Exceedingly Rare J. & E. NORTON / BENNINGTON, VT. Stoneware Lion Jug

July 16, 2016 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 167

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Auction Highlight:  July 16, 2016 Auction | New England Stoneware | Norton Pottery

July 16, 2016 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare Two-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Cobalt Seated Lion Decoration, Stamped "J. & E. NORTON / BENNINGTON, VT.", circa 1855, cylindrical jug with semi-squared spout, decorated with an elaborate slip-trailed scene of a lion with heavy mane and tufted tail, seated atop a stylized ground accented with shrubs, flanked by a two fences and a tree. The animal's highly unusual seated stance, rarely found on Norton products, may have been chosen to convey a "Peaceable Kingdom" scene of sorts. The Peaceable Kingdom paintings of noted American folk artist, Edward Hicks (1780-1849), which featured harmonious scenes of children with a variety of wild and domestic animals, occasionally depicted seated lions beneath a plumed tree, as seen on this jug. The distinctive style in which the lion on this jug is rendered indicates it was executed by documented stoneware decorator, John Hilfinger (1826-1888), an itinerant artist born in Wurttemberg, Germany, who was active in Bennington from 1855 to 1864. The lion remains the most coveted regularly-produced design on Norton stoneware, and few quality pieces bearing this motif have been offered publicly over the last decade or more. A 2 3/4" salt drip to right side of jug. A 1 3/8" salt drip to front of jug. A 1" chip to left side of spout. A 3" semi-circular crack at base on reverse with associated chips, primarily visible on underside. Other minor flaws, including a tiny chip and 1/2" U-shaped line at base of handle, a faint 1 1/2" horizontal line on right side of jug below spout molding, a few base chips, and two tiny nicks on interior of spout. H 14 1/2".


Exceedingly Rare J. & E. NORTON / BENNINGTON, VT. Stoneware Lion Jug

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(Our next auction takes place November 3, 2018.)

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