Very Important F. H. COWDEN / HARRISBURG, PA Stoneware Jug w/ Indian Chief Decoration

October 28, 2017 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 84

October 28, 2017 Auction Catalog

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Important and Possibly Unique Four-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Cobalt Indian Chief Decoration, Stamped "F.H. COWDEN / HARRISBURG, PA", circa 1880, ovoid jug with tooled spout, decorated with a brushed design of an American Indian chief's bust with earring and elaborate feathered headdress including a spotted headband. Cobalt highlight to maker's mark, capacity mark, and handle terminals. This jug is, to our knowledge, the only example of Central Pennsylvania stoneware decorated with an image of an American Indian. The design may hold some significance to Harrisburg's Native-American history. An area referred to as "Paxtang" by the local Susquehannock people, now located in the suburbs of Harrisburg, served as an important Indian settlement and trade crossroads. At this site in 1763, a number of Scots-Irish immigrants formed a vigilante group known as the Paxton Boys, which killed six Susquehannock Indians at the Conestoga Town settlement in Millersville, Lancaster County, PA. Shortly later, they would kill fifteen more Susquehannocks, who were under protective custody at a safe house in Lancaster, PA. Together, these events are referred to as the Conestoga Massacre. Regardless of inspiration, the decoration on this jug ranks among the rarest figural motifs known on a piece of Pennsylvania stoneware. A 1 1/2" flake to top of spout, possibly in-the-firing. A small chip to reverse side of spout. H 16".

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