Rare and Important Edgefield, South Carolina, Stoneware Face Jug

October 17, 2015 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 209

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Auction Highlight:  Greatest Hits | October 17, 2015 Auction | Southern Pottery | Face Jugs

October 17, 2015 Auction Catalog

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Rare and Important Alkaline-Glazed Stoneware Face Jug, possibly Lewis Miles' Stoney Bluff Manufactory, Edgefield District, SC origin, circa 1860-1870, cylindrical jug with semi-squared spout and high-arching handle, decorated with an applied clay face including bulging eyes, distinctive Roman nose, open mouth, prominent chin, eyebrows, and ears with tragi. Eyes and mouth formed from applied kaolin. Surface covered in a streaky green alkaline glaze. Oral history indicates face vessels of this style were made by enslaved potters of African descent, either African-American, or newly-captured Africans, who arrived in the Edgefield District of South Carolina in 1858, after voyage on the illegal slave ship, The Wanderer. This example belongs to a small group possibly made at Lewis' Miles Stoney Bluff Manufactory, based on archaeological evidence from the site. Distinguishing features from this group include protruding oval eyes and pronounced chins, with the interiors of the eyes and teeth lacking incised details. Though unrelated, the well-formed chin on this jug gives it an appearance more closely-related in style to the salt-glazed face vessels of the Remmey and Decker families, among others. This jug is additionally noteworthy in its size, measuring somewhat larger than most Edgefield face vessels at eight inches tall. Relatively few Southern stoneware pieces of this quality are made available at public auction. This outstanding, recently-discovered work survives in near-flawless condition. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, recently found in New York State. A shallow chip to underside of nose at tip. A minor shallow chip to top of spout. H 8".


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