Extremely Rare Redware Bear Figure, attrib. Anthony Weis Bacher

March 25, 2017 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 105

Price Realized: $5,900.00

($5,000 hammer, plus 18% buyer's premium)

PLEASE NOTE:  This result is 5 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:  March 25, 2017 Auction | Shenandoah Pottery | Pennsylvania Redware

March 25, 2017 Auction Catalog

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Extremely Rare Glazed Redware Figure of a Standing Bear Clutching a Tree Trunk, attributed to Anthony Weis Bacher, Adams County, PA, Mechanicstown (now Thurmont), MD, or Winchester, VA, circa 1855-1885, hand-modeled figure of a standing bear, leaning on a tree stump atop a rectangular base, clutching the trunk of a cut sapling between its paws. Heavily-applied coleslaw fur throughout figure's body. Incised details to face and paws. Surface covered in a reddish-brown lead-and-manganese glaze. Figure rattles lightly when shaken, caused by small pieces of clay added to the body cavity prior to firing. Bear figures are considered one of the iconic figural forms of Shenandoah Valley master potter, Anthony Weis Bacher. While the "standing-bear-with-tree-trunk" form can be found in the work of anonymous Pennsylvania potters, this example is the first by Bacher that we have seen. Other Bacher bear figures, however, are known depicting the animal holding other objects, including a dog, small candlesticks, and an inkwell. Consistent with this bear and other Bacher animals are the heavy use of applied coleslaw fur, the slab base, the use of a simple lead-and-manganese glaze, and the rounded eyes, a feature that became more embellished in his later Winchester works. This figure is closely-related to two Bacher dogs sold through our firm in recent years: lot 145 in our March 2, 2013 auction and lot 86 in our March 14, 2015 auction. Exhibiting strong folk art appeal, this recently-surface work is noteworthy in its maker, desirable bear form, and highly-unusual standing stance. Literature: For other Bacher animal figures, see Comstock, The Pottery of the Shenandoah Valley Region, p. 167, 169, and 179. Excellent condition with minor base wear a small chip or in-the-firing contact mark to haunch of bear. H 5 3/8".

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