Spectacular Snake Jug. Outstanding Stoneware Temperance Jug with Applied Figural Decoration, attributed to Jacob Bachley, Texarkana Pottery, Texarkana, AR, circa 1885. This recently-discovered work features entwined snakes surrounding a large lizard, a beetle, a centipede, a hornet, a molded fly, and a turtle. Rare decorative elements in the form of African-American and Caucasian faces appear on opposing sides of the vessel. The surface of the jug is covered in a salt glaze with an underlying Albany slip coating to the rustic-carved body and manganese highlights throughout the figural decorations.
This jug is closely-related in form and subject matter to examples produced by Wallace and Cornwall Kirkpatrick of Anna, IL. While the use of snakes and animals to ornament the jug are clear links to the Anna style, the use of an African-American head has also been observed on at least one signed Kirkpatrick temperance jug produced during the 1860s. The juxtaposition of this face with a second Caucasian face, as seen on this jug, is most unusual. Of lesser note is the applied beetle near the shoulder, which appears to be modeled after a larger insect sculpture made by the Kirkpatricks, known as the "Cairo Humbug".
The strong likeness of the snakes to those created by the Kirkpatrick brothers suggests the maker of this jug was highly familiar with their work, possibly a previous employee. The refined modeling of their heads and bodies can be linked to the hand of the "Texarkana Pottery Man", Jacob Bachley. Snakes of the style seen on this jug can be observed on two temperance flasks made by Bachley, which were sold through Crocker Farm, Inc. in 2005 and 2012.
This jug is a significant addition to a slowly-growing body of temperance stoneware pieces produced throughout the Central and Southcentral U.S. during the 1870 to 1890 time period. The craftsmanship of this example further validates Bachley as a master ceramic folk artist.
Outstanding Two-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Exuberant Cobalt Rooster Decoration, Stamped "GEDDES, N.Y.," William H. Farrar, Geddes, NY, third quarter 19th century. With exceptional detail, size, and color to the decoration, this jug is one of the finest rooster-decorated stoneware pieces we have ever offered. Farrar includes his distinctive heavily-slip-trailed base below the bird, in this case possibly representing something more specific than usual, possibly a nest or basket.
Important Dave Discovery. Early Alkaline-Glazed Double-Handled Stoneware Jug, Incised "Dave" and Impressed "C"', Dave at the John or Abner Landrum Potteries, Pottersville or Horse Creek Valley, Edgefield, SC, circa 1825-1840. This jug presents possible new insight into the incised "horseshoe" markings found on Dave's Stony Bluff products of later years. The impressed, rotated letter "C" at the jug's base suggests that the potter's so-called incised "horseshoe" marking, found on so many of his pieces, is actually a later iteration of a C stamp used earlier in his career. Dave probably chose to incise the C on subsequent pieces simply because he no longer had access to the stamp. Carl Steen's archaeological studies of the Reverend John Landrum site have determined that the C stamp was used at his pottery and was one of the rarest letter stamps employed there. While Dave was owned by John Landrum during the 1840s, the distinctive handle applications on this jug, which involve the handles terminating into the spout itself, suggest an earlier period of manufacture. The jug's handle attachment, lesser-known in Edgefield stoneware production, is exhibited on an important jug bearing an incised 1821 date and attributed to Abner Landrum's Pottersville manufactory, where Dave was employed early in his career. This jug is the first example of signed Dave stoneware we are aware of to include an impressed letter in the style of Edgefield's first stoneware operations. The rarity and importance of this jug is compounded by its elusive double-handled jug form. Double-handled jugs remain one of the most prized utilitarian forms of the American South and only a few examples signed by Dave are known. This exciting, recently-surfaced piece by Edgefield's premier potter may be regarded as Dave's earliest signed work in existence.
Incised Southern Rarity. Exceedingly Rare Four-Gallon Open-Handled Stoneware Water Cooler with Incised Bird Decoration, Dated in Cobalt "1840", attributed to John Floyd, Graves Pottery, Knox County, TN, 1840.
