The Finest of its Form. Exceedingly Rare and Important Stoneware Flowerpot with Profuse Incised and Cobalt-Highlighted Bird and Floral Decoration, attributed to William Morgan, Baltimore, MD, circa 1820-1825.
This astounding recent discovery features a deftly-incised and cobalt-highlighted design of two birds perched atop a flowering plant with stems that extend around to the left and right of the pot. This example is closely-related to two other Morgan bird-decorated pieces: the first, a cooler bearing the signature "Morgan Maker / Balt."; the second, a pitcher in the collection of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, previously owned by museum founder, Frank Horton.
Interestingly, the few known incised Morgan stoneware objects parallel the work of the New-York-trained potters, Henry Remmey and Henry Harrison Remmey, who were active in Baltimore, circa 1812-1829. The flowerpot offered in our July auction shares similarities with a damaged and reconstructed example, which was made by one of the Remmeys and recovered from a Baltimore privy in the early 2000s. (See Zipp, Henry Remmey & Son, Late of New York: A Rediscovery of a Master Potter's Lost Years, Ceramics in America 2004, fig. 17-18).
The flowerpot to be auctioned survives in remarkable condition, even including its original cobalt-decorated saucer. Despite the Remmeys notoriety for incised decoration in Manhattan, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, it appears that William Morgan's work may have actually advanced this decorative treatment even further.
Based on comparisons of this object with other 19th century American examples of the form (both stoneware and redware), it could easily be argued that this work is the finest American ceramic flowerpot known.
Provenance: Recently discovered in Maryland. H (including saucer) 8" ; Diameter (across opening) 7 3/8".
Southern Stoneware Masterpiece. Important and Probably Unique Three-Gallon Stoneware Pitcher with Profuse Incised Bird-on-Branch Motifs and Applied and Impressed Decoration, Stamped "E.H. Wood" and Dated "1840", Ezekiel H. Wood, Maysville, Kentucky, 1840. This tour-de-force of ceramic folk art includes two finely-executed designs of birds perched on leafy branches, flanking the boldly-brushed date "1840". Four applied decorative devices appear on the front and elaborate impressed treatments adorn the body, collar, and handle, additionally forming the large signature, E. H. Wood, across the belly. At least twelve different decorative stamps were employed to ornament this pitcher, all individually-stamped in a painstaking, almost obsessive fashion. Strong cobalt slip brushwork appears throughout the body, including a series of curved strokes around the midsection and a V-shaped highlight on the interior of the spout. In all, four different techniques, incising, sprigging, impressing, and slip-decorating, give life to this masterwork, creating an object of overwhelming visual appeal.
These lavish decorative treatments abound on what is perhaps the most-elegantly-potted stoneware pitcher we have seen, a piece which includes a delicate, thin-walled construction, heavy turning to the collar and base, an upswept handle terminal, and an imposing three-gallon size.
The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts artisan database notes that Ezekiel Wood and his brother, John, manufactured stoneware together in Maysville, Kentucky during the 1845 time period. A relatively small number of undecorated or modestly-decorated stoneware pieces bear the maker's mark, "J & E. WOOD." One of the finest surviving works from this firm is a jar bearing the stenciled cobalt inscription, "MAYSVILLE, KY / 1845", which currently resides in the MESDA collection.
Born December 12, 1818 in Brown County, Ohio, Ezekiel Wood moved to Mason County, Kentucky when still a young boy. Ezekiel and his brother, John, are shown living together in Maysville in the 1850 federal census, which also lists their occupations as farmers. Living adjacent to their home was a potter named Alfred Moss, indicating they were operating a pottery manufactory at that time. History of Howard and Cooper Counties, Missouri, writing about E.H. Wood in 1883, states, "Mr. W. is an industrious, successful farmer, and is well-to-do in life. Farming, however, is not the only industry he has followed. He was engaged in 'flat-boating' to and from New Orleans for some time in an early day, and later he was a manufacturer of stoneware for about six years." Indeed, many early American potters were primarily farmers who produced stoneware or earthenware to supplement their incomes.
