Hidden in Plain Sight:
The Material World of Early Springfield


Mochaware bowl

c. 1835-1845
Recovered from Edwards Place privy
Collection of the Illinois State Museum

Today mochaware is highly prized by collectors, but it was never intended as art. On the contrary; in the 19th century it was among the least expensive decorated pottery on the market. This utilitarian ware was used in taverns and modest homes; in middle and upper class homes it would not have been used on a formally set table.