Morgantown Masterpiece. Exceedingly Rare and Important Six-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Cobalt and Manganese Slip Deer, Fish, and Bird Motifs, attributed to David Greenland Thompson, Morgantown, WV, circa 1860. This exciting, recently-surfaced jar depicts a pastoral scene, featuring the coveted Morgantown deer motif with oversized rack, sponge-decorated body, and incised eye and mouth, standing between a fish and flock of flying birds. One of a few Morgantown deer-decorated pieces known, the rarity and aesthetic value of this jar is compounded dramatically by the inclusion of a classic Morgantown fish, executed in manganese, with cobalt eye and incising to the gill and mouth, along with a series of flying birds above, including one with spread wings and another in diving posture. A sense of depth is created to the scene, with two of the birds depicted as X-shaped brushwork flying in the distance. We have yet to see bird designs from Morgantown exhibiting such a strong sense of motion, and the forms of the birds, different than the usual crane-like motifs found on Morgantown jars, suggest a different variety of fowl, perhaps ducks.
This vessel is the first Morgantown product we have seen depicting multiple animals on the same vessel. The use of cobalt and manganese together is an additional trait we have only observed on some of the finer pieces produced by the Thompsons. Certainly one of the most significant discoveries in Morgantown pottery of the last two decades. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor's grandfather during the mid 20th century. H 17".
Important Southern Pitcher. Miniature Stoneware Presentation Pitcher with Lavish Cobalt Decoration, Stamped "HARRY REMMY / PRES BY, C.F.D TENN.", Charles F. Decker, Sr., Keystone Pottery, Chucky Valley, Tennessee, circa 1875. This outstanding recent discovery ranks as one the most significant finds in Tennessee stoneware of the past many years. Few pieces of American stoneware we have seen show a clear link between master potters and the shops in which they began their careers. This pitcher was made by Charles Decker as a gift for Henry Harrison Remmey, Jr. (1842-1909), known as Harry, a member of the illustrious Remmey family of potters, by whom Decker was previously employed. Harry Remmey was the son of the venerable, New-York-trained potter, Henry Harrison Remmey (1794-1878), who was also active in Baltimore, and ultimately established a long-standing operation in Philadelphia in 1827, where Decker worked upon his arrival in America from Germany. It is presumed that Decker, who was ten years older than Harry Remmey, worked alongside Remmey at the family pottery and established a friendship there. For a period, Decker opened his own operation in Philadelphia, known as The Keystone Pottery, only to seek out a new frontier in the South.
This piece tells the story of many 19th century artisans, who worked for years in Northern and Mid-Atlantic states, and eventually traveled to the South or West through the Great Wagon Road (which actually began at the port of Philadelphia). Boldly-stamped "TENN" on the body and underside, this pitcher relates to the Remmey family that Decker had found suitable stoneware clay in Tennessee and had already established a shop. The light color of the clay, fineness of potting, and marked difference of the decoration from the Decker family's typical tulip motif of the 1880-1900 time period, all suggest this piece may be an early work, made shortly after Decker had commenced operation at his Tennessee pottery in 1872. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased in the mid 1980s outside of Philadelphia. H 4".
Remarkable Remmey Incised Work. Important and Extremely Rare Stoneware Pitcher with Incised Bird and Brushed Cobalt Floral Decoration, attributed to Henry Remmey, Sr., Baltimore, MD, circa 1812-1829. This pitcher exemplifies the elegance and superior craftsmanship of early Baltimore stoneware, which set the standard for potteries in Southern and Mid-Atlantic states. The deft incised work on this pitcher reveals the hand of a true master, whose career began working along the skilled craftsman of Manhattan and was recently reestablished in Baltimore. The brushed cobalt floral motif to the bird's left matches the style of designs found on ware made by Remmey while active at The Baltimore Stoneware Manufactory, owned by the Myers family of merchants. A beautiful work regardless of age, this pitcher carries strong historical significance as one of the earliest known pieces of stoneware with incised decoration produced in the American South. Provenance: Purchased at Crocker Farm, Inc., July 17, 2004. H 9 3/4".
