Very Rare "Choctaw Indian Pottery / Marion, VA" Stoneware Face Jug

July 22, 2017 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 127

Price Realized: $2,124.00

($1,800 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.

July 22, 2017 Auction Catalog

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Very Rare Southern Stoneware Face Jug with Porcelain Teeth, Incised "Bottom Side Up / Choctaw Indian Pottery / Marion, VA", circa 1930, ovoid jug with tall spout, decorated with an applied clay face with open mouth and porcelain teeth. Applied balls of clay produce the face's eyes and pupils. Incised details to eyelashes to eyebrows. Surface covered in a blackish Albany slip glaze. Reverse incised "Bottom SiDE UP / Choctaw Indian Pottery / Marion. Va". This example is the first face jug we have seen produced at the Choctaw Indian Pottery of Marion, Smyth County, Virginia. This operation is typically known for producing utilitarian salt-glazed stoneware, most notably pitchers, bearing impressed maker's marks as opposed to the freehand incising seen on this piece. The humorous inscription, "Bottom Side Up" (like the term "Bottoms Up") refers to the jug's probable use as a personal drinking flask. Relatively few American stoneware face vessels from this period include incised inscriptions of any sort, and this example's slogan offers insight into what souvenir face jugs may have represented, or been used for, during the first half of the 20th century. The striking similarity of this face jug to those produced at the Brown Pottery of Arden, North Carolina, is due to its manufacture by E.J. Brown, who worked at the Choctaw Indian Pottery at various times over a several year period. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, recently found in the Northeastern U.S. Two pieces of handle reglued. Otherwise excellent condition with a minor nick to one ear. H 6 1/2".

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