Exceptional Figural Decoration. Possibly Unique Two-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Cobalt Decoration of a Hatted Rider with Whip atop a Horse, Stamped "M. TYLER. MANUFACTURER / WASHINGTON .ST .ALBANY.", New York State origin, circa 1835. This design is exceedingly rare in American stoneware production in general and virtually unknown in the potting tradition of Albany, which typically utilized incised fish and bird motifs on its best work. H 12 3/4".
Rare Six-Gallon Stoneware Churn with Cobalt Seated Lion Decoration, Stamped "J. BURGER. JR. / ROCHESTER. N.Y.", circa 1885. The lion motif remains one of the most iconic of Northeastern U.S. stoneware designs. The animal's seated stance on this churn is highly unusual among known Burger family products. H 20".
Baltimore Bird. Extremely Rare One-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Incised Bird Decoration, attributed to Henry Remmey, Sr., Baltimore, MD, circa 1820. Very few Baltimore stoneware jugs are known with decoration of any sort, and this example is first we have seen featuring an incised design by the Remmey family. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor twenty years ago. H 11 1/2".
Edgefield Discovery. Rare Alkaline-Glazed Stoneware Face Jug with Glazed Kaolin Eyes and Teeth, Miles Mill Pottery, Edgefield District, South Carolina origin, circa 1870. This recent discovery was likely produced early in the output of face vessels at Miles Mill. The spout lacks the flattened molding distinctive to Miles Mill pieces. In addition, this example displays a more ovoid form and features glazing to the eyes, traits uncommon to the majority of Miles Mils face vessels known. Literature: An example by the same hand or school of craftsmanship is pictured on p. 80 of Baldwin's Great and Noble Jar and resides in the collection of the Charleston Museum, Charleston, SC. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, consigned from the same source as lot #209 in our October 17, 2015 auction and lot #354 in our March 19, 2016 auction. H 6".
Important and Possibly Unique Stoneware Puzzle Mug with Cobalt Floral Decoration, attributed to Richard C. Remmey, Philadelphia, PA, circa 1875. This outstanding work is the only American stoneware example of a puzzle mug in the English style that we are aware of, produced at one of the nation's most well-known and collected pottery operations. Typical English puzzle mugs utilize a piercing in the body of the vessel that connects to a hollow handle, which then leads to an opening to drink from near the top. This example, however, is pierced with a small hole directly through the wall of the mug and handle base. One of the most interesting pieces from the Remmeys' Philadelphia period that we have ever offered. Provenance: Christie's, Pennsylvania German Folk Art from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Flanders Smith, June 3, 1995, Lot 207. H 6 1/2".
Extremely Rare and Fine Celadon-Glazed Stoneware Jug with Exuberant Cobalt Tulip Decoration, Inscribed "C.F. Bell", Stamped "JOHN BELL / WAYNESBORO", PA origin, circa 1860. A wonderful example of Bell family decoration and glazing, bearing the brushed signature of John Bell's son, Charles Frederick Bell. H 7 3/4".
Outstanding Stoneware Rundlet with Profuse Cobalt Floral Decoration, attributed to H.H. Zigler, Newville, PA, circa 1852-1865. An exceedingly rare form in the work of Pennsylvania stoneware potters and one of the finest examples of Newville, PA stoneware to come to auction in the past several years. H 11".
Important West Virginia Spaniel. Exceedingly Rare Stoneware Spaniel on Base with Elaborate Cobalt Spot Decoration, Incised on Underside "Ben Taylor / D.P. / P. W. VA", Ben Taylor at the A.P. Donaghho Pottery, Parkersburg, WV, circa 1890. This heavily-decorated spaniel bears the distinction of being the only signed spaniel known from Alexander P. Donaghho's prolific Parkersburg stoneware manufactory. Census research indicates Ben Taylor was a pottery worker active at Donaghho's shop in 1890. The base includes an unusual treatment of darker cobalt rectangles inset with lighter cobalt spots. Spaniels produced at Donaghho's pottery remain scarce and this example is believed to be finest from this highly-collected site known. H 9 1/4".
Extremely Rare Cobalt-Decorated Stoneware Doll's Head with Cloth Body, Painted Wooden Bed, and Doll's Coverlet, Western PA origin, circa 1875. This doll's head, a coveted Western PA form, is only the second example we have seen retaining its original cloth body. It is the only example we have seen that includes its original bed and coverlet. H (of head) 2 1/2" ; L (of body) 12".
