1930s African American Memory Jug


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Unique folk art memory jug. Most likely to have been made from someone within the African American community in or around Baltimore, Maryland, where it was found. In some African cultures, nails are used in art and are seen as powerful symbols of strength. One of the most prominent features on this piece is the small metal medallion with “KKK/ MD” on it. Clearly the Maryland Klan is something that the maker might want protection from. Dice (representing gambling; another thing to be protected from) are also featured. There are a number of other symbolic items, including a Masonic medallion and compass (still works) and a pair of ID tags. It is also possible that the items are just randomly placed with no particular meaning other than their aesthetic value. In any case, this is a great and unusual example.

Much of the original gold paint remains, and is nicely worn in spots to reveal flashes of color marbles and other objects. The core of the piece is a saltglazed stoneware jar from the last quarter of the 19th century, and would have been quite old by the time it was put back to use in the 1930s. Based on it’s style and where it was found the jar appears likely to have been made by William Hare of Wilmington, Delaware. Weighs about 7lbs.



Date: 1930s


Size:  9″ tall. 6″ diameter.


Condition: Please use photos and description to determine condition.


Price: SOLD


Insured US Shipping: SOLD


Non-US Shipping: Contact for Rates



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