Exceptional William Pecker (Merrimacport, MA) Stoneware Jar w/ Birds and Washington Busts

October 28, 2017 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 46

Price Realized: $4,425.00

($3,750 hammer, plus 18% buyer's premium)

PLEASE NOTE:  This result is 7 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:  October 28, 2017 Auction | New England Stoneware | Massachusetts Stoneware

October 28, 2017 Auction Catalog

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Important and Possibly Unique Six-Gallon Stoneware Presentation Jar with Impressed Bird-and-Floral Motif including Washington Bust, Incised "S.H.", attributed to William Pecker, Merrimacport, MA, circa 1790-1810, large-sized, ovoid jar with heavily-tooled shoulder and open loop handles, decorated on the front with an impressed and cobalt-highlighted design of a bird on a branch with turned head, feeding at a large flower blossom. Interior of blossom and area to right of blossom impressed with a small raised bust of George Washington. Shoulder incised with the large cobalt highlighted initials "S.H.". Reverse with additional impressed and cobalt-highlighted bird-and-floral design, also incorporating two Washington busts. Brushed cobalt highlights to handle terminals. The distinctive impressed decorations on this jar indicate it was made by Merrimacport, Massachusetts potter, William Pecker, a maker well-known for the production of redware. A small number of surviving signed and attributed stoneware pieces indicate he was a skilled craftsman in this medium as well. This example is regarded as the finest example of William Pecker stoneware known. It is the largest-sized stoneware piece by Pecker we have seen, incorporating rare open handles and Washington bust impressions, which we have not observed on any of his other stoneware products. The initials, "S.H.", likely referring to the person for whom this jar was made is believed to be unique to this work. Moreover, while other Pecker pieces may include a single impressed design on each side, or even lack cobalt application, this example features three different impressed decorations, along with cobalt highlights throughout. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor decades ago. Literature: For a discussion of William Pecker's stoneware production, see Kille, "William Pecker Stoneware Jar", Ceramics in America 2004. Long, thin curving crack from rim on reverse, extending onto front. Heavy chipping to rim. Some fairly innocuous chipping to base, some of which is glazed over. In-the-firing, glazed-over lines to base area. H 16 1/4".

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