While it is possible that this pitcher was made for Ezekiel Wood at a pottery he owned or was associated with, it seems to be the case that Wood himself threw and decorated this work. Its craftsmanship is at such a high level and its decoration so extremely elaborate that it appears to have been Wood's masterpiece--the object he made coming out of his stoneware potter's apprenticeship to prove his skill. This fits perfectly with Wood's age at the time; having been born at the end of 1818, he would have been 21 for almost the entirety of the year 1840--21 being the standard age of release from an indentured apprenticeship. This object, potted in large proportions with oversized signature, would have been easily visible to passersby in the window of Wood's shop, at a local fair, or any other place of business. The amount of time taken to create this work, its unwieldy use as an actual pitcher, and the immaculate condition in which it survives, all corroborate the notion that it was made as a display piece to advertise Wood's pottery.
Of interesting note is the fact that Wood was part of an extended family of Maysville stoneware potters, namely Rulef Ricketts, Hugh Cooper, Isaac Thomas, Evan Ricketts, and Joseph Claghorn Mendell. In 1853, he married Mary Ellen Power, a relative, most likely the sister, of prominent Maysville merchant and stoneware seller, Hugh Power. Wood would eventually move to Missouri in the mid 1860's and remained there until his death in 1900.
This important offering is regarded as the second most profusely-decorated American stoneware pitcher known, the first being the iconic Harrington & Burger pitcher with hound handle, which currently resides in the New York State Museum's Weitsman Stoneware Collection.
Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor approximately twenty-five years ago. H 15 1/2".
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 piece. 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".
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".
Gorgeous Greensboro Jar. Exceptional Sixteen-Gallon Jar with Profuse Freehand and Stenciled Cobalt Decoration, Stenciled "Hamilton & Jones Greensboro", circa 1870. This outstanding, recent discovery features top-to-bottom Western PA decorative motifs in the form of stripes, spots, flowering vines, foliate vines, abstract stenciled foliate motifs, and stenciled stars surrounded by scalloped brushwork.
The decoration reveals strong stylistic similarities with the finest work of a competitor in Greensboro, James Hamilton & Co., most notably in the use of stenciled stars surrounded by arched freehand brushwork. The configuration of the maker's stenciling within a single line is unusual among extant Hamilton & Jones products. One of the finest examples of stoneware from the region to come to auction in the past several years. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, which descended in an Ohio family, found in the second story of a relative's barn. H 20 1/2".
Dave Discovery. Extremely Rare and Important Four-Gallon Alkaline-Glazed Stoneware Jar, Inscribed "Dave / Jan 13 - 1862 / Lm", Dave at Lewis Miles' Stoney Bluff Manufactory, Edgefield District, SC, 1862.
This jar is significant on a number of levels. Its light-colored glaze is exceptional, particularly for a time period when much of Dave's work utilized a darker alkaline coating. The jar was also produced during the Civil War, a critical time for America as a nation and an enslaved man as an individual. According to Goldberg and Witkowski's article in Ceramics in America 2006, "Beneath his Magic Touch: The Dated Vessels of the African-American Slave Potter Dave", only one other Dave vessel is known bearing an 1862 date. The exact reason for this paucity of dated 1862 pieces is unknown, although one can speculate it may have been born out of hostilities relational to the Civil War. Furthermore, the jar's late date, indicating it was made only two years before Dave's last known dated work, serves to document the potter's final years of producing vessels as an enslaved man. Its bold incising follows a general rule noted in Goldberg and Witkowski, that Dave's signatures generally became larger as years progressed. This jar features one of the most prominent inscriptions we have observed on a Dave vessel. Not only are the characters large, the incising is exceptionally deep and crisp. The date on this jar, in comparison to the piece itself, is possibly the largest known in Dave's work, measuring 9 1/4" of the jar's 14" height.
