John Bell Acquisition to Honor Freemans for their Generosity
In 2016 Marty and Roz Freeman closed up their Charlotte’s Web Antique business located in downtown Waynesboro. They were looking to retire and spend more time with their family. The Freemans graciously donated the entire contents of their antique business to Renfrew Museum and Park. Renfrew kept some of the period appropriate items, one being a wonderful paint decorated, initialed, and dated 1833 marriage chest. The rest of the contents of the store were auctioned at an onsite auction held at Renfrew in the Spring of 2017. The auction raised over $10,000 for Renfrew Museum and Park.
As a thank you for their generosity the Freemans received a lifetime membership to Renfrew and our accessions committee has been on the lookout for an item to include in our collection to honor the Freemans. That piece, purchased with some of the auction proceeds, was recently located and added to our Bell Pottery collection. The piece was a beautiful brown speckled John Bell pitcher. The John Bell pitcher, acquired at an auction, has a Bennington style glaze and is believed to be made between 1850-1855. The pitcher measures 8 ¼ inches tall and 5 ¾ inches in diameter.
Renfrew Museum and Park’s Visitors Center houses the largest national collection of John Bell pottery. Our accessions committee selected this pitcher because it seemed fitting to commemorate the donation and is a perfect addition to our existing collection. The Freemans will be given credit for the piece and will be listed in the informational brochure that accompanies the pottery case and given to Renfrew guests and bus tours. The Freemans, residents of Waynesboro, will forever be remembered for their generous gift to Renfrew. Their gift was the first of its kind to Renfrew and we are incredibly grateful for their generosity and dedication to the local community.
The John Bell pitcher will have a permanent home alongside the rest of our collection which contains over 200 beautiful pottery pieces. The collection can be viewed between 9 am and 4 pm Monday through Friday. Renfrew is thankful for all the donations received throughout the year. If you are interested in making a donation to Renfrew please visit www.renfrewmuseum.org or call the office 717-762-4723 and ask for Dade Royer.