Extremely Rare 1/2 Gal. Alexandria, VA Stoneware Jar Inscribed "Smith"

October 28, 2017 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 169

Price Realized: $2,832.00

($2,400 hammer, plus 18% buyer's premium)

PLEASE NOTE:  This result is 4 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.

October 28, 2017 Auction Catalog

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Important and Possibly Unique Half-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Elaborate Slip-Trailed Cobalt Floral and Chain Link Decoration, Incised on Underside "Smith", Benedict C. Milburn, Alexandria, VA, circa 1850-1854, small-sized, cylindrical jar with tooled shoulder and semi-rounded rim, decorated on the front with a large slip-trailed flower flanked a wavy line and draped chain links, which extend around the body of the jar. Additional wavy line decoration below rim, which extends around the circumference of the jar. Underside incised in fine script, "Smith". The decoration on this jar indicates it was made at Alexandria's Wilkes Street Pottery while under the ownership of Benedict C. Milburn. The similarities of this jar to other pieces bearing the elusive mark, "J.P. SMITH", briefly made by Milburn for merchant, James P. Smith, indicate it may have been made for use or sale by him. To our knowledge, this jar is the only known example of Alexandria stoneware inscribed in this manner. Excellent decoration and size. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, from a Virginia private collection. Literature: Illustrated in Wilder, Alexandria, Virginia Pottery 1792-1876, p. 340. Excellent condition with a 5 1/2" surface line at base, not visible on interior, a small in-the-firing surface flake near base on front, and an in-the-firing, slightly concave area to right side of jar. H 7 1/4".

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