Very Rare E. J. MILLER / ALEXANDRIA, VA Stoneware Advertising Water Cooler w/ JAMES HAMILTON / GREENSBORO, PA Maker's Stencil

July 18, 2015 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 426

Price Realized: $1,495.00

($1,300 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.

July 18, 2015 Auction Catalog

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Exceptional Four-Gallon Stoneware Water Cooler with Cobalt Decoration, Stenciled "E.J. MILLER & CO. / QUEENSWARE & C. / ALEXANDRIA. VA." and "JAMES HAMILTON & / MANUFACTURERS / GREENSBORO. PA.", circa 1875, cylindrical form with semi-rounded rim, applied lug handles, and circular bunghole at base, the front decorated with the stenciled cobalt advertising "E.J. MILLER & CO. / QUEENSWARE & C. / ALEXANDRIA. VA." interspersed with stenciled tulips and stylized flourishes. Freehand stripes at shoulder and base. Base with two diagonally-stenciled four-gallon capacity marks, flanked by flourishes. Stenciled vertically along the side of the cooler, "JAMES HAMILTON & / MANUFACTURER / GREENSBORO. PA", with stenciled geometric pattern at center. Heavy cobalt highlights surrounding bunghole and handle terminals. Numerous examples of stenciled stoneware made for Alexandria, VA merchant, Elisha Janney Miller, by Greensboro, PA potters are known. This example survives as one of the very best. The cooler form is highly unusual among the body of surviving work made for Miller's business, and the employment of a vertically-stenciled signature along with the advertising adds significantly to its rarity and visual appeal. This cooler also includes perhaps the best color and contrast we have seen on a piece of Miller advertising stoneware. An outstanding offering, which appeals to both Western PA and Virginia collecting interests. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased in Virginia by the consignor many years ago. Very condition with a tight vertical line on reverse, measuring approximately 7 1/2", with some short, faint hairlines extending off from it. H 15".

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