Michelle Erickson and Robert Hunter, "Swirls and Whirls: English Agateware Technology." Francis Place, Yorkshire, ca. 1680. Salt-glazed stoneware. H. 3 1/2". Photo, David Ramsey.
Those objects made to be held and handled grow brittle when kept under glass. What point is preservation when there’s no way to understand the heft of this cup, no rough palm warmed, pressing into the curved belly of a stoneware mug? Even the lustre's false. If it hung on a wood peg near an open stove, smoke would have left it sooty, ready to take a greasy fingerprint or two. A dull finish, but love and use leaves no artifact pristine; love and use is our provenance, not the curator's.