April 26, 2009
Historic restoration projects often divulge unexpected stories. But when the kitchen of this New Hampshire house was torn down, no one was prepared for the pieces of a blue Staffordshire china plate and English Mochaware bowl found lying underneath. Cleaned up, researched, and put in display cases, these shards are now on exhibit.
One of the many surprises resulting from the major exterior and interior restoration of Longyear’s Rumney, N.H., house was the discovery of 19th century pottery and glass shards lying in the dirt underneath the old kitchen floor after it had been torn down.
These unexpected benefits were taken by Longyear’s curatorial department to the Museum where they were cleaned and studied. The shards are now back and on display in two well-lit exhibit cases (exhibit shards in photos above and at right) in an upstairs historic bedroom of the Rumney house, where Mrs. Eddy lived with her husband Daniel Patterson from 1860 to 1862.
The research revealed this earthenware was from the early 19th century. It was not uncommon at that time for people to throw broken plates outside into a trash pit. This pottery might have been used at the Rumney house by the Pattersons while they lived here, although we have no way of knowing for sure.
Some of the exhibit shards include pieces of a Staffordshire china plate, English Mochaware bowl, Yellowware bowl, and Pink lusterware cup and saucer set. There are also some Leeds pottery and small glasses.
The Rumney house is open by appointment for the 2009 season. Check the Longyear website for updates.