Very Rare Anna Pottery Abraham Lincoln Stoneware Death Mask, 1877

November 3, 2012 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 198

Price Realized: $4,600.00

($4,000 hammer, plus 15% buyer's premium)

PLEASE NOTE:  This result is 10 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:  November 3, 2012 Auction | Anna Pottery | Face Jugs

November 3, 2012 Auction Catalog

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Very Rare Salt-Glazed Stoneware Abraham Lincoln Death Mask with Cold-Painted Surface, Signed in Paint on Reverse "Anna Pottery / 1877," Wallace and Cornwall Kirkpatrick, Anna, IL, 1877, large-sized, wheel-thrown bust, hand-modeled in the form of Abraham Lincoln with hand-incised hair, teeth, and facial details, the surface covered in a light salt glaze, and painted after the firing. Reverse with painted signature, "Anna Pottery / 1877". Two holes are carved at the base of the bust barely penetrate through to the interior, but may have been designed to attach the bust to a cloth body, as one would do with ceramic doll's heads of the period. Additional vent holes carved in nostrils and recessed carved into ears. An original carved circular opening on the top of head may have ensured the piece would not break during the firing. A Lincoln-style top hat made of cloth or beaver skin may have been used atop the figure's head. A small number of Anna Pottery Lincoln death masks have survived, although their exact purpose has yet to be determined. They were no doubt modeled after the famous plaster face casts made of Lincoln during his life and the autopsy after his death. An exceptional folk art sculpture with American historical significance. To our knowledge, this example is the first of its kind to cross the auction block in several years. Provenance: Recently found in California among items which descended in a Midwestern family. An 1981 letter written to the previous owner by noted collector and scholar, Gary Stass, verified it as a product of the Kirkpatrick brothers of Anna, Illinois. Excellent condition. H 13 3/4".

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