Exceedingly Rare Moravian Redware Turtle Bottle, Salem, NC origin, c1800-50

July 16, 2016 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 78

Price Realized: $8,912.50

($7,750 hammer, plus 15% buyer's premium)

PLEASE NOTE:  This result is 6 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:  July 16, 2016 Auction | Southern Pottery | Southern Redware | North Carolina Pottery

July 16, 2016 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare and Important Polychrome-Glazed Redware Turtle Bottle, Winston-Salem, NC origin, circa 1800-1850, press-molded bottle in the form of a turtle with protruding head creating the vessel's spout, the underside with hand-incised details to feet and tail. Surface coated in a whitish slip, decorated with sponged copper and manganese, and covered in a clear lead glaze: a fitting "tortoiseshell" pattern modelled after wares made by English potter, Thomas Whieldon (1719-1795). Johanna Brown's Ceramics in America 2009 article, "Moravian Press-Molded Earthenware", notes that two different types of turtle bottles, sometimes recorded in Salem pottery inventories as "terrapins", were produced (Brown, p. 115). As stated by Brown in her Ceramics in America 2010 article, "A Recently Discovered Moravian Turtle Bottle", the mold for this particular type, with its distinctive shell, was produced from an Eastern box turtle. The turtle bottle form remains one the most coveted and elusive of all Moravian figural objects. Very few have survived and this recently-discovered example is the first of its type to come to auction in many years. Literature: See Brown, "Moravian Press-Molded Earthenware", Ceramics in America 2009, pp. 114-115 for a related turtle bottle and mold; See also Bivens, The Moravian Potters of North Carolina, pp. 212-213, for additional photos. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, found by the consignor over twenty years ago. Structurally excellent condition with no cracks or chips. Small flakes to top of shell. Flakes to underside, most prominently to the neck area. Expected wear to mouth, feet, and tail. L 7".

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