Important Ohio Cooler. Monumental Eight-Gallon Open-Handled Stoneware Water Cooler with Elaborate Incised Federal Eagle Design, Ohio origin, circa 1840. This impressive cooler features a sculptural, vase-like form with upturned handle terminals and octagonal bunghole. Its decoration includes a large Federal eagle with shield across its breast and eye formed from a crossed screw head. The bird clutches olive branches in one foot and a highly unusual design of a horse in the other.
The horse and olive branch motifs appear in Greek mythology as symbols of war and peace. While most are familiar with the imagery behind the olive branch, the use of a horse representing war is lesser known today.
Made circa 1840, this patriotic cooler may allude to America's involvement in a number of conflicts during the 1830s and 1840s. The Indian Removal Act of 1830, which forcably relocated Eastern Native American tribes to the West, led to a number of battles, both large and small, between the government and indigenous people. This period also witnessed a number of events related to the Mexican-American War, including the Battle of the Alamo in 1836, culminating in the war itself in 1846 and 1847. General Zachary Taylor's success at the Battle of Palo Alto in May of 1846 was well-publicized throughout the country at the time. Of interesting note was his employment of a horse or "flying" artillery, which was devastating against the Mexican army.
This cooler ranks as one of the finest examples of Ohio stoneware to come to auction in the past several years. H 21".
Manhattan Rarity. Extremely Rare Diminutive Stoneware Jar with Incised Floral Decorations, Manhattan, NY origin, probably Crolius Family, circa 1800. One of a small number of incised Manhattan pieces of this size we are aware of, this jar features two different incised floral designs on each side, along with brushed Federal drape motifs under each handle. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignors' parents decades ago. H 6".
Fine and Scarce Salt-Glazed Stoneware Pig Flask with Incised and Cobalt-Highlighted Map, Signed and Dated "By Anna Pottery / 1882", Wallace and Cornwall Kirkpatrick, Anna, IL, 1882. This example includes many of the features one seeks in the best Anna pig flasks, including a signature, date, elaborate map, and fine penmanship. This pig is the first example we have offered with additional incised details to the ears and tail tip. L 6 3/4".
Very Rare Stoneware Pig Flask with Drinking Poem, attributed to Wallace and Cornwall Kirkpatrick, Anna, IL, Dated 1880. This example features the unusual Arkansas landmarks of Washington, Little Rock, and Hot Springs. While this flask was made at the Kirkpatricks' Anna Pottery, featuring penmanship that matches a signed "Anna Pottery" example sold in our March 2016, it offers insight into the influences on the Texarkana Pottery man, Jacob Bachley. Bachley produced a number of pig flasks in the Anna style with Arkansas landmarks, including the humorous inscription, "Hot Springs", as seen on the underside of this pig. L 6 1/2".
Exceptional Large-Sized Tanware Pitcher with Profuse Albany Slip Decoration, Dated "1888", New Geneva or Greensboro, PA origin, 1888. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor's parents decades ago. H 11".
Scarce and Fine Miniature Stoneware Presentation Pitcher with Profuse Cobalt Decoration, Stamped "J.H. PATTON", Northeastern U.S. origin, circa 1850-1880. H 4 1/4".
Very Rare Stoneware Oyster Jar, Stamped "G.W. AND Co. No. 202 / WARTER STREET / N. YORK", attributed to Thomas Commeraw, Manhattan, New York, circa 1805. "G.W. & Co." is a decidedly rarer mark than the already-rare "Daniel Johnson" stamp, a few examples of which we have sold over the years; this is the first "G.W." example we have offered. (Note the misspelling of Water Street.) Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, collected in Guyana, South America, in the 1970's. H 5 1/2".
Rare Glazed Redware Hunt Scene Pitcher, Stamped "JOHN BELL", Waynesboro, PA origin, circa 1840-1880. H 7 3/4".
