Important Anna Pottery Stoneware Horace Greeley Political Pig Flask, One of Only Three Known

March 1, 2014 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 310

Price Realized: $11,500.00

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

PLEASE NOTE:  This result is 8 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 1, 2014 Auction | Anna Pottery

March 1, 2014 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare and Important Anna Pottery Stoneware Pig Flask with Incised Depiction of Horace Greeley, Signed "Kirk / Anna / Ills," Wallace and Cornwall Kirkpatrick, Anna, IL, circa 1872, molded flask in the form of a reclining pig with hole at rear, incised details to face and hooves, and anatomically correct underside, the surface covered in a chocolate-brown Albany slip glaze. One side of pig decorated with an incised political cartoon of 1872 presidential candidate, Horace Greeley, with speech bubbling emanating from the figure's mouth, incised "What I know about trapping". Greeley faces a trap in the form of a raised top hat, incised "when this old white hat was new". The flip-switch for the trap is labeled "Presidency". Flask is signed to the right of the hat, "Kirk / Anna / Ills". The remainder of the pig features an incised railroad map with various Midwestern cities and landmarks, including the following: St. Louis the Future Capital in, Miss River, narrow gage, grand Tower, C & St L RR, O & M. R.R., Odin, Centralia, Carbondale, Vincens, C. & V. R.R., Junction, Mound City, Cairo, Anna Ills, Louisville the falls city, Ohio River, Cincinnati the Porkopolis, and Chicago the Corn City. This flask is one of two known featuring an inscription extending from Greeley's mouth, and believed to be the only example of the three Greeley pigs known bearing a Kirkpatrick signature. Included with this lot is a framed Horace Greeley cabinet card, entitled "HON. HORACE GREELEY", as well as four issues of HARPER'S WEEKLY magazine from 1871 and 1872. The magazine issues include printed portraits and political cartoons featuring Greeley. Three cartoons by the noted political cartoonist, Thomas Nast, portray Greeley with a slogan beginning with the words "What I know about. . .", a play on the name of Greeley's book, What I Know Of Farming. Interestingly, the Greeley pig flask features an incised political cartoon, with the slogan "What I know about trapping". It is known that the Kirkpatricks were fond of Nast's work, having sent him a snake jug in 1871 as a gift, with serpentine figures representing the Boss Tweed ring and the cartoonist himself. Nast's cartoons appear instrumental in the production of the three known Greeley pig bottles, and possibly several other pieces of the brothers' work. The flask offered in our March 1 auction, ranks as one of the finest Anna pigs in existence. Literature: For discussion of Horace Greeley and Thomas Nast in relation to the Kirkpatricks, see Mohr, Pottery, Politics, and Art: George Ohr and the Brothers Kirkpatrick, pp. 22-24 and pp. 55-58. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased in New England over twenty years ago. Rear of pig with large sealed circular crack. Chip to snout. In-the-firing chip to one rear hoof. Cabinet card with some toning and a miniscule tear to top. HARPER'S WEEKLY issues with some looseness to binding and a few small tears. L 8".

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