Stoneware Decoration of Epic Proportions.
Extremely Rare and Important Four-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Large Cobalt Stampeding Elephant Decoration, Stamped "WEST TROY / N.Y. / POTTERY," circa 1875.
This jar features arguably the finest depiction of an elephant in American stoneware known, with a particularly large-sized design, which dominates the horizontal space of the jar's front. The decoration utilizes slip-trailed and brushed decorative techniques throughout, as well as negative space delineating the eye and ear of the animal. An exuberant, folk art quality is created with the heavy daubed and striped cobalt details throughout the elephant's body, the animal's boot-like feet, and the highly-stylized ground below. Coupled with the appealing subject matter and charming style of the design, is a wonderful sense of motion, conveyed with the creature's raised trunk and running stance. This decoration was likely inspired by the rise in popularity of the American circus during the latter half of the century, in which elephants such as Jumbo delighted large audiences. This recently-discovered jar survives in excellent overall condition and ranks as one of the most significant discoveries in New York State stoneware of the last decade or more. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, recently found in New England. H 14 1/2". View this lot in our online catalog.Click here to view our video about this piece.
Phenomenal Fish Cooler.
Extremely Rare and Important Five-Gallon Stoneware Cooler with Large Incised Fish Decoration, Inscribed "BRANDY", Stamped "TYLER & DILLON / ALBANY, NY", Moses Tyler and Charles Dillon, circa 1825-1834.
Discovered by the consignor's family in an attic in New York State during the 1950s, this outstanding cooler features one of the finest incised fish decorations we have seen on a piece of American stoneware. Measuring 8 1/2" long, the fish assumes an aggressive facial expression, including an open mouth revealing a tongue and numerous teeth. The decoration includes wonderful, stylized details throughout, including a sail-shaped dorsal fin, vein-like scaling to body, and a long, upswept tail with scalloped tip. The large inscription, "BRANDY", is incised in bold-faced letters with incised dashes throughout.
A few other closely-linked, keg-form coolers with incised fish decorations associated with Albany potter, Moses Tyler, are known. A second cooler, bearing the mark "TYLER & DILLON / ALBANY" and inscribed "BRANDY", is in the collection of the Albany Institute of Art. Another Tyler & Dillon cooler, inscribed "H. GIN", sold privately several years ago. A third, marked "M. TYLER & CO. / ALBANY", inscribed "H. GIN", and additionally decorated with a bee hive, is in the collection of the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
The similar penmanship among the incised liquor names and certain fine points of the incised fish motifs suggest a common maker or decorator to all four coolers. Moses Tyler's involvement in the production of all four, coupled with their superior craftsmanship, indicates he was the likely maker. In comparison to the three other mentioned coolers, the example in our July auction arguably features the best-colored cobalt slip decoration. Among the four, it is also the only example with a boldly-brushed star decorating the bunghole.
Very few pieces of American stoneware of this quality have remained unsurfaced for so long. This example epitomizes Albany stoneware production at its zenith during the 1820s to 1830s.
Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market, recently-discovered example, which was discovered by the consignor's family in the attic of an early house in New York State. H 15 3/4".
View this lot in our online catalog.Click here to view our video about this piece.
Important Wedding Jar.
Exceptional Diminutive Lidded Stoneware Presentation Jar with Two-Sided Incised Floral Decoration, Inscribed "Rachel Van Riper / November 10th, 1800", Manhattan, New York origin, 1800.
This extraordinary example of early incised stoneware ranks among the very best from the city of Manhattan to come to auction in many years. Its petite size is particularly rare for this time period, and few pieces bearing inscribed dates from this early era of production have survived.
This jar is dated one week before the jar's recipient, Rachel van Riper (1773-1853) of Belleville (outside Newark) New Jersey, married John Williams, according to a family genealogy. (Van Riper and Williams were married in Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, on November 17, 1800.)
Adding visual appeal and rarity to the jar is the inclusion of its original cobalt-decorated lid. While lidded jars from later time periods are known, pieces retaining their original covers from the early 19th century are extremely unusual.
While inconclusive, the distinctive penmanship on this jar may link it to the iconic incised Elizabeth Crane punchbowl and Henry Edoson incised bird flask, both of which are regarded as the pinnacle of American stoneware as an art form.
Provenance: Recent research into the jar's past indicates it was previously purchased in 1982 by the Stradlings at Christie's, New York for the then-impressive sum of $5,000. H (excluding lid) 6 1/4" ; H (including lid) 7".View this lot in our online catalog.Click here to view our video about this piece.
Important Edgefield Discovery.
Rare Alkaline-Glazed Stoneware Face Jug with Kaolin Eyes and Teeth, Edgefield, South Carolina origin, circa 1860. This outstanding example survives in strong condition, and features an unusual horizontal brow ridge and delicately-formed spout with narrow neck and pronounced molding.
An interesting aspect of this example is its eyes, which lack the typical incised pupils, and rattle freely inside their sockets. The Ceramics in America 2006 article, "Making Faces: Archaeological Evidence of African-American Face Jug Production" by Mark M. Newell and Peter Lenzo, discusses this phenomenon and how it may have been achieved:
After the vessel was thoroughly air-dried, preparation for glazing began with the application of wax to the eyes and teeth. This resist technique- the Edgefield potters probably used an application of beeswax- was employed to ensure that the eyes and teeth were left unglazed, and also might have allowed the teeth and eyes to move slightly. The intention, however, is unknown. There is some indication from Edgefield County sources that the effect may have been desirable- that is, the "best" face jugs had eyes that rolled and teeth that chattered. (Newell and Lenzo, Ceramics in America 2006).
Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, recently discovered in the Northeastern U.S. H 5".View this lot in our online catalog.Click here to view our video about this piece.
Important American Folk Sculpture.
Wonderful Stoneware Face Harvest Jug with Applied Coleslaw Hair, attributed to John Dollings at the Stine Pottery, White Cottage, Ohio, circa 1870. This visually-striking example by Ohio's premier face vessel maker features Dollings' classic sideways stare, deeply-carved teeth, and an exceptional, high-gloss Albany slip glaze, arguably the best surface we have seen on a Dollings example. Face vessels of this quality rarely become available in the open market, and Dollings' pieces are arguably the most finely-executed of all wheel-thrown and modeled American examples. This exciting offering seamlessly melds the stoneware collecting field with the folk art genre. It includes a strong publication history. Provenance: Ex-Frank and Barbara Pollock Antiques; Ex-Ballatine Collection; Ex-Meyer Collection. Illustrated: American Primitive Discoveries in Folk Sculpture by Ricco, Maresca, and Weissman, p.83, fig. 108; American Country Folk Art, Time Life Books, p. 85. H 9 3/4".View this lot in our online catalog.Click here to view our video about this piece.
Important Albany Cooler.
Three-Gallon Stoneware Keg-Form Cooler with Incised Fish Decoration and Profuse Cobalt Banding, Stamped "ATHERTON & TRICE. / ALBANY.", New York State origin, circa 1820-1826.
This rare cooler was produced under the firm of grocer, Stephen Atherton, and potter, James Trice. Their Washington Street shop was shared with potter brothers, Jonah and Calvin Boynton, for a number of years. Few examples of signed Atherton & Trice stoneware are known. The distinctive fish motif with curved body can be related to that found on the midsection of an iconic Paul Cushman churn, which is famously decorated with a cat churning butter and a fish suckling a cow. The Boynton brothers involvement at both the Cushman and Atherton & Trice operations suggests one of the two was the likely decorator of this cooler. This example is one of the finest works of Albany stoneware to come to auction in years, and is believed to be one of the finest Atheron & Trice pieces in existence. H 15". View this lot in our online catalog.
Important Shenandoah Valley Water Cooler.
Extremely Rare Six-Gallon Redware Keg Cooler with Multi-Glaze Decoration, Stamped "J. EBERLY & CO. / STRASBURG, VA.," late 19th century. Few redware coolers produced in the state of Virginia have survived. This example features a striking glaze reminiscent of the iconic Solomon Bell cooler with Daniel-in-the-Lion's-Den motif, which is on display at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, VA. This cooler is the only signed redware example produced by the Eberlys we are aware of. Provenance: Purchased by the consignor in the Strasburg area over a decade ago. H 17 1/2". View this lot in our online catalog.Click here to view our video about this piece.
Exceptional Shenandoah Valley Pitcher.
Monumental Three-Gallon Stoneware Pitcher with Profuse Cobalt Floral and Swag Decorations, Stamped "J. KEISTER & CO. / STRASBURG, VA", circa 1857-1870.
Outstanding in size, decoration, and form, this pitcher may be the finest example of Jeremiah Keister stoneware in existence. While a few important three-gallon pitchers by the potter's father, Adam, are known, this example is the only pitcher of this capacity by Jeremiah Keister we are aware of.
The distinctive cobalt decoration indicates it was likely made at Keister's shop by James Shinnick, a Baltimore-trained potter who was active in Alexandria, VA decades prior. Shinnick would also use similar designs on pieces he produced at a firm in Mt. Crawford, VA, with potters, Mathias Ireland and George Duey.
When considering the size, decoration, and maker, this pitcher can easily be regarded as one of the greatest Strasburg, VA pitchers known, as well as the best example to come to auction in over a decade.
Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor at a Bill Tillett and Craig Damewood Auction in Purcellville, VA on October 24, 1992. H 15".View this lot in our online catalog.
Stoneware Bank of Southern Interest.
Extremely Rare and Important Cobalt-Decorated Stoneware Bank, Inscribed "CONFEDERATE RELIEF BAZAR / BALTIMORE APRIL 7, 1885", Charles Hartung, Baltimore, MD, 1885.
Confederate Relief bazaars were held during the late 19th and early 20th centuries at the Fifth Regiment Armory in Baltimore to raise funds for poverty-stricken Confederate veterans. The 1901 bazaar was described as follows in the papers of the Southern Historical Society, an organization founded by Confederate Major General, Daubney Maury:
The Daughters of the Confederacy in Maryland held a popular and successful bazaar in the Fifth Regiment armory, Baltimore, December 2d to 11th ultimo, which yielded about $10,000 for the fund to erect a monument in Baltimore city to the Marylanders in the Confederate service. The monument will cost, perhaps, $25,000.
The heroism of the Maryland soldiers and sailors of the Confederate States is known and acknowledged by all intelligent and fair minded men and women in Maryland, as elsewhere. 'Young men and maidens, old men and children,' praise their valor and sacrifices for principle, and resound their deathless fame. All shades of religion and politics are represented by the contributors to the monument fund, even as when the two previous bazaars were held in the same place by the same noble women of Maryland in 1885 and 1893, to supply the means to provide for indigent and worthy Confederates in Maryland, who hail from all parts of the South, the proceeds of those two bazaars being collectively about $50,000.
