Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Historic Preservation


Russell, Robert

Committee Member

Ford, Frances H

Committee Member

Ryan, Elizabeth G

Committee Member

Robbins-Wilson, Ashley


The economic and social history of delftware tiles in North America has not yet been synthesized and the use of delftware tiles south of Virginia is even less documented. In fact, even though Charleston, South Carolina exhibits numerous examples of this decorative art, there has been very little research conducted on this topic regarding the southern city. The following thesis presents an overview of delftware tile manufacture and use in Europe and America. Narrowing in scope, it compiles all of the published information on the subject in colonial America, focusing specifically on the use of delftware tiles in Charleston. It analyzes import patterns derived from newspaper advertisements printed during 1735 to 1820 and researches twenty-three eighteenth-century examples of delftware tiles in the city. The findings of this study establish a solid foundation for future research and preservation of delftware tiles both in Charleston and North America as a whole.