The Brainerd Lemon Ancient Pottery Collection
The Seminary is fortunate to own a large collection of ancient pottery. The existence of the collection of artifacts is largely due to Mr. Brainerd Lemon. Lemon was on the board of directors of the seminary (1923-1929) and president and owner of the Louisville jewelry firm, Lemon and Son, Inc. In 1929 Lemon purchased over 288 artifacts, largely Palestinian pottery, specifically for the Seminary. The collection has grown since Lemon’s gift and now contains over 350 pieces.
A history of the collection was written by Dr. A.B.Rhodes in 1975. Dr. Rhodes served as the collection's curator during his tenure on the faculty of the Seminary.
The Lower Level of the library has a display area of five standing cases that are filled with part of that overall collection. Case 1 contains items that date from the time of Canaan to more than ten centuries later. It even includes a fake antiquity (1.12) that is made from fragments of authentic antique pottery.
Case 2 shows many examples of the pottery used. ca. 1750 B.C. for cooking and for storing water.
Case 3 centers on items that date from 1400 B.C. and includes a jug with a rare “chocolate-on-white” design (3.4).
Most of the artifacts in case 4 are from ca.1200 B.C. Note the so called “beer jug” on the first shelf (4.3) whose strainer kept the grain husks out of one’s beer. Also note the design of the pilgrim flask at 4.4 which looks like a human face.
Most of the items in case 5 date from 800 B.C. and include several charming pottery figurines of animals (5.5) and an Egyptian jar.
The pottery collection is available for viewing when the library is open.
Below, other pieces in the collection. Click on the thumbnail to see a larger image and a description of the piece.
View more images of pieces in the collection.