John L. Stone Texas Stoneware Temperance Jug

April 10, 2010 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 225

Price Realized: $11,500.00

($10,000 hammer, plus 15% buyer's premium)

PLEASE NOTE:  This result is 12 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.

Auction Highlight:  April 10, 2010 Auction | Anna Pottery | Southern Pottery | Texas Stoneware

April 10, 2010 Auction Catalog

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Extremely Rare and Important Salt-Glazed Stoneware Temperance Jug, Signed J.L. Stone, Texas origin, late 19th century, wheel-thrown jug with semi-squared spout, embellished with various applied clay figural decorations. These include two snakes, a centipede, a spider, and a crayfish hiding inside a mound of rocks. The legs of a man fitted with cowboy boots protrude from the side of the jug, and the torso and legs of a second figure, also wearing cowboy boots, extend from another side. These boots are incised with stars and include snakes slithering out of them. Jug is incised with the following phrases: Snakes in my Boots, delarious effect, Orders Respectifuly Solisited, Go in Lemons and come out squeased, and I.O.G.T No. 534. The phrase "Happy Jack crawfishing" is incised under the mound of rocks in which the crayfish is hidden. "Crawfishing" is a Southern term meaning "to make a retreat from an earlier commitment," apparently suggesting that alcohol can make people negligent in their commitments. The midsection of the jug is further incised "J L Stone / Manufactuer of all / Kinds of Fancy / Stoneware. / Furgison Pararie / Limestone Co / TEX." The base of the jug is incised "C.A. Clarke & Fowler. / Manufactuers of all Kinds / Of Stone Ware. West-edge / Furgison Pararie / Limestone Co. Texas." This inscription is ended by an incised star of Texas. Jug is decorated with cobalt highlights to one figure's legs, another figure's coattail, and a few of the inscriptions. An outstanding example of Southern folk art. Temperance jugs of this style were evocative of the evils of alcohol consumption. It is unclear whether or not such vessels were actually made in support of the Temperance Movement, serving to warn people of alcohol's dangerous results. Many agree today that such jugs were more light-hearted in tone and did not actually intend to deter casual drinking. Most such jugs were produced by Wallace and Cornwall Kirkpatrick in Anna, IL during the last quarter of the 19th century. A stoneware spaniel in possession of the Bayou Bend Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is inscribed "J. L. S." and was also made by Stone; according to an article discussing the museum's accession of the dog--published in the March 2003 issue of The Magazine Antiques--Stone came from Illinois and worked in various potteries in Limestone County, TX. While his Illinois heritage and existing work suggested that he worked directly with the Kirkpatricks, research by Crocker Farm, Inc. has basically established this fact. A 1923 passport application by potter John L. Stone includes a notarized statement by Cornwall Kirkpatrick's son, demonstrating an apparent life-long friendship between Stone and the Kirkpatricks. Provenance: Recently found in a garage in Mexico. Missing snake handle as well as significant sections of the snakes. Missing figure's head and tips of boots. Figure on side of jug is missing one coattail. One snake applied at the base appears to be entirely missing. Losses to centipede. Spider's pincers are missing. Some additional lesser damage to two of spider's legs. A small clay animal was applied to the shoulder but has since been lost, with only portions of its feet remaining. H 11 5/8".

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