Outstanding and Important Eiler & Sunshine, East Birmingham, PA Stoneware Pedestal Water Cooler

March 19, 2016 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 246

Price Realized: $19,550.00
($17,000 hammer, plus 15% buyer's premium).

March 19, 2016 Auction Catalog

◀ Back to Catalog

Important and Possibly Unique Stoneware Pedestal-Based Water Cooler with Profuse Cobalt Tulip Decoration, Inscribed in Cobalt "EILER & SUNSHINE", East Birmingham, PA, circa 1858-1862, skillfully-potted, ovoid cooler with semi-rounded rim, ribbed lug handles, circular bung hole, and pedestal base with rounded foot. Cooler is lavishly-decorated with a series of brushed tulips emanating from the bung hole. Bunghole decorated with a cobalt band around the opening and dashes around its border. Pedestal base inscribed in cobalt, "EiLER & SUNSHINE", and decorated with cobalt dashes around the foot. Additional cobalt stripe decoration below rim and highlighting the handle terminals. Albany-slip-glazed interior. The significance of this example lies not only in its highly artistic form and decoration, but also in its exceedingly rare signature. To our knowledge, this cooler is the only signed example known from the partnership of East Birmingham, PA potters, Philip Eiler and Henry Sunshine, which existed for a short period, from 1858 until 1862 (Schaltenbrand, Big Ware Turners, p. 147-148). The beautiful brushwork on the cooler indicates the partners were apt decorators with tulip designs closely-related to the Boughners of Greensboro. Later stenciled pieces by Eiler, after his partnership with Sunshine had ended, can be found and are considered unusual in their own right. Examples of the coveted pedestal-based cooler form, regarded as the pinnacle of stoneware as an art form from the Western Pennsylvania region, are considered scarce outside of the stoneware manufactories of Beaver County, PA. This recently-surfaced example may be one of the earliest known produced in an area other that county. In addition, few stoneware objects of this quality are known from the Pittsburgh area, and this cooler ranks as one of the finest examples from this historic city known. Essentially unknown to the greater collecting community for years, this cooler is considered one of the great Western PA stoneware discoveries of the past several years. Provenance: Purchased by a member of the consignor's family over thirty-five years ago. Provenance: Descended in the family of legendary Ohio antiques dealer, Clark Garrett. A 1 1/2" base chip. Otherwise as-made condition with two in-the-firing horizontal surface lines where cooler meets base, not visible on interior, and two shorter in-the-firing lines to surface, not visible on interior. H 15 1/4".


Outstanding and Important Eiler & Sunshine, East Birmingham, PA Stoneware Pedestal Water CoolerOutstanding and Important Eiler & Sunshine, East Birmingham, PA Stoneware Pedestal Water CoolerOutstanding and Important Eiler & Sunshine, East Birmingham, PA Stoneware Pedestal Water Cooler

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(Our next auction takes place July 21, 2018.)

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