Extremely Rare Whately, MA Redware Presentation Crock Made by Potter Lemuel A. Wait for Future Wife Louisa Dickinson

July 19, 2014 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 31

Price Realized: $10,925.00

($9,500 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:  July 19, 2014 Auction | New England Redware

July 19, 2014 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare and Important New England Redware Wedding Jar, Inscribed "Louisa Dickenson" and "Whately / Lemuel A. Wait," Whately, Massachusetts origin, circa 1825-1830, skillfully-potted, ovoid jar with flared rim, semi-circular lug handles, and elaborate incised banding throughout body and rim. Incised in fine script on the front "Louisa Dickenson". Reverse incised "Whately / Lemuel A. Wait". Surface covered in a striking lead-based glaze with mottled yellowish-green coloration and heavy orange spotting. This recently-discovered jar was made by Whately, Massachusetts, potter, Lemuel Allis Wait (b. 1803), for his future wife, Louisa Dickinson (b. 1808). Lemuel Allis Wait (sometimes spelled "Waite"; January 12, 1803-June 18, 1881) was born in Whately on January 12, 1803, the son of Lemuel Wait (1776-1847), an earthenware potter, and Roxa Russell (1776-1843), the daughter of a saddler and harness maker. Probably sometime around 1825 he began his relationship with Louisa Dickinson (August 10, 1808-June 8, 1887) and the two were married by 1830. That year's federal census shows Lemuel A. Wait living in Hatfield, Massachusetts, (adjacent to Whately) in a household that contained only himself and one woman between the ages of twenty and thirty years (Louisa). The 1899 version of "History of the Town of Whately �" described Lemuel A. Wait as a "potter by trade." By the mid century, Lemuel A. Wait is listed in census schedules as a farmer, indicating that he had either given up the potter's trade by that time, or, like so many other American earthenware potters, supplemented his primary trade of farmer by provided necessary goods for his community. As an object that physically represents the courting of one potter's wife, few examples of early American ceramics capture a potter's personal life as this jar does. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, recently discovered in New York State. Tight spider line on right side of jar's front below inscription, which extend approximately 5" to base and 1" onto underside. A faint Y-shaped hairline on underside, continuing approximately 5 1/2" up right side of reverse of jar, below inscription. An in-the-firing separation line on interior body, not visible on exterior. 1 3/4" x 3/4" reglued piece at rim on reverse, beside a rim chip. Some wear to rim. A few short, relatively minor lines from rim, primarily visible on interior only. Glazed surface of jar survives in very nice condition, with an in-the-firing dry area to glaze, approximately 3" below inscription on front. H 10 1/2".

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