Outstanding Six-Gallon Stoneware Crock with Cobalt Bird-on-Flower Decoration, Stamped "JOHN BURGER / ROCHESTER", New York State origin, circa 1860. Exceptional size and decoration. H 14 1/8".
Exceptional Cobalt-Decorated Stoneware Presentation Bank, Inscribed in Block Letters, "VIRGINIA", New Jersey origin, circa 1860. H 5".
Fine and Rare Stoneware Christmas Day Presentation Bank with Cobalt Floral Decoration, Inscribed "John Kelly / Dec. 25th / 1872", attributed to Richard C. Remmey, Philadelphia, PA, 1872.
Extremely Rare Three-Gallon Cobalt-Decorated Stoneware Jar, Stenciled "PRIME BUTTER / JOHN E. TAYLOR & SON / LAUREL POINT, WEST VA", circa 1875. This example, one of only two of its kind known, features strong decoration, exceptional advertising, and an inset rim to seal butter inside, a treatment typical of canning jars from the region. H 15".
Very Rare One-Gallon Cobalt-Decorated Stoneware Pitcher, Stenciled "BOYERS & HARDEN / PALATINE / W VA", circa 1875. This example, one of a small number of Palatine pitchers known, features unusually vibrant cobalt slip. H 11 1/4".
Significant Southern Discovery. Possibly Unique Lead-and-Manganese-Glazed Redware Tea Canister, Inscribed "Mistress Harmitage / her Cannister / Made By Philip / Anthony 1795", Kentucky origin, 1795. This recently-surfaced work is distinguished as one of the earliest dated ceramic objects of Southern manufacture known. Comparison of the signature of Philip Anthony with a period document verifies the identity of the canister's maker. According to Tennessee Potteries, Pots, and Potters ..., by Samuel D. Smith and Stephen T. Rogers, Anthony--who would later found his long-standing pottery in Nashville--began his career in Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky, appearing there by 1800. This piece was made by Anthony when he was about 21 years of age. Coupled with the rarity of its maker and period of production is its form. Few American redware tea canisters are known. This six-sided example is potted with a fine, thin-walled construction and includes later cold-painted scenes on two sides. Provenance: Ex-Clark Garrett. H 6 1/2".
Possibly Unique Miniature Cobalt-Decorated Stoneware Butter Crock, Incised "Xerxes Price / Made 1841", Sayreville, NJ, 1841. This recently-discovered piece was made when Xerxes Price was 64 years old, just four years before his death, and is believed to be the only surviving example of stoneware bearing this important New Jersey potter's hand-incised signature. H 2 3/8" ; Diameter 4 1/4".
Fine Stoneware Pig Flask with Incised Railroad Map, Inscribed "By Anna Pottery / 1880", Wallace and Cornwall Kirkpatrick, Anna, IL, 1880. This example features an unusual treatment of salt glaze over dipped Albany slip, resulting in an appealing mottled surface ranging in color from yellow to brown. L 6 1/4"
Rare Early Period Anna Pottery Salt-Glazed Stoneware Pig Flask, attributed to Wallace and Cornwall Kirkpatrick, Anna, IL. The large-sized mold used to produced this flask is possibly the same as that used to create the iconic example in the collection of Williamsburg, which features an incised design of the pottery itself. Relatively few Anna Pottery pig flasks from this period have survived.
Extremely Rare and Important Cobalt-Decorated Stoneware Pitcher with People Decoration, attributed to David Greenland Thompson, Morgantown, WV, circa 1860. Featuring three women within a sponge-decorated border on one side and a man holding a rifle on the reverse, this work is one of a small number of people pitchers from the region known. The group of women appear to highlight a sampling of different female figural motifs employed at the Thompson Pottery, as one wears a train, another with different head covering holds a hat, and a third carries a parasol. The pitcher's collar is decorated on one side with foliate motifs executed in overlain or superimposed cobalt, a distinctive Morgantown decorative technique. The opposite side features a sponge-decorated cartouche. One of the rarest examples of Morgantown stoneware we have ever offered.
