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Rare 3 Gallon Stoneware Pitcher, Richmond / James River Basin Area

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Item #VXP04


This very large stoneware pitcher was probably produced in the Richmond, VA, area, circa 1820 to 1840. It may have been made in the city itself by potter, John P. Schermerhorn, or possibly even earlier, at the Benjamin DuVal pottery. (In Rauschenberg's Duval article he notes that in April, 1815, Duval added one new item to his price list--three gallon pitchers.) The front of the pitcher is decorated with a cobalt flower on a leafy stem, and the spout is decorated with a series of horizontal lines of cobalt. A very large and unusual 3 gallon capacity mark, surrounded by dots, is stamped below the spout, and is incorporated into the decoration, almost acting as part of the flower's head. The most interesting aspect of this pitcher, besides its large size, is its outstanding form. This pitcher has an extremely squat, round shape, with a width almost the same as its height. Despite its crude shape, the pitcher is thin walled, suggesting that it may be earlier than most pieces from this area. Lip molding and incised lines below the collar serve as decorative flourishes. Overall an outstanding example of central Virginia folk art.


14 ½" tall. 8 ¼" wide at base. 36" circumference at waist.


Repaired handle. Cracks and three small holes in bottom--one crack extends partway up back and forms a Y below handle. One small rim chip. Two larger, chipped areas on rim. Vertical line in spout.


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