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Abstract

Nineteenth- and 20th-century writers deprecated Portugal's 17th-century ceramics, and some American archaeologists have not recognized the quantity or quality of the remains of these on east coast American colonial sites, or learned to identify the sherds. Civil War in England in the 1640s deprived that country's colonies of critical economic support during those years; the colonists were forced to build ships and engage in their own trade with European countries. Colony by colony, this is examined; Sphardic Jewish merchants from Portugal living here at times promoted the trade, as well as American factors living in Portugal or its islands. The trade in ceramics was an adjunct of the wine trade, the ceramics often not being listed on the ship's maifests. Portugese tin-glazed faianca is described and illustrated. The time and reason for the ending of this ceramics trade is considered.

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