and hunting. They were also used to cook with and can foods. Some people even gave antique crocks away as gifts! Some antique crock collectors just like old things that they can add to their collection without doing anything with it.
Antique Crock Manufacturers
Crocks were made by many different manufacturers, some of which are very well known and others that are not. There are also some manufacturers who have closed their doors for good, but their vintage crocks can still be found in antique stores, flea markets and estate sales. Whether you’re looking for a specific crock style or just want to collect antique crocks from different companies, it’s good to know that there are still some great antiques out there being produced today!
- You can identify your crock by looking for a mark or name. If you don’t see any, look for a date.
- Look for the maker’s mark on the bottom of the crock; this could be initials, symbols or other identifying marks that were stamped into the pottery during production.
- Look for a signature or pattern number, which may also appear at one of these locations as well as along an edge of your crock. The person who made it may have signed their work with an inscription such as “Made by John Smith” or “For my wife Mary.” They might have also included a pattern identifier such as “Blue Circle Vase” or something similar if they were making patterns in bulk and stamping them onto their pieces to distinguish them from others being made simultaneously.
If you need help authenticating one of your antique crocks let one of our Personal Property Appraisers help!
Determining a Crock’s Age
Picking out a crock pot for your estate sale is a bit like picking out a spouse: you want it to be old, but not too old. Fortunately, there are several ways to tell if an antique crock is old enough to be valuable. Here are some tips on how to evaluate a vintage crock’s age:
- Look for any marks on it that could reveal its maker or date of manufacture. These include factory stamps, logos from now-defunct companies, and hand-written markings such as “Made in Germany” or “1885.”
- Check the bottom of the piece for an embossed stamp that gives information about when and where it was made—or at least what state of origin it came from. Most importantly: look for an inscription stating when exactly this piece was made! You can usually find these embossed stamps by looking on either side of your pot’s handle; they tend not only give you information about who made this particular item (and where), but also when they were crafted—which can help determine value as well!
Factors that Determine an Antique Crock’s Value
Your crock’s value can be determined by the following factors:
- The older your crock, the more it’s worth. Crocks were made during several different time periods, and each period has its own set of collectors.
- An antique that’s been well-preserved will be more valuable than one that hasn’t been cared for properly or isn’t in mint condition (or even worse, has been broken). For example, if you have an antique lamp with a cracked shade or base, it might not be worth nearly as much as it would’ve been had the shades and bases both been in perfect condition when you found them together on a flea market table decades ago. It all depends on who buys them from you—that is to say: how much do other people care about flaws? If they don’t mind cracks or dings in their furniture at all (and some don’t), then these imperfections won’t matter much at all! But if they’re looking for something pristinely preserved without any blemishes whatsoever… well… things get trickier there!
Price Guide for Antique Crocks
When you’re looking at antique crocks, there are a few things that are important to watch out for. First and foremost, you want to make sure the crock is in good condition and doesn’t have any cracks or chips. Cracks can be repaired with a special glue, but it’s best if you don’t need to do that in order to preserve the piece’s value.
The second thing you want to check for is age and type of your antique crock. Older pieces often have more value than newer ones because they show signs of wear over time; some people even like buying antique pieces with imperfections because they add character!
The third thing you’ll want to look at is whether or not your particular item was made by hand–handmade items tend toward higher prices than mass-produced ones because they’re harder to come by (and often more interesting).
Lastly, know what kind of shape your piece is going into: if it needs cleaning or polishing before being shipped out again then let us know ahead so we can give it all its TLC before sending on its way home again with new owners who will love using their own special something else day after day after day!
“Antique” Crocks: Original vs Reproduction
A quick note about antiques: The term “antique” is used loosely to describe the quality of an item, not just its age. For example, a piece of furniture could be 100 years old and still not be considered an antique.
The most valuable crocks are those that were produced before 1900 and without any cracks or damage. If you want to learn more about identifying original crocks versus reproductions, check out this guide from Antiques Roadshow.
So, yes. If you find yourself at an estate sale, start looking for antique crocks!
They have a variety of uses beyond just storing food. You can use them to store your wine in the kitchen or even display them on a shelf as a conversation starter and decorative piece.
If you’re at an estate sale and you see antique crocks, don’t just walk on by! These are an interesting piece of history that can be used as decoration or even to store food. It may take some research to find out exactly how old they are and whether or not they have any value, but once you do find out about them there will be no stopping your enthusiasm for these relics from yesteryear.
If you are looking for help in running an Estate Sale feel free to contact us. We’d love to help!