A Southern bazaar was first held in Baltimore under the auspices of the ladies, in April, 1866, one year after the war, which yielded over $200,000, for the relief of suffering Southern people. Within a year thereafter the Legislature of Maryland appropriated $100,000 for like purpose. (Southern Historical Society Papers, Richmond, VA, Vol. XXIX, 1901).
The bank's maker, Charles Hartung, was born in 1844 in Bremen, Germany, and operated a stoneware manufactory at the corner of Frederick Road and Wilkens Street during the second half of the 19th century. An article in The Baltimore American (4/14/1885, p. 4, col. 3) states, "The pottery made expressly for the Bazar, with its stamp, by Charles Hartung, of the Frederick road, is all sold." Another article in The American (4/9/1885, p. 4, col.4-5) describes, "Almost every county in Maryland has sent some contribution to the state table. All the articles are selling well at a reasonable price. Just in the rear of the table is a manufactory of pottery, where jugs, vases, &c., are produced, with the stamp 'Confederate Relief Bazar' on the outside."
A scarce Baltimore stoneware form with exceptionally-rare, historical inscription related to the American South. This example is one of a very few American stoneware objects with an inscription referencing the Confederacy. H 8". View this lot in our online catalog.
Extremely Rare and Important Two-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Cobalt Floral Decoration, Stamped "ALBANY WARE", William Capron, Albany, NY, circa 1800-1805.View this lot in our online catalog.
Very Very Rare One-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Cobalt Crossed Flags Decoration, Stamped "HARRISBURG, PA," William Moyer or Cowden & Wilcox, circa 1858-1865. Few pieces of Harrisburg stoneware are known with patriotic themes. This example may have been inspired by events related to the Civil War.View this lot in our online catalog.
Important Cowden Presentation Set.
Exceedingly Rare Miniature Stoneware Pitcher and Mug Set with Finely-Incised Floral Decoration, attributed to Frederick H. Cowden, Harrisburg, PA, 1862. Pitcher inscribed "Jennie Dull / Harrisburg / Pa". Mug inscribed "Jennie Dull / 1862 / May".
Incised stoneware produced in Harrisburg, PA is nearly non-existent. The recent emergence of a similarly-decorated and incised pepper pot bearing the inscribed signature of potter, Frederick H. Cowden, indicates this set was also made by him. Frederick Cowden, the son of potter, John Wallace Cowden, was active at his father's shop shortly before his enlistment in the Union Army during the Civil War. This exceedingly rare set, bearing the date 1862, was made during this brief period. Frederick Cowden would later assume ownership of his father's shop in 1872, using the well-known marks "F.H. COWDEN / HARRISBURG, PA" and "F.H. COWDEN / HARRISBURG" to sign his wares. H (of pitcher) 2 7/8" ; H (of mug) 2 7/8". View this lot in our online catalog.Click here to view our video about this piece.
Outstanding Six-Gallon Stoneware Crock with Cobalt Bird and Floral Decorations, Stamped "HARRINGTON & BURGER / ROCHESTER," New York State origin, circa 1852-1854.View this lot in our online catalog.
Outstanding and Very Rare Five-Gallon Stoneware Apothecarist's Jug with Cobalt Quail Decoration, Stamped "HAXSTUN, OTTMAN & CO. / FORT EDWARD, N.Y.," Inscribed "Tincture ARNICA", circa 1870.
The Arnica plant is a member of the sunflower family native to Europe and has been used for centuries as a healing remedy and pain reliever. View this lot in our online catalog.
Extremely Rare Two-Gallon Stoneware Epitaph Crock with Cobalt Inscription "SOLD BUT NO STAMPS", Stamped "BROWN BROTHER / HUNTINGTON, L.I.," New York State origin, circa 1870-1885. Provenance: Donald Matties Collection. Literature: Illustrated on page 44, fig. 48 of USEFUL ART Long Island Pottery, Cynthia Aarps Corbett, Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, 1985.View this lot in our online catalog.
Rare Slip-Decorated Redware Charger with Double Pinwheel Decoration, Huntington, Long Island, New York origin, circa 1807-1860. One of the finest examples of Huntington redware we have ever offered, surviving in remarkable condition. Provenance: Donald Matties Collection; Crocker Farm, Inc., 2012. Diameter 14".View this lot in our online catalog.
Fine and Rare Miniature Glazed Redware Pitcher and Bowl Set, Stamped "JOHN BELL", WAYNESBORO, PA, circa 1840-1880. H (of pitcher) 4 3/4" ; H (of bowl) 2 3/8" ; Diameter (of bowl) 5 3/8".View this lot in our online catalog.
Exceptional Connecticut Jug.
Very Rare and Important Half-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Elaborate Cobalt Watchspring, Stylized Grape, and "Fish Scale" Decorations, attributed to Abraham Mead, Greenwich, CT, circa 1790. Mead stoneware remains some of the most coveted and rarest of all Connecticut stoneware products, and few pieces have come to market in the last several years. A small number of surviving Mead family pieces represent some of the earliest dated American stoneware objects known. This example, potted in a pleasing small size, survives in excellent condition. H 8 3/4". View this lot in our online catalog.
Extremely Rare One-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Large Incised Flowering Plant Decoration, Stamped "T. WARNE. Co / SOUTH AMBOY", New Jersey origin, circa 1797-1805. One of a small number of extant stoneware pieces from South Amboy, New Jersey with freehand incising.View this lot in our online catalog.
