Very Rare "Amen America / American Nation," probably Catawba Valley, NC

July 21, 2018 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 31

July 21, 2018 Auction Catalog

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Extremely Rare One-Gallon Alkaline-Glazed Stoneware Pitcher, Inscribed "Amen / America / American / Nation", probably Catawba Valley, NC origin, circa 1876, ovoid pitcher with flared collar and ribbed handle, the pitcher's side featuring the incised inscription, "Amen / America / American / Nation". Collar decorated with two parallel incised wavy lines, created with a two-pronged stylus. Surface covered in an olive-colored alkaline glaze. The patriotic inscription on this pitcher suggests the piece was made in commemoration of the Centennial. Despite being made only a little more than a decade after the Civil War, the potter seems to be celebrating the survival of a unified American nation. Nineteenth century Southern stoneware pieces with American historical, political, or religious references are highly unusual. This pitcher carries importance in its actual use of the word "America" inscribed on the vessel, a word difficult-to-find on stoneware from elsewhere in the country and essentially unheard of in Southern manufacture. The appealing addition of the word "Amen" at the beginning of the inscription connotes its production in the Bible Belt South. Heavy chipping to rim and spout. Some light wear to handle and surface of pitcher. Two adjacent reglued pieces at base on reverse, measuring a total size of 3 1/2" x 1 7/8". H 10".

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