Outstanding New York City Stoneware Jug w/ Large Incised Bird

March 14, 2015 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 17

Price Realized: $2,415.00

($2,100 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.

March 14, 2015 Auction Catalog

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Outstanding and Rare Two-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Large Incised Bird Decoration, Manhattan, NY origin, late 18th or early 19th century, ovoid jug with footed base, ribbed handle, and heavily-tooled spout with rounded opening, the front decorated with a large incised and cobalt-highlighted design of a bird with turned head and forked tail, perched on a branch. Crisp, deep incising throughout, executed by a talented hand well-versed in this early decorative technique. Design includes a large circular eye, fine feather detail to wing and rump, and an unusual cere (bump) at the base of the bird's beak, an anatomical trait found on pigeons and birds of prey, among other avian species. Additional brushed circular cobalt highlights to handle terminals. Incised bird decorations from Manhattan are considered scarce, and this example is one of the finest to come to auction in years, exhibiting excellent color and measuring an impressive eight inches from bill to tail. Adding import to this piece is its strong similarity to a notorious small-sized jug, previously in the collection of noted folk art collector, Barry Cohen, which sold at Sotheby's in 2006 for $90,000 (excluding buyer's premium). Bearing the incised date July 4, 1802, the ex-Cohen jug features a distinctive bird likely by the same hand or school as this example, including a turned head, circular eye, and nearly-identical wing detail. A 1 1/2" glazed-over base chip, which occurred in-the-firing, and two other unobtrusive base chips. An approximately 1" in-the-firing contact mark / flake to front. A minor, smooth in-the-firing contact mark to side of spout. And a second minor, smooth in-the-firing contact mark / chip to handle. H 14".

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