Dave is regarded as one of America's most celebrated African-American artisans and his notoriety outside of ceramic and American historical circles is expanding. A testament to this growing recognition is evidenced by his induction into the South Carolina Hall of Fame on April 27th of this year. When considering the quality of the glaze, size of the inscription, and rarity of the date, this jar can easily be regarded as one of the most significant discoveries in Dave stoneware of the past several years.
Burger Beauty. Extremely Rare and Important Four-Gallon Stoneware Water Cooler with Elaborate Cobalt Floral Decoration, Stamped "JOHN BURGER / ROCHESTER.", New York State origin, circa 1860. Featuring artistically-executed blossoms and a bung hole decorated with spots and a wavy stripe, this example is one of a very small number of coolers known from John Burger's Rochester stoneware manufactory. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor decades ago. H 13 3/4".
Stunning Stetzenmeyer. Exceedingly Rare and Important Four-Gallon Stoneware Water Cooler with Elaborate Cobalt Floral Decoration, Stamped "F. STETZENMEYER & / G. GOETZMAN / ROCHESTER. NY", circa 1853-1860. Frederick Stetzenmeyer pottery is considered some of the most artistic and coveted of all American cobalt-decorated stoneware. Jugs and jars with more-simplistic floral motifs are considered prized examples of New York State stoneware, even among seasoned collectors. This recently-discovered piece stands out among Stetzenmeyer's surviving work as possibly the only extant water cooler bearing his maker's mark. It was produced during the 1853 to 1860 time period while Stetzenmeyer was in partnership with a local grocer named Gottlieb Goetzman. Exhibiting an elegant form with heavily-decorated bunghole, this cooler features a particularly fine slip-trailed floral motif in the Rochester style. Interestingly, aspects of the slip-trailing suggest the design may have been executed by the venerable master potter, John Burger, Sr., who, by 1854, was operating his own shop in Rochester. One of the finest examples of Stetzenmeyer stoneware to surface in the last decade. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market, recently-discovered example. H 15 1/2".
Small Wonder. Exceptional and Important Open-Handled Redware Jar with Profuse Three-Color Slip Floral Decoration, Dated Twice 1810, Bucks County, PA origin, 1810. An elegantly-potted example brimming with Pennsylvania-German tulips and daisies, this consignment is arguably one of the most extravagant American slip-decorated redware jars known. A study of the extensive Pennsylvania redware collections at Winterthur and the Philadelphia Museum of Art can find few jars with slipwork comparable in abundance and artistry. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor in the early 1990s. H 5 7/8".
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 several 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 him 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".
Exceptional Lion Motif. Exceedingly Rare Two-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Cobalt Seated Lion Decoration, Stamped "J. & E. NORTON / BENNINGTON, VT.", circa 1855. This boldly-decorated example features a robust lion seated beside a tree, between two fences. The animal's highly unusual seated stance, rarely found on Norton products, may have been chosen to represent a "Peaceable Kingdom" in the design. H 14 1/2".
A Ferocious Find. Important and Possibly Unique One-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Cobalt Lion's Bust Decoration, Stamped "JORDAN", attributed to Justen McBurney, New York State origin, circa 1855-1860. Featuring a boldly-slip-trailed design of a lion's head with flowing mane, bared teeth, and protruding tongue, this jug ranks as arguably the finest-decorated example of Jordan stoneware known. Signed McBurney family products, bearing the mark "JORDAN", are difficult-to-find in their own right, and are rarely found with figural decoration of any sort. Designs of this quality are virtually unheard of from this site. In addition to its visually-stunning design, the jug features exceptional color and an appealing one-gallon size. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, previously purchased at a Denlinger auction in the late 1980s. H 12 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".
Very Rare Five-Gallon Stoneware Churn with Cobalt Standing Deer Scene, Stamped "OTTMAN BROS & CO / FORT EDWARD, NY", circa 1875. This boldly-decorated example features a heavily-detailed deer with turned head and includes a highly-unusual design of flying birds in the distance. H 17 1/2".
Phenomenal Figural Design. Six-Gallon Stoneware Crock with Cobalt Rooster Scene, Stamped "JOHN BURGER / ROCHESTER", New York State origin, circa 1860. This outstanding example, despite its condition issues, typifies Burger's exuberant, painterly style. Few Rochester stoneware pieces with rooster decoration are known. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, which descended in a Michigan family. H 14 1/4".