Early Morgantown Jar. Extremely Rare Three-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Elaborate Coggled Town Scene, Molded Handles, and Cobalt Foliate Decoration, Stamped "MORGANTOWN POTTERY", Thompson Family, Morgantown, WV, circa 1855-1860. This important jar likely predates the Thompsons' major period of "people crock" production and features an elusive "MORGANTOWN POTTERY" maker's mark. Its intricate coggling depicts two different Federal-style houses, a tree, and elaborate arched fencing. H 13".
Very Rare One-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Profuse Cobalt Maker's Stenciling, A.P. Donaghho, Parkersburg, WV, circa 1875. The first jar of its type we have ever offered, featuring three stenciled Donaghho marks in a diagonal pattern and two running vertically down the body of the jar. H 9 3/4".
Very Rare Two-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Cobalt Woman and Parasol Decoration, attributed to David Greenland Thompson, Morgantown, WV, circa 1860-1865. Relatively few people-decorated jugs from Morgantown are known.
Extremely Rare Ten-Gallon Double-Handled Stoneware Jug with Profuse Cobalt Decoration, Stenciled "RICE & BROYLES / MONROE MONUMENTAL / POTTERY / LINDSIDE, WV", circa 1875. This recently-discovered jug features an exceptional size and wide-mouthed form, and is the finest example from this short-lived West Virginia operation that we have offered.
Bennington Beauty. Exceptional Six-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Exuberant Flowering Urn, House, and Fence Scene, Stamped "J. & E. NORTON / BENNINGTON, VT", Incised "Benning / Bennington", circa 1855. This wonderfully-decorated jar features an oversized flowering urn in bold, thickly-applied cobalt characteristic of this manufactory's best work. Indicating this jar was most likely a specially-made or presentation piece is the highly unusual, hand-incised inscription on the underside, which reads "Benning / Bennington". H 15".
Extremely Rare Two-Gallon Stoneware Crock with Cobalt Decoration of a Running Zebra, Stamped "WEST TROY / N.Y. / POTTERY", New York State origin, circa 1875.
Fine Snow Hill Nunnery Redware Bowl, 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 sold at Horst Auction in 1997. Diameter 10 3/4".
Outstanding Large-Sized Redware Charger with Slip Decoration, Philadelphia, PA origin, early to mid 19th century. This charger is the finest and largest example of the form that we have offered to date. Diameter 15 5/8".
Fine Three-Quart Stoneware Presentation Pitcher with Cobalt Floral Decoration, Inscribed "Alex. Henderson.", attributed to Richard C. Remmey, Philadelphia, PA, circa 1885. H 9 1/2".
Very Rare and Fine Miniature Stoneware Presentation Pitcher with Cobalt Floral Decoration, Incised "Rose / 1896", attributed to Richard C. Remmey, Philadelphia, PA, 1896. H 4 1/4".
Very Rare Stoneware Master Salt with Cobalt Vine Decoration, Shinnston, WV origin, circa 1875. H 2 3/4" ; Diameter 3 1/2".
Rare Small-Sized Stoneware Gemel with Cobalt Floral Decoration, Connecticut origin, circa 1825. H (to top of handle) 6".
Very Rare Two-Gallon Alkaline-Glazed Stoneware Jar, Stamped "I.E.G.", Isaac E. Gay, Kershaw County, SC, circa 1880. Few signed examples of this potter's work are known and this example features a particularly appealing, light-colored glaze with areas of clay showing through.
Three-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Profuse Cobalt Floral Decoration, Stamped "M. & T. MILLER / NEWPORT, PA"' circa 1870.
Fine Three-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Cobalt Swan Decoration, Stamped "COWDEN & WILCOX / HARRISBURG, PA". A desirable motif from this well-loved Central Pennsylvania maker.
Very Rare Diminutive Stoneware Presentation Jug with Incised Bird Decoration, Inscribed "J. WATHEIS / 1862", Northeastern U.S. Origin, 1862. Excellent size, form, and decoration.
Extremely Rare Three-Gallon Stoneware Handled Bowl with Cobalt Clover Decoration, Baltimore, MD origin, circa 1870. The first of its form from this profilic pottery city that we have seen.