Exceptional Western PA Cake Crock.
One-and-a-Half-Gallon Stoneware Cake Crock with Cobalt Floral Decoration, Stamped "J. SWANK & CO. / JOHNSTOWN, PA" and Inscribed on Underside "Newton Swank / The Best Work Man in the Shop / 1877". Featuring the whimsical signature of potter, Newton Swank, this significant new discovery survives as one of the finest Swank cake crocks known. Provenance: Recently discovered in Colorado.View this lot in our online catalog.
Extremely Rare Three-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Profuse Cobalt Floral Decoration, Stenciled "RICE & BROYLES / (?) MONUMENT / POTTERY / LINDSIDE, W. VA.," circa 1875. View this lot in our online catalog.
Extremely Rare Miniature Stoneware Bowl with Cobalt Floral and Foliate Motifs, attributed to the Thompson Pottery, Morgantown, WV, circa 1875. Examples of this size from the Thompson Pottery, West Virginia's most revered stoneware operation, are considered highly unusual. H 2" ; Diameter 3 5/8".View this lot in our online catalog.
Exquisite Temperance Jug.
Very Rare Diminutive Stoneware Temperance Jug with Elaborate Applied Figural Decorations and Frog Stopper, probably Boonville, MO, Dated 1886.
This whimsically-decorated example is the smallest of its type we have handled. The applied decorations include a central molded bust of a top-hatted man, two striped and spotted lizards, a turtle, a snake coiled around the handle and ascending the jug's front, and a dung beetle. The inclusion of a fish at the base is most unusual, and is the first we have seen on an American temperance jug. The reverse includes a wonderful applied decoration of a man lying in a grave, the figure formed from the same mold as the bust on the jug's front. A tiny molded jug lies at his side, and the figure's head leans against a tombstone incised with a cross and inscribed "DIED 1886". The jug's original stopper, a remarkable survivor, features a seated frog with elaborate incised detail throughout. Provenance: Recently discovered in Florida. H (excluding stopper) 7 1/8" ; H (including stopper) 8 1/4".View this lot in our online catalog.
Outstanding and Very Rare Large-Sized Master Inkwell with Profuse Slip-Trailed Cobalt Decoration, attributed to Jacob B. Caire, Poughkeepsie, NY, circa 1840. A true master of the inkwell form in both size and decoration. Arguably the finest American stoneware inkwell to come to auction in years. H 2 5/8" ; Diameter 7 3/4".View this lot in our online catalog.Click here to view our video about this piece.
Exceptional Redware Pedestal-Based Urn with Applied Flowering Urn Motifs and Grape-Cluster Handles, Stamped Twice "JOHN BELL / WAYNESBORO" and Once "JOHN BELL", Inscribed "V.C. Bell / 1874", Pennsylvania origin, 1874. This skillfully thrown and decorated example was made or decorated by John Bell's son, Victor Conrad Bell. H 9 1/2".View this lot in our online catalog.
Outstanding Two-Gallon Stoneware Epitaph Crock with Cobalt Stars Decoration, Inscribed "HOLD YOUR TONGUE", Stamped "BROWN BROTHER. / HUNTINGTON, L.I.," circa 1870-1885. Provenance: Purchased at a Huntington area auction in the 1970s.View this lot in our online catalog.
Outstanding West Virginia Presentation Piece.
Miniature Stoneware Pitcher with Cobalt Fuchsia Decoration and Spotted Handle, Incised "Clara Herdman / 1877" and "Compliments W.D.", Walter Donaghho, Parkersburg, WV.
This delicately-thrown piece was made by Walter Donaghho, son of renowned Fredericktown, PA and Parkersburg, WV potter, Alexander P. Donaghho. Walter was born circa 1860 and is listed in the 1870 Parkersburg, WV census as an eleven-year-old boy living with his father. The same census lists "Clara Herdman," age nine, living a very short distance from the Donaghho family. Clara, whose father, Thomas, was a farm hand, would have been about sixteen years old in 1877, about the same age as Walter, who was seventeen at the time. By 1880, the Herdmans had apparently left Parkersburg, and Walter Donaghho, twenty, was listed as a "Professor of Penmanship." This small pitcher was presumably given as a token of affection from seventeen-year-old Walter to his lady friend. H 3 1/8".View this lot in our online catalog.
Exceptional Large-Sized Stoneware Jug with Impressed and Cobalt-Highlighted Fish Decorations, Stamped "BOSTON," Jonathan Fenton, Boston, MA, late 18th century. Featuring an elegant early form, this jug includes two variants of Fenton's iconic fish design, an extremely rare decorative treatment. H 17 3/4".View this lot in our online catalog.
Very Rare Glazed Redware Jar with Bold Yellow Slip Foliate Decoration, New England origin, possibly Captain John Norton, Bennington, VT, late 18th or early 19th century. Surviving in remarkable condition, this wonderfully-decorated jar shares similarities to an iconic redware jug with slip foliate decoration, which descended in the Norton family of potters. H 9 1/2". View this lot in our online catalog.
Important Manhattan Jar.
Exceedingly Rare Three-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Elaborate Incised Floral Decoration, Stamped "DAVID MORGAN," Corlears Hook, Manhattan, NY, circa 1800.