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".
Outstanding Six-Gallon Stoneware Pedestal-Based Water Cooler with Profuse Cobalt Floral Decoration, Stamped "HAMILTON / Greensboro / PA", William Leet Hamilton, Greensboro, PA, circa 1860. The pedestal-based water cooler remains the most coveted of all Western Pennsylvania stoneware forms. This example is one of a small number known bearing the mark of William Leet Hamilton. Note the use of the large oval maker's stamp as a decorative device, which forms the cobalt-highlighted center of a tulip blossom. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased in the mid 20th century by the consignor's grandfather. Recent professional restoration to section on reverse side of base. H 17".
Giant Jug. Monumental and Possibly Unique Twelve-Gallon Stoneware Jug Cooler with Profuse Cobalt Floral Decoration, attributed to Alexander P. Donaghho or possibly Donaghho & Beale, Fredericktown, PA, circa 1860. This outstanding sculptural piece exhibits remarkable potting skill and is possibly the largest jug-form cooler from the state of Pennsylvania known. Its distinctive brushwork on the body and handle terminals indicate it was made by Alexander P. Donaghho during his early tenure in Fredericktown, Pennsylvania, possibly while in partnership with A.P. Beale. Literature: For a signed "DONAGHHO & BEALE" jar bearing this distinctive Western Pennsylvania floral variant, see Schaltebrand, Big Ware Turners, p. 172. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consingor's grandfather during the mid 20th century. H 27 3/4".
Rare Small-Sized Stoneware Canning Jar with Stenciled Cobalt Star Motif, Stenciled "STAR POTTERY.", Hamilton & Jones, Greensboro, PA, circa 1875. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased decades ago, consigned from California. H 6 3/4".
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".
Rare One-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Cobalt Floral Decoration, Stamped "COOPER & POWER / MAYSVILLE . KY", attributed to the Boughner Family, Greensboro, PA, circa 1860. H 10".
Rare Open-Handled Tanware Vase with Elaborate Albany Slip Vine Decoration, New Geneva or Greensboro, PA origin, circa 1885. H 6".
Exceptional Tanware Pitcher, New Geneva or Greensboro, PA origin, circa 1885. From a selection of tanware pitchers to be offered in July. H 8".
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".
Morgantown School Redware Jar. Extremely Rare Ovoid Redware Jar with Three-Color Slip Tulip Decoration, Virginia origin, late 18th or early 19th century.
This recently-surfaced jar bears a distinctive spotted tulip motif found on a jar attributed to Samuel Butter of Clarksburg, WV, circa 1820, which resides in the collection of the National Museum of American History and is pictured and discussed in Donald Horvath and Richard Duez's Ceramics in America 2004 article, "The Potters and Potteries of Morgan's Town, Virginia: The Earthenware Years, Circa 1796-1854". Butter apprenticed to Jacob Foulk, Jr., a Morgantown, WV potter who also employed similar tulip motifs in multi-color slip. Before 1802, Foulk was active in Frederick County, VA, as noted by H.E. Comstock in his book, The Pottery of the Shenandoah Valley Region. The discovery of this jar just north of Harrisonburg, Virginia, approximately seventy miles south of Foulk's Frederick County pottery site, offers the possibility that this piece may actually be a very early Shenandoah Valley of Virginia product, made by Foulk prior to his Morgantown venture. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, recently found in the Harrisonburg, VA area. H 6 1/2".
Fine Snow Hill Nunnery Redware Bowl with Two-Color-Slip Star Motif, attributed to John Bell, Waynesboro, PA, circa 1840. Provenance: Originally found among the contents of the Snow Hill Nunnery near Quincy, Franklin County, PA, and purchased by the consignor at Horst Auction in 1997. H 2 1/2" ; Diam. 10 3/4".
