Exceptional Anna Pottery Pig Bottle from Steamboat Fleetwood to the Cincinnati Weekly Times

March 14, 2015 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 341

Price Realized: $20,700.00

($18,000 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.

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March 14, 2015 Auction Catalog

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Exceptional Anna Pottery Stoneware Presentation Pig Flask with Inscription from the Steamboat Fleetwood to the Cincinnati Weekly Times, Wallace and Cornwall Kirkpatrick, Anna, Illinois, circa 1875, finely-molded flask in the form of a reclining pig with hole in rear, anatomically-correct underside, and incised facial features and hooves. Original paint to eyes and genitals. Surface covered in a chocolate-brown Albany slip glaze, and incised with the following inscription: "St. Louis. the future Capital / Latest & most Reliable Railroad / and River Guide. To the Cincinnati Weekly Times. with a little / good old Bourbon in / from / Steamer Fleetwood". Remainder of pig features an elaborate incised map of the Midwestern U.S., including the following landmarks: Anna Pottery by Kirkpatrick, Cairo- the-(points to hole) of the World, Chicago the great corn crib of the world, Miss River, Sandoval, Grand Tower, CBICRR, Odin, Centralia, DuQuoin, Carbonale, O & M, ICRR, Mounds, Ohio River, and Cincinnati the Great Porkopolis of the world. A listing of "Anna Pottery" on the incised railroad and river map is considered a desirable landmark on any pig, and the addition of "by Kirkpatrick" as a maker's signature on this pig is particularly rare. The subject matter of the presentation inscription, including mention of the recipient and commissioner of the pig, is also highly unusual. The "Steamer Fleetwood", the commissioner of this flask, was a passenger and packet steamboat active along the Ohio River during the second half of the 19th century. Various biographies and period newspaper advertisements mention this ship making stop-offs at a variety of major cities throughout the Midwestern and Southcentral U.S. An 1877 newspaper article described the Fleetwood at that time as being owned by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad and running a service from Cincinnati to Huntington, WV along the Ohio River. The Cincinnati Weekly Times, the pig's recipient, was an Ohio newspaper that operated from 1866 to 1889. While the exact purpose of the gift is unknown, one can surmise that the Cincinnati Weekly Times was frequently delivered to the Fleetwood and sold to its numerous passengers. The gift was likely presented out of gratitude for a mutually beneficial business relationship. Of humorous note is the fact that the penis of the pig is landmarked as "Ohio River", The Fleetwood's major operating center, and the end of the penis is described as "Cincinnati the Great Porkopolis of the world", the hometown of the newspaper for which the flask was made. Such tongue-in-cheek inscriptions, found on a number of Kirkpatrick products, typify the brothers' distinctive sense of humor. While others may exist, this pig is the first example presented from a steamboat that we are aware of. While the Kirkpatricks' products are often associated with Midwestern railroad culture, the idea that their pigs also were described as "River Guides" is sometimes overlooked. This pig suggests that the Kirkpatrick's iconic porcine forms may have also been quite popular among those that worked along the waterways of the Midwest as well. A wonderful example, featuring rare and elaborate inscriptions in fine Anna penmanship. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, which descended in a Midwestern family. Excellent, essentially as-made condition with a typical in-the-firing chip to one back leg. L 8".

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