Rare Miniature Glazed Redware Bowl, Stamped "JOHN BELL / WAYNESBORO'", circa 1850-1880. H 2 1/2" ; W 4 5/8".
Rare Miniature Glazed Redware Pitcher with Spurred Handle, Stamped "JOHN BELL", Waynesboro, PA origin, circa 1840-1880. H 4 3/8".
Very Rare Southern Stoneware Face Bank with Albany-Slip-Glazed Surface and Cold-Painted Highlights, probably Georgia, late 19th or early 20th century. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, from an early face jug collection amassed during the 1970s. H 3 7/8" ; W 4 1/2".
Exceptional Eagle. Rare Three-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Profuse Incised Federal Eagle Decoration, northeastern U.S. origin, first quarter 19th century. The eagle depicted on this jug is one of the largest and most detailed incised renditions of the bird we have ever offered. Including light cobalt and iron slip highlights to the wings and body, the eagle presents a most unusual Federal shield emblazoned with stars throughout. The imposing image measures an impressive 8 1/2" tall and 17" long in curved distance between the wings, which nearly meet on the reverse side of the jug. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor in the 1970s. H 16 1/2".
Scarce Five-Gallon Stoneware Churn with Cobalt Standing Deer Scene, Stamped "OTTMAN BROS & CO / FORT EDWARD, NY", circa 1880. This boldly-decorated example features a heavily-detailed deer with turned head, flanked by trees, with flying birds in the distance. H 17 1/2".
Shenandoah Rarity. Exceptional Marble-Glazed Redware Pitcher, Stamped "J.E. SIMONS", attributed to Anthony Bacher, Joseph E. Simons' Big Hunting Creek Pottery, Mechanicstown (now Thurmont), MD, circa 1881-1883. This pitcher was made by Anthony Bacher while employed at Mechanicstown's Big Hunting Creek Pottery, during its ownership by merchant, Joseph E. Simons. Few marked pieces from this short-lived operation are known, and the "J.E. SIMONS" stamp is considered one of the rarest of all Shenandoah Valley maker's marks. This pitcher is only the second signed example of Simons pottery we have offered, the other being a simple unglazed jar sold in our October 29, 2011 auction. Featuring Bacher's striking, two-tone glaze, this pitcher measures somewhat larger than most examples of its style known. H 8 1/4".
Extremely Rare Diminutive Stoneware Pitcher with Bold Cobalt Tulip Decoration, attributed to the James River Basin of Virginia, mid 19th century. With exceptional size, strong decoration, and appealing vase-like form, this example is one of the finest Virginia stoneware pitchers we have offered in recent years. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor years ago. H 5 1/2".
Rare Miniature Stoneware Pitcher with Elaborate Cobalt Floral Decoration and Serrated Handle, Ohio origin, probably Mogadore, mid 19th century. H 4 1/2".
Rare Stoneware Bank with Freehand Cobalt Decoration, Inscribed in Cobalt "WILLIA", probably R.T. Williams, New Geneva, PA, circa 1885. Relatively few cobalt-decorated banks from the Western PA region are known. This example includes a faint freehand cobalt inscription "WILLIA" on the reverse, presumably for well-known New Geneva potter, R.T. Williams. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor many years ago. H 5 3/4".
Extremely Rare Four-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Cobalt Floral Decoration, Stamped "WM. HARE / WILMINGTON, DEL", circa 1875. One of a small number of cobalt-decorated examples of William Hare stoneware known, and the first we have ever offered. H 16".
Scarce Three-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Large Cobalt Leaf Decoration, Stamped "M. & T. MILLER / NEWPORT, PA.", circa 1870. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor in the 1990s. H 11 1/2".
Outstanding Glazed Redware Butter Tub, Stamped "JOHN BELL", Waynesboro, PA, circa 1840-1880. Featuring a petite size, striking yellow clay, and delicately-rouletted rim, this butter tub is possibly the finest Bell example we have ever offered. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor in the mid 1990s. H 3 3/4" ; Diameter 6 3/8".