Southern Stoneware Masterpiece. Exceedingly Rare and Important Seven-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Impressed and Cobalt-Highlighted Horse Motifs and Elaborate Brushed Floral Decoration, Stamped "S. BELL," Samuel Bell, Winchester, VA, circa 1840.
Considered to be the masterpiece of Shenandoah Valley potter, Samuel Bell, this outstanding jar features four horse designs in cantering and standing poses around the body of the jar. It stands as the only example of figural-decorated stoneware known to have been produced by Samuel Bell. In a broader context, decoration of this type and quality from the entire state of Virginia is considered extremely rare. The visual appeal of the horse designs is compounded by the jar's grand size, measuring seven gallons, the largest known capacity of a vessel from this potter's Winchester period of production. The method of decoration, involving an impressed template to form the horses' bodies, is a highly unusual treatment in American stoneware in general. The use of alternating images of a standing and moving horse is reminiscent of early efforts in the motion picture industry, imbuing a sense of motion and vitality to the jar. This iconic work is irrefutably the finest example of Virginia stoneware to come to auction in decades, and the most important piece of Bell family pottery to come to auction since this jar sold in 1978. Height 16". Provenance: Sotheby's Parke-Bernet Galleries, Feb. 1-3, 1978, lot #16; William E. Wiltshire, III Collection. Exhibitions: Williamsburg, Virginia, The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Collection, May 25 - October 4, 1975. Literature: Illustrated and discussed in Wiltshire, Folk Pottery of the Shenandoah Valley, New York, 1975, p. 52, pl. 17.
Outstanding Norton Discovery. Exceptional Three-Gallon Stoneware Water Cooler with Elaborate Cobalt-Decorated Scene Including Three Houses, a Reclining Stag, and Pheasant-on-Stump, Stamped "J. & E. NORTON / BENNINGTON, VT.," circa 1855. A wonderfully-decorated example featuring three of the Nortons iconic stoneware designs. The addition of a slip-trailed sky and profuse cobalt application around the bung hole are unusual treatments. Provenance: Recently found in a basement in Connecticut.
Very Rare Pair of Lead-Glazed Redware Squirrel Bottles, attributed to Rudolph Christ, Salem, NC, circa 1804-1829. The first pair of this iconic Southern form we have seen come to auction. Provenance: Recently discovered in a Florida home. Height (of each) approx. 7 3/8".
Rare Stoneware Batter Pail with Cobalt Hollow-Centered Grapes Decoration, Stamped "COWDEN & WILCOX / HARRISBURG, PA," circa 1865.
Outstanding Five-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Large-Sized Incised Decoration of an Owl and Two Birds with a Banner, attributed to Brayton & Kellogg, Utica, NY, circa 1827-1833. Height 15".
Exceedingly Rare Diminutive Stoneware Oyster Jar with Cobalt-Highlighted Advertising, "D.J. & Co. No. 24 / LUMBER STREET / N. YORK," Thomas Commeraw, Manhattan, NY, early 19th century. Made for African-American oysterman, Daniel Johnson, this jar is the only Commeraw oyster jar we have seen with applied cobalt in the impressed advertising. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased years ago in the Northeastern U.S. Height 5 3/8".
Historically Significant Snake Flask. Extremely Rare Albany-Slip-Glazed Stoneware Snake Flask, Incised "Harper's $500.00 / Little Brown Jug / 1883" and Signed and Dated on Underside "Anna Pottery / 1884," Wallace and Cornwall Kirkpatrick, Anna, IL. This fine example, of unusual large size and pinched flask form, references Illinois's Harper's High License Law of 1883. Inspired by the high license temperance movement, Harper's Law placed a minimum annual license fee of $500 for the sale of liquors, thereby drastically reducing the presence of saloons and other liquor establishments in Illinois. Height 8 3/4". Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor over thirty years ago. Found in the early 20th century on an Indian Reservation in Wewoka, OK. Literature: Reportedly illustrated and discussed in an early issue of Antiques Magazine.
Outstanding Sgraffito Jar. Exceedingly Rare and Important Slip-Decorated Redware Jar with Profuse Sgraffito Star, Tulip, and Heart Decorations, Dated 1820, attributed to Solomon Grimm, Rockland Township, Berks County, PA, 1820. This boldly-decorated example features stars with floral interiors and flame-like borders, flank by tulips emanating from a heart. For a similar example, see Pook & Pook, Collection of Lester and Barbara Breininger, Nov. 11, 2011, Lot #127. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, from a forty-year Mid-Atlantic antiques collection. H 7".
Important Southern Pottery Discovery. Exceedingly Rare Glazed Redware Mug with Profuse Three-Color Slip Decoration, Alamance County, North Carolina origin, late 18th or early 19th century. Coated in a reddish slip wash and profusely-decorated with tulip plants flanked by distinctive stripes and spots, this mug is one of a very few Alamance County mugs from this period known. H 6".
Exceptional Shenandoah Valley Multi-Glazed Redware Shaving Mug, attributed to J. Eberly & Co., Strasburg, VA, circa 1890. Outstanding color and remarkable condition. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased decades ago in the Mid-Atlantic region. H 4 1/2".
Rare Eight-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Profuse Stenciled Floral Decoration, Stenciled "JAMES HAMILTON / & CO. / GREENSBORO / PA," circa 1875. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example from a forty-year Mid-Atlantic collection.
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