Extremely Rare and Important Stoneware Presentation Flask w/ Diana the Huntress and Deer, Delos Rogers, Sherburne, NY, 1853

July 19, 2014 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 8

Price Realized: DNMR

July 19, 2014 Auction Catalog

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Extremely Rare and Important Cobalt-Decorated Stoneware Presentation Flask with Applied Figure of Diana the Huntress and Deer, Impressed "DELOS ROCERS / 1853," Sherburne, NY, 1853, large-sized, wheel-thrown flask with rounded spout, featuring a large molded and applied classical design of Diana the Huntress reaching for an arrow from a quiver with one arm, the other arm atop of a small antlered deer. A small tree with leafy branches emerges from behind the figures. Diana, literally translated as "divine" or "heavenly," is the Roman goddess of the hunt, the moon, and birthing. This particular casting of Diana was likely based on the Diana of Versailles, a Roman marble statue made in the 1st or 2nd century AD, in the collection of the Musee de Louvre in Paris, which has been copied by numerous artists. The reverse of this flask features a molded and applied design of a flowering urn along with the impressed inscription "DELOS ROCERS / 1853". This inscription refers to the flask's maker, Delos Rogers (1833-1858), a worker at the Sherburne, NY stoneware manufactory of James Hart. The 1850 United States Federal Census lists Delos Rodgers (sic), seventeen years of age with an occupation simply listed as "pottery." The fact that Rogers impressed his own name into this lavish flask, rather than the factory mark J. HART / SHERBURNE, indicates that it was most likely made as a gift or for Rogers's personal use. The applied Diana design may have been used as a pun, as, according to Roman mythology, the goddess was born on the island of Delos. Lavish cobalt highlights throughout applied designs and impressed inscription, including spots to body of deer. Additional cobalt surrounding the spout. The design on this outstanding flask is in keeping with the various molded classical and hunt scenes found primarily on American Rockingham ware of the period. Few stoneware objects from this period can be found with applied designs of this type. Even rarer is the grand scale of the decoration and its execution, which features superb detail enhanced by the applied cobalt slip. One of two known Delos Rogers classical stoneware flasks, the other being in the collection of the Henry Ford Museum and pictured on p. 199 in Donald Blake Webster's Decorated Stoneware Pottery of North America, it is one of the finest Northeastern U.S. stoneware flasks to come to auction in years. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor fifteen or twenty years ago. Excellent condition with a minor base chip, and some typical minor wear and minor in-the-firing separations to molded design on front. H 8 1/2".

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