This outstanding jar is one of a very few known examples of David Morgan stoneware with freehand incised decorations. The bold fan-shaped floral motif, which adorns both sides, is in the manner of the earliest signed pieces by Corlears Hook potter, Thomas Commeraw. H 15".View this lot in our online catalog.
Important New Jersey Jar.
Large-Sized Stoneware Preserve Jar with Coggled Column Decoration, Stamped "MADE BY / XERXES PRICE / AT S AMBOY", Sayreville, NJ origin, circa 1805. This nicely-thrown jar with inset rim was likely designed to hold fruit or possibly oysters. While Xerxes Price is one of the most well-known and revered of all early New Jersey potters, very few signed examples of his work are known. A large body of stoneware pieces, decorated with impressed circular seals depicting a variety of designs, are credited to his hand. H 10 1/4". View this lot in our online catalog.
New Jersey Rarity.
Extremely Rare and Important Three-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Cobalt Pomegranate Decoration, attributed to the Kemple Pottery, Ringoes, New Jersey, circa 1746-1795.
One of a small number of intact examples known from the Kemple Pottery. For more information, see "The Eighteenth-Century New Jersey Stoneware Potteries of Captain James Morgan and the Kemple Family" by Golderg, Warwick, and Warwick in Ceramics in America 2008. H 14 1/2".View this lot in our online catalog.
Extremely Rare Presentation Stoneware Batter Pail with Freehand Cobalt Decoration, Inscribed "Presented / To / Mr & Mrs T C Alvater / By / John Kunsman / Oct 1st 1899", John Kunsman at the Fulper Pottery, Flemington, New Jersey, 1899.
John Kunsman, Fulper Pottery's master potter, is most well-known for the role he played in the development of the company's art pottery line in the early 20th century. Around the year 1900, Kunsman began experimenting with forms and glazes in the Arts & Crafts style, which were sold to visitors outside of the pottery. His artware, taken by company owner, William H. Fulper II, to the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition, won a prize of honorable mention for their design. This batter pail, potted in a small three-quart size, exemplifies Kunsman's style on the cusp of the company's transition from utilitarian stoneware to modern art pottery. H 8".View this lot in our online catalog.
Exceedingly Rare and Fine Molded Stoneware Coffeepot, Stamped "D. & J. HENDERSON / JERSEY CITY", David and John Henderson, Jersey City, New Jersey, circa 1829-1833. Featuring an exceptional, high-styled form with figural handle and griffon-head spout, this example also includes an elusived maker's mark, in which the impression is reversed. H 9 1/2".
One of three Henderson examples being offered in our July auction.View this lot in our online catalog.
Exceptional Six-Gallon Stoneware Crock with Cobalt Double-Bird-on-Stump Decoration, Stamped "ALBANY NY," circa 1860. This exuberantly-decorated piece is one of the finest examples bearing this mark we have ever offered. The rare depiction of two facing birds is complemented by heavily slip-trailed ground cover with a split-rail fence.View this lot in our online catalog.
Rare Cobalt-Decorated Stoneware Bank, Inscribed "Jesse Leister / 1872", attributed to Richard C. Remmey, Philadelphia, PA. H 4 3/4".
The recipient of the bank is probably the Jesse Leister listed in the 1870 census as a 9-year-old schoolboy living in the same Philadelphia city ward as the Remmey shop--making him about 11 years old when the bank was gifted to him.View this lot in our online catalog.
Exceptional Glazed Redware Jugs with Bold Yellow Slip "Moon" Decorations, Galena, IL origin, second half 19th century. The finest examples of Galena redware we have ever offered. H 12 1/2". View this lot in our online catalog.
Very Fine Miniature Stoneware Pitcher with Detailed Cobalt Floral Decoration, Ohio origin, probably Westhafer & Lambright, Tuscawaras County, circa 1865. H 5 1/2".View this lot in our online catalog.
Rare Four-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Folky Cobalt Deer and Tree Decoration, Stamped "WHITES UTICA", New York State origin, circa 1865. The unusual deer on this jar differs from most Whites Utica deer motif, which are often attributed to decorator, John Hilfinger, and fashioned in the Bennington style. Provenance: Purchased by the consignor over twenty years ago.View this lot in our online catalog.
Rare Eight-Gallon Stoneware Water Cooler with Cobalt Double-Bird Decoration, Stamped "O.L. & A.K. BALLARD / BURLINGTON, VT.", circa 1870. H 17".View this lot in our online catalog.
Outstanding and Very Rare Five-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Profuse Cobalt Star and Foliate Decorations, Stamped "JOHN MILLAR / CHEAP CASH STORE / LEORIGNAL CW", Canadian origin, circa 1860.View this lot in our online catalog.
Important Sgraffito Plate.
Exuberant Sgraffito-Decorated Redware Plate with Elaborate Flowering Urn Decoration, Dated 1803, Stamped on Reverse "A.U", Andrew Uhler, Southeastern Pennsylvania origin, 1803.
At least four other Uhler plates belong in three prominent museum collections. An example at Winterthur is dated 1805, a second at The Metropolitan Museum of Art bears the date 1810, and two at the Philadelphia Museum of Art are also dated 1810.
The plate to be auctioned bears the earliest date we have seen on an Andrew Uhler plate (1803), and is also the most profusely-decorated we are aware of. It appears that, by 1810, his designs decreased in ornamentation. In addition, while other Uhler plates are known with incised signatures or initials on the front, this example is the only we are aware of bearing the potter's impressed maker's stamp on the reverse. It is likely that Uhler employed a stamp on his products early in his career, and, by 1805, had changed his signature to an incised inscription. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased privately by the consignor approximately twenty-five years ago. Literature: For a Uhler plate in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, see Garvin, The Pennsylvania-German Collection, p. 205. Diameter 10 1/4". View this lot in our online catalog.Click here to view our video about this piece.
