Q: In the 1930s, my mother used this pottery jar to store tomato paste. After our tomatoes were dried in the sun, they were stored in a cool place, like the cellar. I would like to know more about the company that made it. It's marked "J.F.W., Foley Potteries."
A: James F. Wileman opened a pottery under his name in Fenton, Staffordshire, England, in 1869. It became the Foley Potteries in about 1892 and continued in business under that name until 1925, when the company's name was changed to "Shelley." Your jar originally had a handle, probably made of wicker, that was attached to the little knobs on each side of the jar. Your mother's tomato paste jar is actually a slop jar. A slop jar was used to carry the contents of a chamber pot to the outhouse. Value of your slop jar today: $50-$75.