Very Important Original Maker's Stamp for E. & L. P. NORTON / BENNINGTON, VT

July 21, 2018 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 10

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Auction Highlight:  July 21, 2018 Auction | New England Stoneware | Norton Pottery

July 21, 2018 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare and Important E. & L. P. NORTON / BENNINGTON, VT. Stoneware Maker's Stamp, Impressed "F, GODFREY", circa 1861-1881, slab-constructed stamp with curved handle, composed of unglazed stoneware, featuring the raised maker's mar of Edward and Luman Preston Norton of Bennington, VT, a partnership that existed from 1861-1881. Side of stamp impressed the name, "F, GODFREY". The person who used, and presumably made, this stamp was Frederick Godfrey, Luman Preston Norton's brother-in-law, and a well-documented Bennington potter. Born in 1841, Godfrey appears in the 1860 census in the same household as Luman Norton, who had married his sister, Alice, only a couple of years before. In 1861, Godfrey enlisted in a Vermont infantry regiment, giving his occupation as "Potter's Apprentice," and would go on to fight in many Civil War battles, being wounded a few different times. After returning to Bennington, Godfrey worked in his brother-in-law's shop for many years, continuing his career as a potter at least into the 1880's, before eventually becoming sheriff of Bennington County. A photograph of Godfrey alongside many other pottery workers resides in the collection of the Bennington Museum. Included with this lot is a rustic Rockingham-glazed mug, with twig-form handle and applied sawed limb beside an incised banner, inscribed "MIRIAM". This mug is believed to have been made at the E. & L.P. Norton pottery as it was originally found with the stamp a few decades ago at the Frederick Godfrey house in Bennington. The identity of Miriam, however, remains a mystery and does not seem to relate to either Godfrey or any other Bennington potters. Relatively few 19th century American potter's stamps have survived to this day, and this example, used during a classic era of Bennington stoneware production, is easily regarded as one of the most important Norton family objects to come to auction in years. Provenance: Purchased by the consignor at a Marlin Denlinger Stoneware Auction in Bennington, VT in the late 1980s or early 1990s; found among the contents of the Frederick Godfrey house in Bennington, VT. A shallow 7/8" chip to handle. A tiny in-the-firing iron ping to one corner. Mug in very nice condition with a minor inverted U-shaped line in rim, as well as light wear to handle and raised, sawed limb. L 3 3/8" ; W 7/8" ; H 3 1/16".


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(Our next auction takes place March 2019.)

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