Rare Slip-Decorated Redware Loaf Dish with Inscribed Cursive "L", Huntington, Long Island, New York origin, circa 1807-1860. Provenance: Donald Matties Collection. L 14 1/2".View this lot in our online catalog.
Very Rare Albany-Slip-Glazed Presentation Stoneware Butter Crock, Inscribed "Grand-Mamma from Her Good Girl", attributed to the Brown Brothers Pottery, Huntington, Long Island, New York, circa 1880. H 3 1/4" ; Diameter 5 3/4".View this lot in our online catalog.
Outstanding Two-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Incised and Impressed Floral Decorations, Stamped "C. CROLIUS / MANUFACTURER / MANHATTAN-WELLS / NEW-YORK," early 19th century.View this lot in our online catalog.
Rare Open-Handled Stoneware Water Cooler with Elaborate Impressed Decoration, possibly Charlestown Area, MA origin, early 19th century. This wonderfully-shaped example measures approximately five gallons. H 14 1/2".View this lot in our online catalog.
Exceptional Shenandoah Valley Multi-Glazed Redware Pitcher and Bowl Set, attributed to S. Bell & Sons, Strasburg, VA, circa 1890. This set survives in the best condition of any Shenandoah Valley pitcher and bowl set we have handled. It appears almost unused with a few chips, and retains a brilliantly-glazed surface with strong luster. Examples in this high-grade condition are considered very rare. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor's father during the second quarter of the 20th century. H (of pitcher) 11 1/4" ; Diameter (of bowl) 17 1/2".View this lot in our online catalog.
An Important Link to the Westerwald Style.
Outstanding Three-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Incised Floral Design and Two-Color Slip Decoration, probably Manhattan, NY, possibly Clarkson Crolius, Sr., circa 1775-1795.
This beautifully-decorated example features alternating slip highlights in cobalt and manganese throughout the design, which link it to American stoneware's ancestry in the Westerwald region of Germany. The incised combing within the flowers and leaves, along with the incised stems produced from a three-pronged stylus, are also related to German examples of the 17th through 18th centuries.
The rounded blossoms resemble some incised designs from the Captain James Morgan Pottery of Cheesequake, as well as the distinctive slip-trailed pomegranate motifs of the Kemple Pottery of Ringoes, New Jersey. Moreover, the wide spout of this jug can be found on a number of early Morgan examples from Cheesequake. However, sherds excavated at both of these potteries reveal a much more naive style to their incised designs. The artistry of the incising on this example, including the scalloped leaves and crossing stems, indicate it was probably made in Manhattan, NY, possibly by Clarkson Crolius, Sr..
Few surviving examples of American stoneware exhibit such a close relationship to our nation's German potting heritage. H 16 1/4". View this lot in our online catalog.
Very Rare and Important One-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Impressed Decoration, Stamped "COERLEARS HOOK / N. YORK," Thomas Commeraw, Manhattan, New York, circa 1800.
This example features the very rare maker's mark of African-American potter, Thomas Commeraw, used during his earliest period of production, in which an extra "E" is added to the word "CORLEARS". Typically, this mark is found on examples bearing freehand incised floral decorations. A small number of pieces, such as this lot, feature this mark with Commeraw's classic impressed designs, used later in his career. It can be assumed that this jar was made during a relatively brief transitional period, between Commeraw's earliest incised pieces and later pots with impressed decoration.View this lot in our online catalog.
Exceptional One-Gallon Stoneware Jug with J.F. Cartouche, Stamped "BOSTON", Jonathan Fenton, Boston, MA, late 18th century. This example features a fine, whitish clay and brilliant cobalt. H 12 1/2".View this lot in our online catalog.
Very Rare and Important New England Stoneware Jug with Incised Foliate Decoration, Stamped "ORCUTT & WAIT / WHATELY", Massachusetts origin, circa 1815-1817. One of a smaller number of incised stoneware pieces made at the early Whately, Massachusetts pottery of Stephen Orcutt and brothers, Luke and Obediah Wait. H 13". View this lot in our online catalog.
Important Edgefield Jug.
Exceptional Five-Gallon Double-Handled Jug with Elaborate Two-Color Slip Floral Decoration, attributed to Collin Rhodes, Shaws Creek, Edgefield, SC origin, circa 1850.
This wonderfully-decorated example features classic Rhodes' floral motifs in kaolin and iron slip on both sides, overlying an olive-colored alkaline glaze. The shoulder and left side of the jug include beautiful glaze runs in a dark-green hue.
The outstanding surface of this example is coupled with a stunning, double-handled jug form with rotund body, tiered spout, and ribbed straps at the shoulder. H 16 1/2". View this lot in our online catalog.Click here to view our video about this piece.
Outstanding Seven-Gallon Alkaline-Glazed Stoneware Jar, Incised "F / may 2 1851" and "Lm", attributed to Dave, Lewis Miles' Stoney Bluff Manufactory, Edgefield, SC, 1851.
This example features a beautiful rust-and-olive-colored alkaline glaze, good size, and a bold form characteristic of Dave's work. Its high collar and slight lean add to its charm.