Rare and Fine Lidded Redware Jar with Ornamental Handles and Profuse Manganese Spot Decoration, Pennsylvania origin, mid 19th century. Surviving in outstanding condition, this jar has strong folk art appeal with its heavily-scored handles terminating in hand-modeled acorns. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor decades ago. H (excluding lid) 6 1/4" ; H (including lid) 8".
Fine Small-Sized Anna Pottery Stoneware Snake Jug, Incised "Little Brown Jug", Wallace and Cornwall Kirkpatrick, Anna, IL, circa 1885. H 4 1/2".
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".
Anna Pottery Stoneware Frog Mug, Inscribed "Leader of the Pullman Vocal Band.", Wallace and Conrwall Kirkpatrick, Anna, IL, circa 1885. H 3" ; Diameter 3 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".
Striking Stag. Exceedingly Rare Four-Gallon Stoneware Crock with Cobalt Walking Deer Decoration, Stamped "COWDEN & WILCOX / HARRISBURG, PA", circa 1865. Only a few examples of stoneware with deer decorations are known from the Cowden & Wilcox Pottery, or the entire state of Pennsylvania for that matter. Its design was likely inspired or executed by the New-York-trained potter, Shem Thomas. To our knowledge, this crock is the first Cowden & Wilcox deer-decorated piece to come to auction in over fifteen years. H 10 7/8".
Cowden Rarity. Exceedingly Rare Half-Gallon Stoneware Pitcher with Cobalt Man-in-the-Moon Decoration, Stamped "COWDEN & WILCOX / HARRISBURG, PA", circa 1865. Exceptional in decoration, form, and size, this pitcher is the best example of the firm's iconic man-in-the-moon motif we have ever offered. Its face includes an unusual "surprised" appearance including a wide eye with lashes, open, smiling mouth, and foliate brushwork that nearly forms a complete circle around the profile. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased decades ago by the consignor. H 8 1/4".
Extremely Rare Three-Gallon Stoneware Water Cooler with Cobalt Floral Decoration, Stamped "COWDEN & WILCOX / HARRISBURG, PA", circa 1865. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor decades ago. H 11".
Four-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Cobalt Bird Decoration, Stamped "COWDEN & WILCOX / HARRISBURG. PA", circa 1865. H 16 1/4".
Scarce Two-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Cobalt Bird-on-Branch Decoration, Stamped "M. & T. MILLER / NEWPORT, PA", circa 1870. Provenance: A recently-discovered example, which descended in a Virginia family.
Miller Rarity. Exceptional Three-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Profuse Cobalt Grapes and Foliate Decoration, Stamped "M. & T. MILLER / NEWPORT, PA", circa 1870. This stunning jug is only the second piece of Miller stoneware we have seen featuring a grapes design. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, recently discovered in Virginia. H 14 1/2".
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".
Possibly Unique Two-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Cobalt Rooster and Floral Decorations, attributed to R.J. Grier, Chester County, PA, circa 1875. One of only two figural-decorated examples of Grier stoneware we have seen. H 12 3/4".
Important Manhattan Bank. Exceedingly Rare Stoneware Bank with Incised Foliate and Drape Motifs, Manhattan, NY origin, probably Crolius Family, early 19th century. This bank is the only Manhattan example of the form we are aware of, and one of the earliest American stoneware banks known. Its coin slot is flanked by an incised drape-and-tassel motif in the Manhattan style, a design popularized in impressed format by Corlears Hook potter, Thomas Commeraw. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor in the 1990s; Ex-Sotheby's, New York. H 4 1/2".
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".
Important Early Remmey Family Work. Exceedingly Rare and Important Three-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Incised Floral Decoration, Inscribed "I.R.", attributed to John Remmey II, Manhattan, NY, circa 1785. This jug is one of a small number of 18th century Manhattan pieces bearing the incised initials, "I.R.", believed to be the signature of John Remmey II. Remmey's death in 1792 indicates this jug was made during an exceptionally early period, circa 1785. Remmey's son, John Remmey III, is well-known for his makers' mark, "JOHN REMMEY/ MANHATTAN-WELLS / NEW-YORK", which was used during the first two decades of the 19th century. The incised daisy motif on this jug differs markedly in quality and style than most designs found on the work of John Remmey III. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor decades ago. H 16 1/4".
