I came across this passage while re-reading James Deetz's classic In Small Things Forgotten a few days back, and was reminded of the finds that Hans made while resetting graves this fall (shown above):
"The bowls used by the Cannon's Point slaves for food consumption were largely of a type of pearlware known as annular ware. Annular ware is decorated with a series of concentric colored bands on the exterior of the bowls, placed horizontal and parallel. It was the second least costly of all the pearlware products of the Staffordshire ceramic industry and we often find it on sites associated with people who held a subservient station in life. Not only is it commonly found on slave sites over the entire South, but also in the Indian quarters at Franciscan missions in California and even at a fort occupied by Cape Colored regiment in nineteenth-century British South Africa. In every case, annular ware appears not to have been of hand-me-down status, but rather to have been acquired by those in control, to be issued at appropriate intervals. John Otto suggests that because of their distinctive type of decoration, 'they appealed to a steady group of customers,' including black slaves. But this seems very unlikely, and their presence at slave sites seems one more case of the planter's management of available capital. The appearance of annular ware on slave sites of the early nineteenth century may well mark the time when mass-produced English pottery became inexpensive enough to be purchased in quantity for issue to slaves, for as we shall see, another kind of bowl is typical of the eighteenth and late seventeenth century, produced by the slaves themselves."
Examples of annular ware (also known as mocha ware) from the internet:
What do you think?