Extremely Rare "Johnstown Pottery / 1871" Jacob Swank Stoneware Presentation Bank

March 2, 2013 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 225

Price Realized: $13,225.00

($11,500 hammer, plus 15% buyer's premium)

PLEASE NOTE:  This result is 11 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:  March 2, 2013 Auction | Western PA Stoneware

March 2, 2013 Auction Catalog

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Important Stoneware Presentation Bank with Cobalt Tulip Decoration, Incised "Rev. L.M. Boyer" and Johnstown Pottery," attributed to the Swank Pottery, Johnstown, PA, Dated 1877, ovoid bank with heavily-tooled banding, button-form finial, and carved horizontal slot. Body decorated with four large Swank-style tulips along with cobalt sponging around the shoulder. Incised across shoulder "Rev. L M Boyer / 710". Body of bank incised "Johnstown Pottery" along with a second "L.M. Boyer". Finial incised "1877". Fortunately, a great deal of information has survived regarding the bank's owner. This bank was made for the local minister, Levi Mitchell Boyer (1842-1931), who was born November 17, 1842 in Ashland Township (Clarion County) in Northwestern Pennsylvania. At the young age of 18, following the outbreak of the Civil War, he volunteered for service in the 78th Pennsylvania Infantry and began a tour of duty in the South, during which he saw much action–including at the important Battles of Stone River, Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, and Missionary Ridge. At the end of May, 1864, he was wounded at the Battle of New Hope Church, Georgia, and received his discharge along with other seasoned veterans of the 78th in November of that year. Lucky to have survived his three years’ worth of fighting, Boyer entered the ministry, married his wife, Mary, and by 1870 was living in Burnside, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, not far from Punxsutawney. Boyer served in various religious positions in southwestern Pennsylvania, but in the mid-to-late 1870’s he did, in fact, serve as Pastor of the First Evangelical Church of Johnstown--and it was during his tenure there that he was bestowed with this gift. This bank represents one of the most significant discoveries in Swank family stoneware in several years. The form is remarkable and extremely rare, the presentation inscription gives us wonderful insight into its owner, and the bank is also the first Swank product bearing the signature "Johnstown Pottery" we are aware of. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor approximately thirty years ago. Excellent condition with a small chip to finial and very minor wear right side of slot. H 4 3/4".

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