The addition of a script capital "F" in Dave's hand is unusual, and the meaning of which is currently unclear. It may have signified another potter involved with the jar's manufacture. The reverse includes seven punctuates at the shoulder, indicating seven gallons. Two slashes additionally appear at the shoulder on the reverse.
The inscribing of a date on one side of the jar and the initials "Lm" (for Lewis Miles) on the opposite side is unusual. Most pieces by Dave include both of these inscriptions on the same side of the vessel. H 17".View this lot in our online catalog.
Rare Nine-Gallon Alkaline-Glazed Stoneware Jar with Iron Slip Decoration, attributed to Thomas Chandler, Edgefield, SC, circa 1850. Exceptional size. H 18 1/2".View this lot in our online catalog.
Fine Two-Gallon Alkaline-Glazed Stoneware Jar with Heavy Glaze Runs, Stamped with Inverted "V" Twice at Base, Pottersville, SC origin, circa 1820. Excellent form and glaze. H 11 1/2". View this lot in our online catalog.
Extremely Rare Ten-Gallon Stoneware Water Cooler with Profuse Cobalt Floral Decoration, Baltimore, MD origin, circa 1850. Exceptional size, form, and decoration, featuring two different Baltimore motifs on each side. A similar example bearing the mark of potter, William A. Prince, indicates this cooler was likely made by him. H 19 1/2".View this lot in our online catalog.
Rare Three-Gallon Stoneware Pitcher with Bold Cobalt Clover Decoration, Baltimore, MD origin, probably William A. Prince, circa 1850. American stoneware pitchers of this size are considered scarce. This example is the finest Baltimore clover-decorated pitcher of this size we have seen, featuring lavish cobalt brushwork with an enamel-like thickness to the slip. A few examples of Baltimore stoneware bearing the signature of potter, William A. Prince, indicate this pitcher was likely made by him. H 14 3/4".View this lot in our online catalog.
Exceptional Stoneware Presentation Bank with Elaborate Stepped Finial and Cobalt Floral Decoration, Inscribed "H x S /March 8, 1828", attributed to Henry Remmey, Sr. at Henry Myers' Baltimore Stoneware Manufactory, Baltimore, MD, 1828.
This tour-de-force of the bank form includes a skillfully-potted, five-step finial with notched and carved embellishments. The distinctive floral motif and color of the clay and decoration indicate it was made by Henry Remmey, Sr. in Baltimore, shortly before joining his son in Philadelphia in 1829. The New-York-trained Remmey, Sr., patriarch of a large family of successful potters in Maryland and Pennsylvania, is regarded as one of the most important stoneware potters in American history. Much of his work is noted for a level of ornamentation rarely seen in this medium.
This bank is arguably the finest Baltimore stoneware example of the form in existence, and is also the earliest documented. As most American stoneware banks date to the 1840s or later, this example assumes a certain level of importance by its age alone.
A few other banks with five-stepped finials are known, all of which are believed to be lesser in quality and ornamentation. Among them are a presentation bank, which was made for Walter Cooke, and sold at Christie's on June 3rd, 1995, lot #255. This example lacked a date, had only one notched step, and was significantly less decorated. A second bank at Winterthur has no notching, and lacks a presentation inscription. It is pictured in plate #227 of Webster's iconic book, Decorated Stoneware of North America.
When taking into account the exuberance of the form, its maker, age, and strong cobalt decoration, the bank to be auctioned ranks as one of the finest American stoneware examples of the form to cross the block in years. H 7".View this lot in our online catalog.Click here to view our video about this piece.
Extremely Rare Half-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Incised Decoration, Stamped "J. REMMEY / MANHATTAN-WELLS / NEW-YORK," circa 1810. This jar ranks as one of the finest John Remmey stoneware pieces we have ever offered. It is one of only two half-gallon, handled jars by this important Manhattan maker we have auctioned. The addition of incising around the maker's mark classifies this pot as the finer of the two. H 7 5/8".View this lot in our online catalog.
Outstanding Southern Flask.
Exceptional Stoneware Presentation Flask with Cobalt Star and Floral Decoration, Inscribed "C. Chain / 1851", Virginia origin, probably James River Basin, 1851.
This personal drinking vessel includes flattened sides, a small strap handle, and a distinctive, heavily-tooled spout, which relates to those found on pieces produced decades prior at Benjamin DuVal's stoneware manufactory in Richmond, VA.
The unusual name, C. Chain, may refer to the free African-American, Cold Chain, who is listed in the 1830 Federal Census as living in Richmond.
The identity of the abstract rectangular design on the reverse is currently unknown. It possibly represents a monument, book, tree stump, or well.
Very few decorated stoneware flasks from the state of Virginia have survived. The extreme rarity of this example is met with strong decorative appeal in its pleasant handled form, heavy cobalt brushwork, and freehand presentation inscription.
Provenance: Originally surfaced over a decade ago at a Virginia auction. A less-elaborate example by the same maker, lacking the inscription, profuse decoration, and handle, was offered at Leland Little Auction in Hillsborough, NC in 2007. It had been found in Warren County, NC. H 6 1/2".View this lot in our online catalog.
Important Figural Bank.
Exceedingly Rare Large-Sized Redware African-American Preacher Bank with Original Cold-Painted Surface, probably Southern or Mid-Atlantic origin, circa 1840.
