Very Rare and Important Baltimore Stoneware Jug w/ Tree, probably Thomas Chandler, c1829

March 24, 2018 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 34

Price Realized: $2,242.00

($1,900 hammer, plus 18% buyer's premium)

PLEASE NOTE:  This result is 2 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.

March 24, 2018 Auction Catalog

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Extremely Rare Two-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Large Cobalt Tree Decoration, probably Thomas Chandler at Henry Myers' Baltimore Stoneware Manufactory, Baltimore, MD, circa 1829, ovoid jug with tooled spout, decorated with a brushed folk art design of a tree with curved trunk and heavy foliage. Applied layers of cobalt slip on the tree create gradations in color and texture that give the design an almost three-dimensional effect. Heavy cobalt brushwork decorates the handle terminals. This jug is attributed to the Baltimore Stoneware Manufactory of merchant, Henry Myers, which was operated by Henry Remmey and son, Henry Harrison Remmey, during the 1820s. A Baltimore Stoneware Manufactory attribution is based on the distinctive color and heavy application of the cobalt, the form and color of the jug, and the style of its handle. The Baltimore Stoneware Manufactory was known for its elaborate floral and foliate brushwork, as well as a small number of incised bird motifs executed by the Remmeys. Perhaps the most important piece of stoneware attributed to this pottery is the Thomas Chandler presentation churn with incised decoration of a farm scene with a woman churning butter. Chandler's work is well-documented from his tenure in Edgefield, South Carolina, during the 1830s through early 1850s, where he produced Baltimore-influenced, alkaline-glazed stoneware, often with kaolin or iron slip decoration. The aforementioned churn, however, is the only known signed example from Baltimore, the city in which he learned the potting trade. Bearing the incised inscription, "Thomas M. Chandler / Maker / Baltimore August / th 12 / 1829", the churn's outstanding decoration-in-the-round features several incised and cobalt-highlighted trees, two of which are closely related in their curved trunks, style of branches, and placement of foliage, to the brushed tree on this jug. No other tree designs have been documented on a piece of Baltimore stoneware. Moreover, the distinctive style in which the trees on the churn and tree on this jug are represented, coupled with the fact that both pieces were likely produced at the Baltimore Stoneware Manufactory, strongly suggests that this jug was made by Thomas Chandler. This jug would represent the only example of the form known by Chandler during his early Baltimore years, as well as one of only a very few Baltimore pieces carrying a Chandler attribution. Highly decorative in its own right, this jug may serve as an important link between the Baltimore salt-glazed stoneware industry and the alkaline-glazed ware produced further south. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, which recently surfaced in North Carolina. Literature: For a comparison to the signed Chandler churn, see Philip Wingard, "From Baltimore to the South Carolina Backcountry: Thomas Chandler's Influence on 19th-Century Stoneware", Ceramics in America 2013. A long sealed crack extending from underside to shoulder on reverse of jug, and then curving downward onto the shoulder area of the far right side of the jug's front. Discoloration near the base indicates the jug was once secured with a metal band. A minor chip to underside at edge. A small in-the-firing chip to shoulder on side of jug. H 15".

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