This heavily-incised stoneware jug--which, through original research, we determined was made as a memorial for a potter who drowned in Norwich, CT harbor in 1823--realized $138,000 in our March 2011 auction
, the highest price ever paid at a stoneware specialty auction.
Crocker Farm, Inc. is a family business, owned and operated by Anthony and Barbara Zipp and their three sons, Brandt, Luke, and Mark. Anthony and Barbara began collecting and studying American stoneware in 1977, and began selling it in 1983. They have handled thousands and thousands of pieces of antique American stoneware and redware since that time.
The origin of pieces marked H. MYERS remained a mystery for decades until we discovered that they were made in Baltimore for merchant Henry Myers and that Myers' chief potter was Henry Remmey, Sr. This Myers cooler brought $72,600 in our July 2004 auction.
Brandt, Luke, and Mark Zipp all have B.A. degrees from Johns Hopkins University, where they each graduated with multiple honors and were inducted into the nation's premiere scholastic honors society, Phi Beta Kappa. All three brothers grew up handling numerous pieces of American stoneware and redware from a very young age, and in this way their knowledge in the field has been said to be unmatched.
We have spent hundreds of hours conducting original research on American stoneware and redware potters in original, period sources, such as census records, city directories and newspapers. New information brought to light through our research includes ground-breaking revelations on Baltimore, MD stoneware and redware; the long-sought origin of "H. Myers" stoneware; important findings on the history of the prolific Remmey family of American potters (of New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore); significant contributions to the study of Alexandria, VA and Washington, DC stoneware; new findings in the areas of Shenandoah Valley pottery, Midwestern stoneware, New York City stoneware, and many more. Exhaustive research conducted by us on James Miller, potter of Alexandria, Virginia, took the surviving examples of his work out of obscurity, increasing the value of these vessels by thousands and thousands of dollars. In March 2010, Brandt revealed that Thomas Commeraw
, the famous Manhattan potter of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, was actually a free African American, and his book on Commeraw's remarkable life will be completed soon. These are just a few of the important contributions we have made to the field of American utilitarian ceramics.
Articles published by us include:
Without our research, this stoneware jar signed "J. MILLER / ALEX." would have brought a few hundred dollars at auction. We identified it as the work of obscure Alexandria, Virginia, potter James Miller. It realized $9,075 in our July 2004 auction.
"Henry Remmey & Son, Late of New York: A Rediscovery of a Master Potter's Lost Years"
by Luke Zipp, Available in Ceramics in America 2004.
by Luke Zipp, Available in Antiques and Fine Art Magazine, Summer 2006. Download the entire article here.
"James Miller: Lost Potter of Alexandria, Virginia"
by Brandt Zipp and Mark Zipp, Available in Ceramics in America 2004.
"Washington, D.C. Stoneware"
by Brandt Zipp, Available in Antiques and Fine Art Magazine, Autumn/Winter 2010. Download the entire article here.
(Courtesy, the Autumn/Winter 2010 issue of Antiques & Fine Art Magazine
In 2011, we began producing short videos on the topic of antique American stoneware & redware, and these have been extremely well-received. If you'd like to watch them or are otherwise interested in seeing what we have to say about American pottery, please click here
. Our blog
is also one of the best on its topic.
Our auctions have seen some of the highest prices ever paid for American stoneware and redware. In addition to numerous outstanding highlights, the stoneware memorial jug in our March 2011 auction realized $138,000, the highest price ever paid at a stoneware specialty auction. Our May 2006 auction (held before we switched to a thrice-yearly format) set a record as the highest grossing stoneware auction of all time.
World auction records
Brandt revealed in 2010 that famous early NYC stoneware potter Thomas Commeraw was in fact a free African American. Brandt has spent almost a decade researching Commeraw and will soon be completing a book on his life. This jug, sold in July 2009
, holds the World Auction Record for a piece of Commeraw's work, $28,750.
held by us include:
The Highest Price Ever Paid at a Stoneware Specialty Auction (March 2011 auction
World Auction Record for Upstate New York Stoneware (March 2009 auction
World Auction Record for Post-1825 New York / New England Stoneware (March 2009 auction
World Auction Record for Baltimore stoneware (July 2004 auction
World Auction Record for Central Pennsylvania stoneware (November 2006 auction
World Auction Record for Western Pennsylvania stoneware (July 2008 auction
World Auction Record for Shenandoah Valley stoneware (and a World Auction Record for Bell family pottery). (March 2012 auction
World Auction Record for Bell family (Shenandoah Valley) redware (May 2005 auction
World Auction Record for Thomas Commeraw stoneware (July 2009 auction
World Auction Record for an Anna Pottery (Anna, Illinois) pig bottle (July 2004 auction
World Auction Record for Alexandria, VA stoneware (March 2008 auction
Our full-color, high-quality auction catalogs include professional photos and detailed descriptions of every lot in each auction. Our catalogs serve not only as auction guides, but as valuable reference tools on American ceramics.
You might have noticed that we offer a wide variety of American stoneware and redware, ranging from New England and New York, to Virginia and the Southern U.S. states, to the potteries of America's Midwest. This always results in an exciting auction environment for all involved with high participation from all areas of American stoneware and redware collecting. Our high-quality, full-color auction catalogs, praised as the best the field has to offer, are essentially high-quality research texts and help to educate the collecting base on American utilitarian ceramics in general.
In August 2010, we acquired the historically and architecturally important Gorsuch Barn
(1841) in Sparks, Maryland, giving American stoneware and redware a first-class, state-of-the-art auction home.
In late 2010, we announced our exciting new foray into the world of general antiques and decorative arts. In addition to two successful general antiques auctions
, 2011 also saw the introduction of our annual Maryland Sale
--a unique auction focused on Maryland antiques. Our September 17, 2011 Maryland Sale
was a significant event that featured the important John Hanson Family Archive & Collection
. Our extraordinary new gallery, strong background in American antiques (dating back decades), and established history of setting world auction records for decorative arts, have all positioned us to have a major impact in the field of American antiques.