Exceedingly Rare M. & T. MILLER / NEWPORT, PA Stoneware Jug w/ Elaborate Flowering Urn Decoration

July 18, 2015 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 299

Price Realized: $43,700.00

($38,000 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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July 18, 2015 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare and Important Four-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Profuse Cobalt Flowering Urn Decoration, Stamped "M. & T. MILLER / NEWPORT, PA", circa 1870, large-sized, cylindrical jug with tooled spout and applied handle, profusely-decorated with a pedestal-based urn brimming with a large floral spray extending from the shoulder to the base of the jug. Urn includes a solid cobalt base, striped shading to each side, and curved handles at the rim. The lavish floral spray, which extends onto the sides of the jug, includes a variety of popular Miller motifs, including spitting tulips, graduated blossoms, large veined leaves, corkscrewing tendrils, and grass-like foliate accents. Two finely-executed, undulating vines, which cascade over the urn's rim, are unknown to us in Miller stoneware decoration. Additional cobalt accents the maker's mark, capacity mark, and handle terminals.

This jug typifies why stoneware pieces made at the Newport, PA Pottery of Michael and Theophilus Miller are so highly prized. Many of the best Miller pieces feature designs that cover much of the vessel's front; the sizes of designs in comparison to the pots, and the amount of cobalt used, appeared to be of little concern to the decorator's artistic whim. In keeping with this enthusiastic style, the design on this example roughly measures an astounding 15 1/2" tall by 12" wide. This jug, more than other M. & T. Miller piece we have seen, epitomizes the brothers' unabashed ebullience and artistry in decoration. Excellent, essentially as-made condition with some in-the-firing fry to cobalt and a tiny base nick. H 15 1/2".

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