Exceedingly Rare and Important Solomon Grimm, Rockland Township, Berks County, PA Redware Jar, 1820

October 25, 2014 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 55

Price Realized: $39,100.00

($34,000 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.

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October 25, 2014 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare and Important Slip-Decorated Redware Jar with Profuse Sgraffito Star, Tulip, and Heart Decorations, Dated 1820, attributed to Solomon Grimm, Rockland Township, Berks County, PA, 1820, ovoid jar with footed base and semi-rounded rim, the surface covered in a dark-brown manganese glaze and profusely decorated with a sgraffito star design on the front and reverse. This decorative treatment includes carved details, which reveal the underlying bright-orange clay body, with additional trailed yellow slip outlines. The center of the star motif appears as a four-petaled flower blossom, while the area surrounding the star features striking flame-like flourishes. Each side of the jar is additionally sgraffito-decorated with tulips emanating from a heart, with one heart bearing the date "1820". Yellow slip bands appear at the rim and base of the jar, along with a scalloped sgraffito line design at the base. The underside of the jar is incised "No. 9." The distinctive star, tulip, and dated heart motifs are all hallmarks of Berks County, Pennsylvania, potter, Solomon Grimm, born in 1787, and active in Rockland Township, circa 1815-1825. Grimm's work is considered some of the most sophisticated and exuberantly-decorated of all Pennsylvania-German redware, and examples can be found in the country's leading private folk art collections and public institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and American Folk Art Museum in New York City. With its coupling of sgraffito elements and overlying slip highlights, a wonderful three-dimensional quality is given to the decoration on this jar. Few examples of Solomon Grimm pottery are made available at auction. For a similar example, see Pook & Pook, Collection of Lester and Barbara Breininger, Nov. 11, 2011, Lot #127. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, from a forty-year Mid-Atlantic antiques collection. Typical sporadic glaze loss. Faint horizontal line at base. Glaze loss to top of rim. H 7".

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