Exceptional 5 Gal. JCM Stoneware Jar, attrib. Daniel Seagle, Catawba Valley, NC, c1840

March 24, 2018 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 13

Price Realized: $1,416.00

($1,200 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.

March 24, 2018 Auction Catalog

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Rare Five-Gallon Alkaline-Glazed Stoneware Jar, Stamped "J.CM", attributed to Daniel Seagle, Vale, NC, circa 1840, finely-potted, highly-ovoid jar with delicate rim and applied lug handles, the surface covered in an olive-colored alkaline glaze with glass runs cascading from the handles. Impressed on top of one handle, "J.CM", and on top of opposite handle with a five-gallon capacity mark. For years, collectors and historians of Catawba Valley stoneware have been searching for the identity of the elusive maker of early, highly refined pieces marked "JCM". It has been recently postulated that master potter Daniel Seagle, patriarch of the "Seagle school" of potters, made these wares for John Michal (b.about 1793, d.1844) and/or his father Johann Conrad Michal, members of a prominent local family. This attribution, made by North Carolina collectors and historians, Tom and Lana Kleeberg, originated with their discovery of an early Seagle-style jar commemorating a special occasion and inscribed "The Day after election 1837, JCM". Subsequent research showed John Michal was elected Clerk of Superior Court of Lincoln County, North Carolina in a special off-year election in 1837. John Michal and his father Johann Conrad Michal also appeared to own interests in one or more mercantile businesses in Lincolnton, the county seat where John Michal served his public office and largest town near Seagle's pottery, and in nearby Rutherfordton, North Carolina. Documented interactions between members of the Seagle and Michal families were found to be numerous, including their adjacent signatures on church rolls, marriage documents, etc. Both families' ancestry had recently migrated from the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area in the last quarter of the 18th century and it is not unreasonable to assume their ties went back several generations. Finally, almost all extant JCM marked wares exhibit forms and glazes virtually identical to Seagle's style, something very difficult to duplicate by another potter. Cumulative evidence would indicate that JCM is therefore a merchant's mark, not a potter's initials, and that Daniel Seagle likely produced the wares for the Michal family who had close business and personal ties to the Seagles. Provenance: Purchased at a local auction thirty years ago near Hickory, North Carolina. Very nice condition with rim chips to one side. A tiny handle nick. H 15".

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