Exceedingly Rare One-and-a-Half-Gallon Stoneware Batter Pail with Cobalt Decoration of Four Birds Perched on Leaves, Stamped "COWDEN & WILCOX / HARRISBURG, PA," circa 1865, ovoid pail with tubular pouring spout, lug handle at base, and applied ear handles fitted with a metal-and-wood bail handle. Pail is decorated on two sides with a brushed cobalt bird with dotted wing, perched on a leaf. Reverse decorated with two additional birds perched on a larger leaf, the bird on the right assuming an unusual turned-head pose. Cobalt leaf brushed below maker's and capacity marks. Heavily cobalt highlights to base of spout and handle terminals. A truly remarkable example of Harrisburg stoneware. Cowden & Wilcox batter pails with cobalt decoration of a single bird are considered quite rare. The decoration on this pail, which involves four birds, is virtually unheard of. This example is believed to be one of the finest pieces of Central Pennsylvania stoneware to be offered anywhere in recent years. Provenance: Originally purchased in Pennsylvania during the 1970s. Excellent condition with a very minor nick to spout and some light staining to bottom half of pail. H 8 1/2".
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