Shenandoah Pottery Auction Highlights


Pair of Shenandoah Valley Redware Whippet Dogs, Signed "Samuel Bell / Winchester Sept 21 1841"



Shenandoah Valley pottery was recognized early-on--while many of the potters were still alive, even--for its colorful redware (and also its stoneware) made in a plethora of interesting forms ranging from utilitarian vessels to highly-detailed ornamental figures, vases, etc. A glaze usually referred to as "Multi-Glaze" is the surface probably most associated with these potters, and was employed in Strasburg, Virginia, toward the end of the nineteenth century by the famous Bell family and their associates the Eberlys. Anthony Baecher, a German immigrant potter, made some of the Valley's masterpieces during his time in Winchester. The title of patriarch of Shenandoah Valley pottery would probably go to Peter Bell, whose career began in Hagerstown, Maryland. His sons Samuel and Solomon Bell (as well as John, up in Waynesboro, PA) and their offspring carried the craft into the twentieth century, and the story of their decades in Strasburg--along with their many associates and competitors--goes a long way toward telling the story of Shenandoah Valley pottery as a whole. A face pitcher attributed to Samuel Bell sold at our auction in early 2012, breaking two different World Auction Records. (For stoneware made in Rockingham and Rockbridge Counties--also part of the Shenandoah Valley--see Virginia stoneware, and for the related work of the Bell potters in Waynesboro, PA see John Bell Pottery.)
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