While several items in Homewood's collection can be traced back to Carroll family ownership, none are known to have been the personal property of the more than two dozen enslaved individuals who lived and labored at Homewood while it was owned by the Carrolls (1800-1838).
Through material culture research, however, we can gain a fuller picture of the forms and styles that may have been found in an enslaved individual’s living quarters. Mocha-decorated pottery, like the mug pictured here, was designed to resemble the semi-precious gemstone moss agate or “mocha stone.” One of the cheapest decorated wares available, mocha-decorated ceramics were produced throughout England, France, and the United States. They were ubiquitous in public spaces like taverns, while also being found in living spaces of enslaved individuals and families. Their survival in museum collections is a small but significant visual reminder of objects that could have been used, loved, broken, and repaired by families living through the inhumane practices of slavery at Homewood.
Mug, England; Nineteenth century, pearlware with mocha decoration, Homewood Museum HH88.10.2.
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