Exceptional Rare Fetching Dog with Basket of Apples att. Solomon Bell, Strasburg, VA

March 1, 2014 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 41

Price Realized: $19,550.00

($17,000 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:  March 1, 2014 Auction | Shenandoah Pottery | Southern Redware

March 1, 2014 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare and Important Large-Sized Redware Fetching Dog, attributed to Solomon Bell, Strasburg, VA, third quarter 19th century, hand-modeled figure of a dog in fetching stance, holding a basket of apples in its mouth. Figure features large lop ears, a curled tail, and outstretched paws, the surface embellished with heavily-incised fur. Surface covered in a lead glaze streaked with manganese over a light-orange ground. Interior stuffed with small pieces of clay, which cause the animal to rattle when shaken. Three original vent holes in underside. Figure includes distinctive impressed elliptical eyes with an additional arched impression forming an eyelid. This same impression can be found on a number of other animals attributed to the Bell Pottery in Strasburg, both serving as eyes and base decoration for the animals. Its finely-formed apple basket with impressed fruit is also a typical trait of many Bell family dogs, found on a number of Strasburg and Waynesboro examples. The figure's robust form and large size, aspects of its construction, as well as its distinctive face and glaze, are additionally all characteristics of animals carrying a Solomon Bell attribution. Many of these similarities can be noted in a standing bear, pair of cats, and dog with basket, pictured in H.E. Comstock's The Pottery of the Shenandoah Valley region, pp. 232-233. To our knowledge, this figure is the only extant Bell redware dog exhibiting an upright, fetching stance. A significant recently discovery in hand-modeled Bell family redware. Literature: For other animals attributed to Solomon Bell, see Comstock, p. 232-233, fig. 5.89, 5.90, and 5.91. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor from Richard Flanders Smith approximately twenty-five years ago. Professional restoration to hairless sections of both front legs. Figure in otherwise excellent condition. Basket survives in untouched condition, a rarity among 19th century redware dog figures. H 6 1/2".

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