A striking example of American ceramic folk sculpture, this bank includes wonderful details indicating the work of a skilled and imaginative potter. These features include a finely-modeled face, a wheel-thrown preacher's hat with upturned brim, and ribbed strap handles applied at a slight angle, which simulate arms clutching the figure's belly. A delicately-formed shirt collar is fashioned from two twisted pieces of clay.
The form and subject matter are stylistically similar to the iconic African-American stoneware torso figures of Alabama. However, no definitive link can be made between this bank and any specific pottery or region. Among known American ceramic face and figural vessels, the bank form is easily one of the rarest.
Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, discovered years ago by the consignor. H 9".
View this lot in our online catalog.
Exceptional Shenandoah Valley Flowerpot.
Extremely Rare Stoneware Flowerpot with Profuse Cobalt Decoration, attributed to Solomon Bell, Strasburg, VA, circa 1870. This outstanding example of the flowerpot form includes a double-crimped rim, elaborate impressed key-tip decoration, and incised embellishments.
This specific example is illustrated and discussed in H.E. Comstock's The Pottery of the Shenandoah Valley Region. Of this flowerpot, Comstock writes:
The Strasburg shop did not produce many salt-glazed flowerpots. Few specimens have survived, and rarely are they of the same quality as that in figure 5.75. Made to be coupled with a detached saucer, this flowerpot has decorative embellishments characteristic of Solomon Bell products. The unusual cobalt decoration and the use of a key end to punch decorate, as seen on the vessel neck area, occurs on other examples of Solomon's marked ware as well as on the products of the Waynesboro Bells and Jacob Heart. (Comstock, p. 224).
As noted by Comstock, very few salt-glazed flowerpots from Strasburg are known. We are aware of only one other comparable example. Bearing the mark of J. Eberly & Bro., it is potted in a similar form, includes less-elaborate cobalt brushwork and lacks the punched and incised embellishments.
Literature: Illustrated and discussed in Comstock, The Pottery of the Shenandoah Valley Region, p. 224, fig. 5.75. H 7 3/8".
View this lot in our online catalog.
Very Rare Shenandoah Valley of Virginia Redware Flowerpot with Mocha-Style Seaweed Decoration, Stamped "SOLOMON BELL / STRASBURG / Va.," circa 1875.
One of a small number of Bell family flowerpots known with seaweed decoration modeled after fine English mochaware. H 7 3/4".
View this lot in our online catalog.
Rare Large-Sized Stoneware Chicken Waterer with Profuse Cobalt Floral Decoration, attributed to the Richard C. Remmey, Philadelphia, PA, circa 1875. One of the finest examples of this desirable form we have ever offered. H 12".View this lot in our online catalog.
Outstanding Double-Stenciled Cooler.
Exceptional Four-Gallon Stoneware Water Cooler with Cobalt Decoration, Stenciled "E.J. MILLER & CO. / QUEENSWARE & C. / ALEXANDRIA. VA." and "JAMES HAMILTON & / MANUFACTURER / GREENSBORO. PA.", circa 1875.
Numerous examples of stenciled stoneware made for Alexandria, VA merchant, Elisha Janney Miller, by Greensboro, PA potters are known. This example survives as one of the very best. The cooler form is highly unusual among the surviving body of work made for Miller's business, and the employment of a vertically-stenciled signature along with the advertising adds significantly to its rarity and visual appeal. This cooler also includes perhaps the best color and contrast we have seen on a piece of Miller advertising stoneware. An outstanding offering, which appeals to both Western PA and Virginia collecting interests. H 15".View this lot in our online catalog.
Exceedingly Rare and Important Four-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Profuse Cobalt Flowering Urn Decoration, Stamped "M. & T. MILLER / NEWPORT, PA", circa 1870.
This jug typifies why stoneware pieces made at the Newport, PA Pottery of Michael and Theophilus Miller are so highly prized. With few exceptions, the extravagance of this design is unknown in American stoneware production. The lavish floral spray, which emanates from the urn and extends to the shoulder and sides of the jug, includes a variety of Miller motifs: spitting tulips, graduated blossoms, large veined leaves, corkscrewing tendrils, and two undulating vines flowing over the urn's rim. Many of the best Miller pieces feature designs that cover much of the vessel's front; the sizes of designs in comparison to the pots, and the amount of cobalt used, appeared to be of little concern to the decorator's artistic whim. This example presents the Millers' exuberance and artistry in decoration more than other piece from this pottery we have seen. H 15 1/2".View this lot in our online catalog.
Exceptional Cowden Figural Design.
Extremely Rare Four-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Large Cobalt Peacock-on-Branch Decoration, Stamped "COWDEN & WILCOX / HARRISBURG, PA", circa 1865.
The peacock decoration on this jug is one of the finest bird designs known on an example of Cowden & Wilcox stoneware, and includes a large sweeping crest, long tail with heavily-stylized "bulls-eye" details, and a shaded branch with outcropping.
The design is slip-trailed, an unusual and desirable decorative treatment for this pottery, indicative of the influence of New York State potteries, such as that operated by Thompson Harrington of Lyons. The design covers most of the jug's front, measuring an impressive 10 3/4" tall, and exhibits outstanding color. This example ranks as one of the greatest Harrisburg stoneware objects we have ever offered. H 15 3/4". View this lot in our online catalog.
Rare Two-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Elaborate Slip-Trailed Cobalt Floral Decoration, Stamped "JOHN YOUNG & CO. / HARRISBURG, PA", circa 1856-1858.View this lot in our online catalog.
Click images to enlarge.