From Pantry to Parlor: How the Heart Motif was used in the Early American Home

Last week one of our wonderful board members, Gerri MacWhinnie, came by the museum with parts of her amazing heart collection. If you missed it, you can see her talk in the video below and hear about all the great pieces she has and the reason for her heart obsession. Then after the video you can scroll down this page and see some better pictures of a few of her most prized pieces.


After Gerri's talk last week she picked out several of her favorite pieces from the collection for me to highlight here for you all to see. We hope you enjoy these wonderful treasures!

Document Box

Gerri believes that this document box was constructed by a whaler or sailor of some kind. This is because of the use of bone around the rim and if you look closely in the black filed you can see an etching of a whaleship, some whales and men in whaleboats hunting the whales. It is hard to see but if you zoom in you can hopefully make them out.


Dutch Delftware

Delftware is general name given to Dutch tin-glazed earthenware. The Dutch city of Delft was a major production center for this type of work which is where it got its name from. Generally delftware was blue and white but as you can see in the examples Gerri has, other colors were used. This style of pottery is very closely related to English delftware, which as you may guess is the same type of pottery, but from England rather than the Netherlands.

Dutch Delftware Inkwell

Dutch Delftware Marriage Plate

The translation of the writing on the plate reads: "There is not better in marriage, then love between man and woman."


Redware Pudding Mold

Redware is another general term that has a few different meanings. But for early American redware like this, it means this was a fairly inexpensive piece of earthenware usually with a ceramic glaze. This item in particular was used to make pudding!