Rare Cobalt-Decorated Stoneware Fruit Jar, Stamped "PEACHES" and "C. CROLIUS / MANUFACTURER", Clarkson Crolius, Sr., Manhattan, NY, circa 1810. H 8".
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".
Two-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Incised Decoration, Stamped "J. REMMEY / MANHATTAN-WELLS / NEW-YORK", John Remmey, III, Manhattan, New York, circa 1810. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor decades ago. H 14 1/2".
Three-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Incised Bird-on-Floral Decoration, New York State origin, possibly Albany, circa 1825. Although the form and color are somewhat different than Albany pieces from this period, the distinctive bird decoration is closely-related to the work of Moses Tyler of Albany.
LIBERTY FOREVER. Very Rare One-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Impressed and Cobalt-Highlighted Decoration, Stamped "LIBERTY FOREV / S AMBOY N JERSY", Thomas Warne and Joshua Letts, South Amboy, New Jersey, circa 1807. Potted in a desirable one-gallon size and made only thirty-one years after the American Revolution, this jar features one of the most historically-significant of all American stoneware marks. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor decades ago. H 8 1/2".
New Jersey Rarity. Possibly Unique One-Gallon Cobalt-Decorated Stoneware Jar with Coggled Designs, Stamped "MADE BY / W. RICKETTS / SOUTH AMBOY", New Jersey origin, early 19th century. This previously-undocumented jar exudes a strong Warne & Letts influence, and is the first example we have seen bearing this maker's mark. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor decades ago. H 9 3/4".
Fine One-Gallon Cobalt-Decorated Stoneware Jar with Impressed Design, Stamped "WARNE & LETTS 1807 / S AMBOY N JERSY", Thomas Warne & Joshua Letts, South Amboy, NJ, 1807. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor decades ago. H 10 1/4".
Exceptional Watch Spring Jug. Extremely Rare One-Quart Stoneware Jug with Bold Cobalt Spotted Watch Spring Motifs, attributed to Abraham Mead, Greenwich, CT, circa 1760-1785. This striking, colonial-period jug was previously purchased directly from a member of the Mead family, implying a Mead provenance. However, its spout molding and raised slip are more characteristic of earlier products of Adam States (to whom Mead was apprenticed) than Mead's well-known 1790s pieces. This example may, in fact, be a States piece, which descended in the family of his apprentice, or a particularly early example of Mead's work, following the master's style. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased decades ago by the consignor; Ex-Mead Family. H 8".
Scarce Three-Gallon Cobalt-and-Iron-Decorated Stoneware Jug with Drape-and-Tassel Motif, Stamped "BOSTON / 1804", Frederick Carpenter, Boston, MA, 1804. This example sports a wonderful form, an unusual impressed drape variant, and an appealing use of cobalt and iron slips. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased decades ago by the consignor. H 16".
Extremely Rare Five-Gallon Stoneware "BRISTOLS . BEER" Cooler with Applied Eagle Motif, Stamped "J* CLARK & CO / TROY", New York State origin, circa 1826-1828. A stately form with impressive decoration, featuring highly-unusual breweriana advertising. Signed examples of J. Clark & Company stoneware are considered scarce, as this operation only lasted two years. A stately form with impressive decoration, featuring highly-unusual breweriana advertising. Signed examples of J. Clark & Company stoneware are considered scarce, as this operation only lasted two years.Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, from a New York State collection amassed over the past several decades. H 17 3/4".
Fine Stoneware Raeren with Triple Face Decoration, Belgian (previously German) origin, circa 1500. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, which descended in a Michigan family. H 7".
Extremely Rare Three-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Iron-Oxide Decoration, Stamped "GR" Beneath a Crown, English origin, circa 1725. Stamp indicates use by the British Army. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, acquired by the consignor in New England over thirty years ago. H 16 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".
