What gets your attention in stoneware? The artwork? The rarity of the vessel? The condition? Those are the ususal guidelines for late-ninteenth-century stoneware. But that's also the era of consolidated, big-production potteries. Competition was more intense. Production had to be higher. But before the 1850's, the landscape was different. The States pottery in Stonington Connecticut is an example. In business from 1780 - 1834, it's the kind of pottery we don't see very often. It didn't feature very interesting cobalt slip artwork. But it did feature something you rarely see post-1850: incised art. Incised or scribed art is more time-consuming. Thus, the big potteries abandoned it in favor of slip decoration. The age and incised decoration make these vessels prized by collectors. The prices reflect it. These pieces, when in good condition and when featuring an incised animal, can easily fetch five figure prices.
The States pottery carried the names A. States, A. States & Co., W. States, and Swan & States, Stonington. The clay used for these pieces was imported to Connecticut from New York and New Jersey.
The pottery works don't feature very elaborate decoration. The artisans decorated with cobalt slip at the base of the handles or splashed through the stamped name. And yes, sometimes these pieces have incised decorations.