Extremely Rare and Important Lucius Jordan, Washington County, GA Inscribed Stoneware Jar

July 21, 2018 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 48

Price Realized: $1,888.00

($1,600 hammer, plus 18% buyer's premium)

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July 21, 2018 Auction Catalog

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Extremely Rare and Important Six-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Alkaline Glaze, Inscribed "These Jars was made By LJ", Lucius Jordan, Washington County, GA, circa 1835, ovoid jar with flared, semi-squared rim, applied lug handles, and distinctive throw lines at base of jar, the surface covered in a streaky brownish alkaline glaze, accented with light-green runs. Lightly-incised on shoulder of one side with the highly unusual inscription, "These Jars was made By LJ", followed by an indecipherable incised word, possibly "Manufactor". Opposite side of jar incised with the number "6", indicating the vessels capacity, along with a long, inscrutable word, which includes a lower-case "g" in the middle. A simple incised "P" or "D" appears to the right of this word. This jar was likely made by Jordan in Washington County, GA while learning the trade under Edgefield-trained potters, Abraham Massey and/or Cyrus Cogburn. While impressive in its size and elegant form, the jar reveals heavy throw lines in the bottom half, evident of a young potter still in the process of mastering his craft. The jar's form reveals a strong Edgefield influence, characteristic of the work of both Massey and Cogburn, and its inscription, referencing the manufacture of jars, is relatable to the enslaved Edgefield master, Dave. The inscription, which uses the term, "These Jars", suggests that Jordan had produced an entire group of vessels to be sold, and that this example served to identify him as the maker of a specific order. Inherent in his signed inscription is a sense of accomplishment, perhaps indicative of a young potter who successfully threw a large-sized jar or several for one customer's order. While a number of pieces bearing Jordan's distinctive "LJ" or "J" signatures are known, this is the first piece that we have seen by his hand featuring an entire incised inscription. Provenance: Found in Birmingham, AL approximately twenty-five years ago. Excellent condition with a shallow 1" chip to each handle, a shallow 5/8" rim chip, and minor rim wear. H 18".


Extremely Rare and Important Lucius Jordan, Washington County, GA Inscribed Stoneware JarExtremely Rare and Important Lucius Jordan, Washington County, GA Inscribed Stoneware JarExtremely Rare and Important Lucius Jordan, Washington County, GA Inscribed Stoneware JarExtremely Rare and Important Lucius Jordan, Washington County, GA Inscribed Stoneware JarExtremely Rare and Important Lucius Jordan, Washington County, GA Inscribed Stoneware JarExtremely Rare and Important Lucius Jordan, Washington County, GA Inscribed Stoneware JarExtremely Rare and Important Lucius Jordan, Washington County, GA Inscribed Stoneware JarExtremely Rare and Important Lucius Jordan, Washington County, GA Inscribed Stoneware JarExtremely Rare and Important Lucius Jordan, Washington County, GA Inscribed Stoneware Jar

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Bidding is now closed.
(Our next auction takes place July 20, 2019.)

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