Shenandoah Valley pottery was recognized early-on--while many of the potters were still alive, even--for its colorful redware (and also its stoneware) made in a plethora of interesting forms ranging from utilitarian vessels to highly-detailed ornamental figures, vases, etc. A glaze usually referred to as "Multi-Glaze" is the surface probably most associated with these potters, and was employed in Strasburg, Virginia, toward the end of the nineteenth century by the famous Bell family and their associates the Eberlys. Anthony Baecher, a German immigrant potter, made some of the Valley's masterpieces during his time in Winchester. The title of patriarch of Shenandoah Valley pottery would probably go to Peter Bell, whose career began in Hagerstown, Maryland. His sons Samuel and Solomon Bell (as well as John, up in Waynesboro, PA) and their offspring carried the craft into the twentieth century, and the story of their decades in Strasburg--along with their many associates and competitors--goes a long way toward telling the story of Shenandoah Valley pottery as a whole. A face pitcher attributed to Samuel Bell sold at our auction in early 2012, breaking two different World Auction Records. (For stoneware made in Rockingham and Rockbridge Counties--also part of the Shenandoah Valley--see Virginia stoneware, and for the related work of the Bell potters in Waynesboro, PA see John Bell Pottery.)
★ Shenandoah Pottery-Related Videos:
Important Shenandoah Valley Redware Pottery Plate, attributed to Peter Bell
Mark discusses an important example of Shenandoah Valley pottery, which is actually documented / pictured in the landmark 1929 book, The Shenandoah Pottery, by Rice & Stoudt. Dated 1808, it is attributed to the patriarch of Shenandoah Valley pottery production, Peter Bell (father of the famous potters John Bell of Waynesboro, PA, and Solomon Bell and Samuel Bell of Winchester and Strasburg, VA), from his Hagerstown, MD years. This finely-decorated example with a wonderful provenance is part of our important November 2, 2013 Auction of American Stoneware & Redware Pottery.
Anthony W. Bacher / 1872 Redware Harvest Jug (Thurmont, Maryland)
Mark discusses a very rare harvest jug made by well-known American redware potter, Anthony Weis Baecher / Bacher. Probably made during Bacher's time in Thurmont, Maryland (then called Mechanicstown), Bacher also worked in Winchester, Virginia, during the general time period. Most of Bacher's pieces signed in this manner are inscribed on the bottom, so this is a very rare example that sports his penmanship on its shoulder--the only one we have seen. It will be sold as part of our landmark July 20, 2013 Auction of American Stoneware & Redware.
Pair of Samuel Bell / Winchester, Virginia, Redware Whippet Dogs, Signed and Dated 1841
Mark talks about what is probably the most significant discovery in Shenandoah Valley pottery of the past decade--a pair of Samuel Bell (Winchester, VA) redware whippets that descended in a prominent local family. Each dog is signed by Bell and dated September 21, 1841. This very important pair will be sold as part of our July 20, 2013 Auction of American Stoneware & Redware Pottery.
Solomon Bell (Strasburg, Virginia) Antique Redware Pottery Spaniel
Mark discusses one of the rarest examples of Solomon Bell's work to be sold in some time, a spaniel dog made in the vein of Staffordshire Cavalier King Charles spaniels. As an American redware form, these are more often associated with Solomon's brother, John Bell, who potted in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. This exceptional example of Shenandoah Valley pottery, inscribed in Solomon's own hand and also stamped with a rare version of his maker's mark, will be sold as part of our important March 2, 2013 stoneware and redware pottery auction.
Antique Shenandoah Valley / Strasburg, Virginia Multi-Glazed Redware Pottery
Mark discusses the well-known and celebrated multi-colored redware (earthenware pottery) of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley--specifically produced by the Bell and Eberly families in Strasburg around the end of the 19th century. Referred to colloquially as "Multi-Glaze," these particular examples will be sold as part of our March 2, 2013 stoneware & redware auction.
Anthony W. Baecher Antique Redware Dog Figures
Mark discusses two redware pottery dog figures attributable to master potter Anthony Baecher (1824-1889)--a German immigrant potter who worked in Adams County, Pennsylvania, Winchester, Virginia, and Thurmont, Maryland. These dogs are attributed to Baecher (sometimes spelled Bacher) based on other examples. These dogs will be sold as part of our important March 2, 2013 stoneware & redware pottery auction. To view the remarkable dog and goat figures Mark references in the video, please visit http://museumcollection.winterthur.org/single-record.php?recid=1967.1886 and http://www.folkartmuseum.org/?p=folk&t=images&id=4049.
Shenandoah Valley Pottery Stoneware Ring Flask, Mt. Crawford, Virginia
Mark talks about a very rare Shenandoah Valley pottery ring flask, attributed to James Shinnick (a prolific stoneware potter who worked in various locations), during his time in Mt. Crawford, Virginia. ( For more on Shinnick see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAHg1EQ28R0 ) This is only the second decorated Virginia stoneware ring flask we have ever seen, and the first of Shenandoah Valley origin. It will be sold on March 2, 2013 as part of our important first stoneware & redware pottery auction of the year.
Anthony Baecher Redware Pottery Sugar Bowl (Shenandoah Valley of VA)
Anthony W. Bacher / Baecher was one of the most talented and intricate of all of the Shenandoah Valley potters, producing pottery most notably in Winchester, Virginia. Mark discusses what is perhaps the finest sugar bowl of his in existence. It will be sold as part of our July 2012 stoneware & redware auction.
Shenandoah Valley of Virginia Stoneware Face Pitcher (Samuel Bell)
Mark talks about the only known Shenandoah Valley example of this rare, beloved American stoneware form: the face vessel. Definitely made in Winchester or Strasburg, Virginia, this example is attributed to Samuel Bell based on the distinct decoration found on signed S. Bell examples. It will be sold as part of our March 3, 2012 stoneware and redware auction.