Important JOHN BELL / WAYNESBORO Stoneware Presentation Lidded Crock Dated "1874"

July 19, 2014 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 340

Price Realized: $5,175.00

($4,500 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:  July 19, 2014 Auction | John Bell Pottery

July 19, 2014 Auction Catalog

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Important Four-Gallon Lidded Stoneware Jar with Elaborate Cobalt Floral Decoration and 1874 Date, Stamped "JOHN BELL / WAYNESBORO," possibly Solomon Bell and Victor Conrad Bell, Waynesboro, PA, 1874, ovoid jar with heavily-tooled shoulder, semi-rounded rim, and ribbed lug handles, decorated with a large brushed tulip vine design extending across the front and reverse, applied over whitish slip-washed clay. Shoulder decorated on front and reverse with an undulating cobalt vine, the one side inscribed with a cobalt "T", the other side inscribed "J". The brushed cobalt initial, T, indicates the jar was made for John Bell's youngest daughter, Matilda Catherine "Tillie" Bell. The initial, J, on the reverse may refer to John B. Bell, or his son, John W. Bell (see John T. Kille, "Bell Family Presentation Jar," Ceramics in America 2005, pp. 235-238). The date "1874" is brushed in cobalt under each handle, along with the impressed mark "JOHN BELL / WAYNESBORO" under one handle. Jar includes its original cobalt-decorated lid, stamped "JOHN BELL / WAYNESBORO," perhaps one of the most profusely-decorated lids known by this highly-regarded pottery, with a surface decorated with three large tulip vine designs, applied in a similar manner to the jar. This lidded jar is closely related to a six-gallon example, inscribed on the underside "January the / 1 1874 / Made by Solomon Bell / for Tillie Bell / Waynesboro / Pa." As discussed in John E. Kille's Ceramics in America 2005 article, "Bell Family Presentation Jar," the inscribed six-gallon example was thrown by the Strasburg, VA potter, Solomon Bell, while visiting his family in Waynesboro, PA, and probably decorated by his nephew, Victor Conrad Bell. It also includes a cobalt "T" and "J". The four-gallon jar to be auctioned was unquestionably decorated by the same hand, and may have also been thrown by Solomon, possibly on the same day as the inscribed six-gallon example in Kille's article. Combining high aesthetic value with historical significance to the Bell family of potters, this jar is one of the most important examples of John Bell stoneware to be offered anywhere in the past several years. Literature: For more discussion on related jars, see John T. Kille, "Bell Family Presentation Jar," Ceramics in America 2005, pp. 235-238. Jar with two reglued adjacent wedges at rim, measuring a total of 6" x 3 1/4", along with a 6 1/2" sealed crack from rim, extending from center of the two reglued pieces. Jar in otherwise excellent condition. Lid in excellent condition with minor wear to flange on underside. H (including lid) 13 1/2".

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