Antique Taunton, MA Figural Stoneware Cooler

March 8, 2008 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 38

Price Realized: $34,500.00

($30,000 hammer, plus 15% buyer's premium)

PLEASE NOTE:  This result is 16 years old, and the American ceramics market frequently changes. Additionally, small nuances of color, condition, shape, etc. can mean huge differences in price. If you're interested in having us sell a similar item for you, please contact us here.

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March 8, 2008 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare and Important Cobalt-Decorated Stoneware Water Cooler in the Form of a Woman, Incised "Betsy Baker is my name" and "Tanton, Mass / July the 12 1834," Taunton, Massachusetts origin, wheel-thrown and hand-modeled cooler in the form of a woman in a life-like pose, with bent arms and fingernailed hands, one on her hip and the other pressed against her stomach. Incised on one arm "Tanton [sic], Mass / July the 12 1834" and on the opposite arm "Betsy Baker is my name," with both inscriptions highlighted in cobalt blue. Figure is boldly decorated with a cobalt blouse and iron-oxide apron with cobalt fringe. A thrown band around the midsection forms the apron's waistband and is also highlighted in iron-oxide. Bung holes at base on front and back. Almost certainly made in the likeness of Elizabeth Ann Baker, born June 13, 1821 in Taunton, Massachusetts, daughter of Walker Baker, Jr. and Nancy Baker. Walker Baker, Jr. appears in the 1850 federal census as a stone mason, but by 1860 he had turned to farming--a vocation his family continued in for decades to follow. Elizabeth Baker appears in the 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 federal censuses, apparently living in Taunton all her life. Also almost certainly made by the prolific Ingells family of stoneware potters, active in Taunton during the time period. According to research conducted by the Old Colony Historical Society in Taunton in 1837, the Ingells family stoneware manufactory--operated by William H., Jonathan W., and M.G. Ingells--produced $10,000 worth of stoneware. A rare example of American folk art sculpture. Nineteenth-century figural stoneware is nearly unheard of. Ex-collection William Wollett. Rim chips. Cracks around dress, extending onto underside. H 17".

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