Exceptional Stoneware Crock w/ Bold Mule Decoration attrib. West Troy, NY

March 24, 2018 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 90

Price Realized: $17,700.00

($15,000 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.

Auction Highlight:  March 24, 2018 Auction | NY State Stoneware

March 24, 2018 Auction Catalog

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Outstanding Five-Gallon Stoneware Crock with Cobalt Decoration of a Standing Mule, West Troy, NY origin, circa 1875, large-sized, cylindrical crock with semi-rounded rim and applied lug handles, decorated with a boldly-slip-trailed design of a mule, standing atop a shrub-covered ground. Featuring a large, outlined form with heavy masses of cobalt slip filling the interior, this design is closely-related to that found on the iconic West Troy elephant jar sold in our July 18, 2015 auction. Just as details to the elephant's ear and eye were created by carving away cobalt slip from these areas, the mule on this crock features fine details to the face, mane, chest, and legs, created by incising into the applied cobalt. This treatment was even employed to delineate a crossed stance to the rear legs. The design may have been inspired by the frequent sight of mules pulling cargo along the Erie Canal, on which West Troy (now Watervliet) was located. Moreover, mules were frequently used to grind clay in potters' pug mills. Its use of silhouetted cobalt against a light clay background creates a striking image in the vein of the 20th century American folk artist, Bill Traylor (1853-1949). One of the finest animal decorations we have offered in recent years. Provenance: A recently-surfaced example, purchased by the consignor over thirty years ago. Excellent condition with a small chip and minor wear to one handle, and a salt glob near base on side of crock. H 12 1/4".

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