Exceedingly Rare and Important J.B. PFALTZGRAFF / YORK, PA Eagle Crock w/ Civil War Inscription

July 21, 2018 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 153

Price Realized: $15,340.00

($13,000 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:  July 21, 2018 Auction | Central PA Stoneware

July 21, 2018 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare and Important Six-Gallon Stoneware Crock with Cobalt Decoration of a Flying Eagle with Banner, Inscribed "WE ARE AFTER YOU", Stamped "J.B. PFALTZGRAFF / YORK, PA.", circa 1861-1865, large-sized, cylindrical crock with semi-rounded rim and applied lug handles, decorated with a slip-trailed design of a flying eagle with heavily-detailed body and wings, holding a banner in its beak, inscribed "WE ARE AFTER YOU". Cobalt highlights to maker's mark, capacity mark, and handle terminals. This previously-undocumented work by the famous Pfaltzgraff Pottery of York, PA is one of only three documented Central PA stoneware pieces with an eagle design. It is a recent addition to a small body of figural-decorated crocks with inscriptions produced by the Pfaltzgraffs and regarded as their finest work. (Among these are the iconic "Lady Killer" crock reproduced by Pfaltzgraff during the late 20th century). The eagle motif and large slogan, "WE ARE AFTER YOU", strongly suggest that this crock was made as a piece commemorating the Union Army during the Civil War, with the inscription serving as a declaration of war against the Confederacy. York, Pennsylvania, located just across the Mason-Dixon Line, was surrendered to Confederate Major General Jubal Early in 1863, becoming the largest Northern city to be occupied by Confederate troops. Between June 28 and 30 of that year, Early collected food and supplies from York's townspeople, also demanding $100,000 in exchange for not raiding the city. The people of York were only able to gather $28,600, which Early was satisfied with. Local landmarks such as the York Fairgrounds and courthouse became occupation sites, until Early traveled westward in accordance with new orders from Robert E. Lee. The anger of the people of York over this invasion may have been the inspiration for the slogan seen on this crock. An outstanding Pennsylvania stoneware product, in terms of decoration, historical significance, maker, and size. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, which descended in the family of the owners of Menges Mills, York Co., PA. A long, inverted Y-shaped surface crack to right of eagle, not visible on interior. A long, slightly-curved crack to underside. A few faint, short horizontal surface lines near base on reverse. A shallow 1" surface flake/contact mark to reverse. A 1 1/4" in-the-firing flake to top of rim and two minor in-the-firing rim nicks. Some light bubbling to cobalt. H 13 7/8".

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