Extremely Rare Temperance Jug attrib. Simeon L. Bray, Evansville, IN, circa 1885

March 24, 2018 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 5

Price Realized: $20,060.00

($17,000 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.

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March 24, 2018 Auction Catalog

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Extremely Rare Cobalt-and-Albany-Slip-Decorated Stoneware Temperance Jug with Applied Snake, Lizard, and Monkey Decorations, attributed to Simeon L. Bray, Evansville, Indiana, circa 1885, ovoid jug with tapered spout and combed, bark-like incising throughout, the handle in the form of a hand-modeled snake biting the arm of an applied figure of a monkey, whose head disappears into the neck of the jug. A second snake applied atop the handle bites the monkey's second arm. Two smaller snakes and a lizard are applied to the body of the jug, pursuing the monkey. Surface covered in a salt glaze with heavy cobalt highlights to the snakes and lizard, iron-oxide highlights throughout the jug's surface and animals, additionally overglazed with daubs of chocolate-brown Albany slip. Simeon, along with his brothers, J. Wallace and William, spent their early years in the town of Anna, Illinois, where they likely learned the pottery trade from the famed Kirkpatrick brothers. This work is one of a small number of Anna-inspired Bray family temperance jugs known. It is noteworthy in its size, believed to the largest-capacity Bray example known, and most importantly in its glaze, being the only documented example with cobalt decoration. This jug survives in rarely-found excellent, essentially as-made condition. Temperance jugs, because of their delicate applied work, typically succumbed to losses in the firing or from use. H 7 3/4".

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