B.C. MILBURN / ALEXA (Alexandria, VA) Stoneware Water Cooler


B.C. MILBURN / ALEXA (Alexandria, VA) Stoneware Water Cooler



The work of the stoneware potters of Alexandria, D.C. (later Alexandria, Virginia) is prized by collectors for its profuse cobalt floral decorations. Besides brushed designs heavily influenced by the nearby Baltimore potters, wild "slip-trailed" decorations rendered in fine detail were frequently employed under well-known potter B.C. Milburn's tenure. (A slip-trailed water cooler set the World Auction Record for Alexandria stoneware at our March 2008 auction.) Alexandria boasts a relatively large amount of maker's marks for its size--some very rare--and this adds to the collectibility of the sought-after stoneware from this town. Up the road in Washington, D.C., stoneware was primarily produced not far from the White House and Capitol, at 8th and I Streets NW, and it tends to be highly derivative of the Alexandria potters' work.

Some Related Videos:

Some Extremely Fine Examples of Antique Alexandria, Virginia, Stoneware

Mark talks about four significant pieces of Alexandria, VA stoneware that are part of our November 2, 2013 Auction of American Stoneware & Redware Pottery--including two very rare pitchers and what is perhaps the absolute best B.C. Milburn jar in existence. This is also perhaps the greatest grouping (quality-wise) of Alexandria stoneware ever offered in a single auction.

Alexandria, Virginia, Antique Stoneware Primer

Mark discusses the progression of Alexandria stoneware from around 1820 until the middle of the century--using four Alexandria examples (John Swann, Hugh Smith, Hugh Charles Smith, B.C. Milburn) and one Washington jar (John Walker) to do so. In particular, Mark describes what has become known as the typical Alexandria design, and its use over the decades. Three of these pieces will be sold as part of our November 3, 2012 stoneware auction.

Antique Alexandria, Virginia, Stoneware Pottery

Brandt discusses Alexandria stoneware in general, and in particular James Shinnick--a basically unknown potter who apprenticed in Baltimore before working in Alexandria and other Virginia locales. A pitcher made at merchant Hugh C. Smith's pottery on Wilkes Street is featured in this video; it was probably made by Shinnick, and will be sold as part of our March 3, 2012 auction.

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