Extremely Rare COOPER / MAYSVILLE, KY Signed A. & W. BOUGHNER Stoneware Churn

July 19, 2014 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 284

Price Realized: $2,300.00

($2,000 hammer, plus 15% buyer's premium)

PLEASE NOTE:  This result is 9 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.

July 19, 2014 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare and Important Five-Gallon Stoneware Churn with Large Cobalt Inscription "COOPER / Maysville, KY," Stamped "A. & W. BOUGHNER / GREENSBORO / PA," circa 1855, cylindrical churn with heavily-tooled body, applied lug handles, and flared collar with tooled rim, decorated with the folky freehand inscription "COOPER" with outlined border, above the words "Maysville, Ky". Shoulder decorated with freehand foliate designs and dashes. Body decorated with large cobalt stripes. Base inscribed with a large cobalt script "5" flanked by dashes. Cobalt highlights to handle terminals. Shoulder impressed with the rare maker's mark of brothers, Alexander Vance and William Boughner. This churn is the only impressed example of Boughner advertising stoneware we have ever seen. Its connection to the Southern market in Maysville, Kentucky, adds to its rarity and appeal. The name "COOPER", boldly emblazoned across the churn's front, likely refers to successful Maysville merchant, Newton Cooper, whose name is typically associated with the firm, Cooper & Power, involving his brother-in-law, Hugh Power. This churn was made before the partnership was formed, or during a brief period when it was defunct. There is also the possibility that this churn was a specially-made piece for Cooper's personal use, not intended for sale. Newton Cooper, and the firm of Cooper & Power, ordered a large amount of high-quality stoneware from members of the Hamilton family in Greensboro, PA, during the third quarter of the 19th century. Hamilton pieces bearing the impressed mark "N. COOPER / MAYSVILLE, KY" or "N. COOPER & POWER / MAYSVILLE, KY" are known. We are unaware of any other pieces being ordered by this firm from the Boughner family, and this churn may be the only surviving example. Cooper & Power’s ware was shipped by boat down the Ohio River. Indicative of Newton Cooper's influence in the area, a local riverboat called "Newt Cooper" was named in his honor. The Boughners seem to have had ties to Maysville, and a distant relative of theirs (also named Boughner) was a Maysville-based steamboat captain during this time period. The business relationship between Cooper and the Boughner Pottery must have been short-lived, however. This churn is significant on a number of levels. As stated, it is possibly the only example, or at least one of a very few examples, of signed Boughner advertising stoneware known. The churn form is also very rare among signed Boughner products. The use of a freehand inscription is also noteworthy. Freehand cobalt writing on Western Pennsylvania stoneware is rare, usually found on special presentation pieces or on ware such as this churn, which predated the use of stencils. In this case, the use of freehand writing also gives the churn greater appeal as a decorative, folk art object. Lastly, the inscription, which reads solely "Cooper", is a rare Maysville advertising variant. An important example of Southern or Western Pennsylvania stoneware, believed to be a unique object. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example from a forty-year Southern U.S. collection. Professionally-restored crack descending down front onto underside, with additional restored lines on underside, and continuing up reverse to rim. Small restored rim chip. H 18 1/4".

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