Rare Shenandoah Valley Redware Sugar Bowl with Two-Color Glaze, Incised "Bacher", Anthony Weis Bacher, Winchester, VA, circa 1885. This sugar bowl includes an unusual signature, which simply reads "Bacher", incised in the underside prior to firing by the potter himself. Provenance: Purchased in the 1970s at a Shenandoah Valley estate auction. H 4".
Very Rare Shenandoah Valley Green-Glazed Redware Cup, Stamped "S. BELL & SON / STRASBURG", Virginia origin, circa 1890. One of a small number of Bell cups in this style known, this lot is the only example we have seen featuring an appealing mottled green glaze. H 5" ; Diameter (across top) 5 1/4".
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".
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".
Rare Slip-Decorated Redware Plate with Tree-of-Life Motif, probably Pennsylvania origin, 19th century. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example purchased by the consignors' parents decades ago. Diameter 10 3/8".
Exceptional Stepped Redware Jar with Bold Slip Decoration, New England origin, circa 1800-1830. H 9".
A Potter and an Abolitionist. Extremely Rare Three-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Large Cobalt Floral Decoration, Incised "John S. Clemmer / Mogadore Summit Co / Ohio", mid 19th century. This jug was made and signed by documented abolitionist and potter, John S. Clemmer (1825-1875). Clemmer, along with his wife, Maria, operated an Underground Railroad safehouse for slaves of the Ohio River Valley. In 1861, Clemmer joined the Ninth Ohio Volunteers and suffered a serious injury on June 9, 1862 at the Battle of Port Republic, Virginia. The jug's decoration includes an interesting incised design of a pointing hand below Clemmer's inscription. Literature: Snodgrass, The Underground Railroad: An Encyclopedia of People, Places, and Operations, Routledge, London and New York, 2015. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, which descended in a Michigan family. H 15 3/4".
Rare Miniature Stoneware Pitcher with Elaborate Cobalt Floral Decoration and Serrated Handle, Ohio origin, probably Mogadore, mid 19th century. H 4 1/2".
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".
Milburn at his Finest. Important and Possibly Unique Three-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Profuse Slip-Trailed Cobalt Decoration, Stamped "B.C. MILBURN / ALEXA", Alexandria, Virginia origin, circa 1850. While applying cobalt with a slip cup was a popular decorative treatment in the Northern United States, its employment was less prolific in the South, primarily limited to stoneware potteries in Baltimore, MD, Alexandria, VA, Petersburg, VA, and Edgefield, South Carolina. In our opinion, the floral and chain link motifs on this jar rank among the finest slip-trailed designs known on a stoneware object of Southern manufacture. The striking decoration on this jar is complemented by elegant potting, including heavily-tooled embellishments and oversized lug handles with depressed terminals. Provenance: A private Southern collector; Crocker Farm, Inc., Nov. 2, 2013. H 12 1/2".
Rare Three-Gallon Stoneware Pitcher with Profuse Cobalt Floral Decoration, attributed to John P. Schermerhorn, Richmond, VA, circa 1830. Featuring an unusually-elaborate floral motif, striking color, and exceptional large size, this recently-discovered example ranks as one of the finest James River pitchers we have ever offered. Provenance: Recently discovered in Maryland. H 14 3/4".
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".
Very Rare Miniature Stoneware Mug with Cobalt Spot Decoration, attributed to the Decker Family, Keystone Pottery, Chucky Valley, TN, late 19th century. This mug, most likely made as a child's toy, is the smallest Decker example we have seen. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignors' parents decades ago. H 2 7/8".
Exceedingly Rare Stoneware Fruit Jar, Impressed "APPLES", probably John Morgan, Rockbridge County, VA, circa 1835. This jar shares similarity in form and overall style to the well-known fruit jars made by Clarkson Crolius, Sr. of Manhattan, New York. The distinctive darker, mottled clay and different font on the jar suggest it may have been made by New-York-trained potter, John Morgan, while active in Rockbridge County, Virginia. It is the first we have seen by any maker bearing the impressed inscription, "APPLES". Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor decades ago. H 9".
