Extremely Rare and Important N. YORK / COERLEARS HOOK Stoneware Pitcher, Thomas Commeraw

July 22, 2017 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 63

Price Realized: $3,245.00

($2,750 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. Please Contact Us for a Current, Accurate assessment of your items.

Auction Highlight:  July 22, 2017 Auction | New York City Stoneware

July 22, 2017 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare Half-Gallon Cobalt-Decorated Stoneware Pitcher with Incised Floral Decoration, Stamped "N. YORK / COERLEARS / HOOK", Thomas Commeraw, Manhattan, NY, late 18th century, ovoid pitcher with footed base and short collar, formed with a tooled rim and lightly-pinched spout, the front decorated with an incised and cobalt-highlighted floral motif featuring a hanging blossom, emanating from a stem with scalloped leaves. The dark color of the cobalt slip suggests it may have been mixed with a secondary oxide. Interestingly, the two stems on the design are both carved into the clay with a distinctive three-pronged stylus, a feature noted among a number of the finest incised Manhattan pieces of the late 18th century, most likely made by members of the Crolius family. Commeraw, who was trained on Pot Baker's Hill, where the Croliuses, Remmeys, and Corseliuses worked, may have taken such a tool with him as he ventured out to establish his own pottery on Corlears Hook. Reverse with brushed cobalt highlights to handle terminals. The rarity of this work cannot be overstated. Pitchers produced at any point in Thomas Commeraw's career are considered highly unusual. This example was made during the potter's important early period in which the stamp, "CORLEARS / HOOK / N. YORK", (considered the first Manhattan, NY maker's mark) was employed. Commeraw's skill as both a potter and decorator were revealed during this brief period, as his finely-formed pots exhibited artistic splay-petaled incising and superior coloration. This work is the only pitcher we have seen bearing this mark, and the vessel's half-gallon size also rank it among the smallest signed Manhattan stoneware pitchers in existence. One of the most important works known by America's earliest African-American pottery owner. Property of a New York State collector. Missing handle. A smooth, 1 3/4" chip to rim, possibly in-the-firing. Base chips. H 8 1/2".

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