Rare Miles Mill, Edgefield, South Carolina Face Jug

March 25, 2017 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 25

Price Realized: $18,880.00

($16,000 hammer, plus 18% 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:  March 25, 2017 Auction | Southern Pottery | Edgefield Stoneware | Face Jugs

March 25, 2017 Auction Catalog

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Rare Alkaline-Glazed Stoneware Face Jug, Miles Mill, Edgefield, SC origin, circa 1875, cylindrical jug of wide, squat form, sloped shoulder, and distinctive spout with flattened rim, decorated with a hand-modeled and applied clay face including a nose with pinched nostrils, open mouth with applied teeth formed with a pointed stylus, applied clay eyes, eyebrows, and ears. Surface covered in a mottled brown alkaline glaze. This jug is important in its depiction of an asymmetrical face with crooked eyes. One eye is place below the other and includes a piercing low on the eyeball. While this treatment can be found among the work of 20th century face jug masters, such as Lanier Meaders and Burlon Craig, it is essentially unknown in the 19th century Edgefield tradition. At least one other face jug from Miles Mill, however, features two differently-styled eyes: a smaller jug with one eye winking, which was included in the traveling exhibit "Face Jugs: Art and Ritual in 19th Century South Carolina". Such folksy embellishments may offer a key link between the craft's 19th and 20th century schools. The gold paint applied to the eyes and teeth on this example is possibly original. Its wonderful facial expression epitomizes the bold folk art presence of face vessels produced in Edgefield. A related example with typical eyes resides in the collection of the New York Historical Society, acquired in 1937 from the noted folk art collector and avant-garde sculptor, Elie Nadelman (1882-1946). Missing handle. Crack through teeth. Small spout chip. Some spots of in-the-firing residue to reverse. H 6 1/2".

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