Fine Half-Gallon Stoneware Pitcher with Elaborate Floral Decoration, Baltimore, circa 1840. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignors' parents decades ago. H 7 1/2".
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".
Outstanding Four-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Cobalt Standing Deer Decoration, Stamped "J. & E. NORTON / BENNINGTON, VT", circa 1855. This significant recent discovery features a scarce and impressive four-gallon size and survives in exemplary condition. It is the largest Norton deer-decorated jug we have ever offered. Provenance: Recently found in the Southeastern U.S. H 18".
Scarce Two-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Cobalt Starface Decoration, Stamped "T. HARRINGTON / LYONS", New York State origin, circa 1860.
Rare Six-Gallon Stoneware Churn with Cobalt Pheasant-on-Stump Decoration, Stamped "W-A LEWIS / GALESVILLE N-Y", circa 1858. H 19".
Outstanding Five-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Elaborate Cobalt Flower Blossom Decoration, Stamped "N. CLARK & CO. / LYONS", New York State origin, circa 1845. H 19".
Fine Two-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Cobalt Leaping Rabbit Decoration, Stamped "JULIUS NORTON / BENNINGTON, VT", circa 1845. H 11 1/2".
Fine Five-Gallon Stoneware Churn with Cobalt Game Bird Decoration, Stamped "J. BURGER, JR. / ROCHESTER, NY", circa 1885. H 18".
Outstanding Eight-Gallon Stoneware Crock with Large Bird-on-Stump Decoration, Stamped "HUDSON / N.Y. / POTTERY", Benjamin Wolford at the Hudson, New York pottery of Amos S. Hover and Charles Fingar, circa 1870. Relatively few "HUDSON / N.Y. / POTTERY" pieces of this decorative quality are known. Literature: For more information on this pottery, see William C. Ketchum, Jr., The Potters and Potteries of New York State, 1650-1900, p. 113. H 15".
Fine Five-Gallon Alkaline-Glazed Stoneware Jar, Incised "Lm" with Five Punctates and Two Slash Marks, attributed to Dave, Lewis Miles' Stoney Bluff Manufactory, Edgefield, SC, circa 1855. This example features Dave's classic, robust jar form, retains a lustrous alkaline glaze, and survives in very nice condition. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor years ago. H 14".
Fine Two-Gallon Alkaline-Glazed Stoneware Jar, Impressed "II" at Base, attributed to the Reverend John Landrum Pottery, Horse Creek Valley, Edgefield District, SC, circa 1820. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor approximately thirty years ago. H 14".
Scarce Alkaline-Glazed Lidded Stoneware Coffeepot, Crawford County, GA origin, late 19th century. Exhibited: "Missing Pieces; Georgia Folk Art", a traveling show from 1976-1977, pictured on p. 91, fig. 81 of the exhibit catalog; Atlanta Historical Society, Atlanta, Georgia, December 5, 1976, 1977; The Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences, Savannah, Georgia, April-July, 1977; The Columbus Museum of Arts and Crafts, Columbus, Georgia, September-October, 1977. H (including lid) 10 1/4".
Fine Three-Gallon Double-Handled Stoneware Jug with Alkaline Glaze, Stamped "CJB", Columbus Jackson Becham, Crawford County, GA, late 19th century. An outstanding Becham family form, featuring a heavy, olive-colored glaze with dark runs. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor years ago. H 15".
Fine Six-Gallon Alkaline-Glazed Stoneware Jar with Iron-Slip Broken-Stem Floral Decoration, attributed to Thomas Chandler, Kirkseys Crossroads, Edgefield, SC, circa 1850. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor years ago. H 16".
Rare Two-and-a-Half-Gallon Lidded Stoneware Jar with Alkaline Glaze, Stamped "DS" and "2 1/2", Daniel Seagle, Lincoln County, North Carolina, circa 1840. This jar features an unusual narrow-mouthed form and retains its original alkaline-glazed lid. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, consigned from the Southeastern U.S. H (including lid) 13".