Important Thomas Commeraw Half-Gallon Stoneware Jar, COERLEARS HOOK / N. YORK, late 18th century

March 14, 2015 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 9

Price Realized: $18,400.00
($16,000 hammer, plus 15% buyer's premium).

March 14, 2015 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare Half-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Elaborate Incised Floral Decoration, Stamped "COERLEARS HOOK" and "N. YORK," Thomas Commeraw, Manhattan, New York, late 18th century, ovoid jar with footed base, heavily-tooled shoulder, and applied vertical handles, the front and reverse featuring a large and finely-executed hanging floral design. Impressed on rim "COERLEARS HOOK" and "N. YORK". Bold cobalt highlights fill the incised decorations and impressed marks, and surround the handle terminals. Pieces bearing the mark "COERLEARS HOOK / N. YORK" are recognized as the finest and earliest works of African-American potter, Thomas Commeraw, who operated a stoneware manufactory on Corlears Hook, Manhattan, New York, during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. While the rarity of these jars is a large factor in their desirability, it is also important to realize that pieces bearing this mark are the only signed Commeraw examples with incising executed by the potter's hand. Sometime later, Commeraw would employ his well-known impressed Federal drape motif, reducing the handwork involved and time necessary to decorate his pots. Few "COERLEARS HOOK" examples are known to exist, and this jar is irrefutably the finest we have ever offered. It is the only half-gallon example bearing this maker's mark we have seen, this wonderful, petite size accentuating the large maker's mark and incised designs. It is also one of only two we have offered with vertical handles, an early and highly-prized trait typically found on 18th century American pots. Of interesting note is the use of a three-pronged tool to execute the two central stems of the incised flower. A nearly identical flower with split stem can be found on a larger Coerlears Hook jar, prominently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Few Manhattan stoneware products of this quality are made available at auction. Taking into account the rarity, decorative quality, and early age of this jar, it could arguably be considered the greatest signed work by Thomas Commeraw to ever come to auction. Provenance: Found decades ago in the northeastern U.S. One handle restored. A few restored rim chips, not affecting maker's mark. Three small, unrestored rim chips. A restored flake on interior of rim. An approximately 3 1/2" hairline from rim. Three base chips. H 7 7/8".


Important Thomas Commeraw Half-Gallon Stoneware Jar, COERLEARS HOOK / N. YORK, late 18th centuryImportant Thomas Commeraw Half-Gallon Stoneware Jar, COERLEARS HOOK / N. YORK, late 18th centuryImportant Thomas Commeraw Half-Gallon Stoneware Jar, COERLEARS HOOK / N. YORK, late 18th centuryImportant Thomas Commeraw Half-Gallon Stoneware Jar, COERLEARS HOOK / N. YORK, late 18th centuryImportant Thomas Commeraw Half-Gallon Stoneware Jar, COERLEARS HOOK / N. YORK, late 18th century

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Bidding is now closed.
(Our next auction takes place March 24, 2018.)

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