Extremely Rare J. SWANK & CO. / JOHNSTOWN, PA Pitcher w/ Hand-Incised Signature

March 14, 2015 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 465

Price Realized: $1,380.00

($1,200 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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Extremely Rare One-Gallon Stoneware Pitcher with Cobalt Floral and Incised Line Decoration, Stamped "J. SWANK & CO. / JOHNSTOWN, PA" and Incised "JACOB J. Swank" and "J.J.S.," circa 1870, elegantly-potted pitcher with tall, flaring collar and thin strap handle, the body embellished with incised lines above an incised wavy line, the collar decorated with incised lines at the midsection and rim. Body of pitcher decorated with a distinctive, sweeping stem with leaves and three tulip blossoms. Collar decorated with vertical vining and spout flanked by swags. Additional brushwork at the handle terminals. Incised into collar on side of pitcher with the potter's signature, "JACOB J. SWANK". The initials "J.J.S." are additionally lightly incised below. An artistically-crafted example by Johnstown's premier pottery, this pitcher is the only example we have seen bearing an incised signature of Jacob J. Swank. His obituary, presented in the April 2, 1921 edition of The Johnstown Tribune, states that he was a Civil War veteran, active at Gettysburg, who "following the war. . . went to work for his brothers, the late Samuel and Hiram in the Swank Pottery on Morris Street". This pitcher is arguably the most important example of Swank stoneware to come to auction since an inscribed bank was sold through our firm two years ago. Provenance: Recently found in Virginia. Large restored area at rim, extending from right side of spout to area left of spout. Hairlines in underside, extending onto base area.

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