A Companion Blog to Our Auction of American Stoneware & Redware Pottery
Author: Brandt Zipp
Brandt Zipp is a principal in Crocker Farm, Inc., the nation's premier auction of antique American stoneware & redware pottery. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a B.A. in Writing Seminars, and won the Jacob H. Hollander Prize for his writing there. He is currently authoring a book on Thomas Commeraw, the free African-American potter of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century New York City, whom Brandt has been researching for over a decade.
Antiques and the Arts Weekly and Maine Antique Digest both published some nice articles about us lately–the former about our July auction, the latter about our history as a company, featuring an extended interview with my dad, Anthony. Feel free to have a look at them at the following links:
Our Summer 2017 auction—to be held Saturday, July 22, at our historic gallery in Sparks, Maryland—will be a special event in the history of our auction business. The depth of quality represented in this sale rivals all auctions we have ever held, and included in its over 600 lots will be a number of important pieces from several key regions of manufacture—worthy of the most discriminating public and private American ceramics collections.
Headlining this auction is an outstanding sgraffito-decorated redware plate with bird-in-flowering-urn motif, with rare inscription by the Montgomery County, PA master, Samuel Troxel, dated January 25, 1833. This work, which shares the same date as an iconic Troxel plate in the collection of the Philadelphia of Museum of Art, survives in rarely-found fine condition, and is considered one of the greatest Pennsylvania redware objects to come to auction in the past several years.
Also of importance is an exceptional selection of Southern pottery, led by five stoneware face vessels. Four of these are 19th century products of South Carolina’s Edgefield District, each possessing their own distinctive character and decorative merits. Lot 111, a harvest or monkey jug, will be sold with a rare 1882 stereopticon image of an African-American boy, sitting at a table with a jug by the same maker. Based on the jug’s form, presence, and its historical association with a famous Southern photograph, it may easily be regarded as one of the finest Edgefield face vessels to come to auction in the past decade or more. (Lots 112, 113 and 114 are the remaining three rare Edgefield face vessels.) The fifth piece of this group is a monumental devil face jug with North Carolina store advertising, marked by Davis P. Brown of Arden, NC, circa 1941 (Lot 126). Including a detailed provenance, as well as a noteworthy publication and exhibition history, this work is considered to be one of the most recognizable American face vessels ever produced and one of the greatest of 20th century manufacture.
We would like to thank all of our consignors for their contribution to this special event. Numerous pieces in this auction have comparable works in the nation’s leading institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Winterthur, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Smithsonian Institution, the New York State Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Barnes Foundation. July’s auction will present one of the best opportunities in decades to acquire a museum-quality example of American utilitarian pottery. And while this particular auction may make such pieces seem almost commonplace, we can assure you, they are not.
You can browse all 600+ lots of our auction here. Thank you for your interest in our Summer 2017 Auction of American Stoneware & Redware Pottery, and we look forward to seeing and speaking with you over the next couple of weeks.
Want to send us a comment or ask a question? Feel free to contact us anytime!