Exceptional Stoneware Face Jug, John Dollings, White Cottage, Ohio, circa 1870

July 18, 2015 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 94

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.

Auction Highlight:  Greatest Hits | July 18, 2015 Auction | Ohio & Midwest | Face Jugs

July 18, 2015 Auction Catalog

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Very Rare and Important Stoneware Face Harvest Jug, attributed to John Dollings at the Stine Pottery, White Cottage, Ohio, circa 1870, wheel-thrown jug with wide circular and carved octagonal spouts, featuring an applied and sculpted African-American man's head with open mouth including deeply-carved teeth, wide eyes staring to the left, nose with circular nostrils, ears, chin, and heavily-applied clay coleslaw forming the figure's mustache, eyebrows, sideburns, and hair. Surface covered in a glossy blackish Albany slip glaze. The whites of the eyes and teeth are left unglazed, and were likely covered in a wax resist similar to the slave-made face vessels of Edgefield, South Carolina. Face vessels of this quality rarely become available in the open market, and Dollings' pieces are arguably the most finely-executed of all wheel-thrown and modeled American examples. As demonstrated on this jug, Dollings' work includes artistic and life-like details uncommon to other American utilitarian face-decorated pieces. While other American face vessels include simple applied clay features, Dollings goes so far as to sculpt the entire head of the figure with more anatomical accuracy, incorporating the figure's jaw line extending from the chin to the ear, and recessed eyes in which the eyelids are formed. Among the small number of Dollings face vessels known, this example features perhaps the best surface, with a high-gloss Albany slip glaze that appears wet to the touch. This outstanding offering seamlessly melds the stoneware collecting field with the folk art genre. It includes a strong publication history. Provenance: Ex-Frank and Barbara Pollock Antiques; Ex-Ballatine Collection; Ex-Meyer Collection. Illustrated: American Primitive Discoveries in Folk Sculpture by Ricco, Maresca, and Weissman, p.83, fig. 108; American Country Folk Art, Time Life Books, p. 85. Missing handle. 3/4" chip to side of larger spout. Some minor wear to coleslaw. H 9 3/4".

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