Important "Jacob Cuyler, Jr." Stoneware Presentation Jar, probably Troy, NY, late 18th century

November 3, 2018 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 102

Price Realized: $1,121.00

($950 hammer, plus 18% buyer's premium)

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November 3, 2018 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare and Important Two-Gallon Stoneware Presentation Jar with Incised Heart and Floral Motifs, Inscribed "Jacob Cuyler, Junr", probably Troy, NY origin, late 18th century, ovoid jar with footed base, heavily-tooled shoulder, vertical collar, and ribbed vertical handles; decorated on the front and reverse with incised and cobalt-highlighted floral motifs loosely-related to Manhattan stoneware of the period. Incised below floral decoration on one side with the name, "Jacob Cuyler Junr", above an incised heart pierced by an arrow. Additional incised "28" at shoulder. Opposite side incised with the letter, "M", followed by a long, lightly-incised flourish. Brushed cobalt highlights to handle terminals. This jar bears the name of Jacob Cuyler (1746-1823), a resident of Albany, who added the suffix "Junior" to distinguish himself from a prominent relative, Jacob J. Cuyler. Little is known about Cuyler, Jr's life, although his Albany tax assessment record from 1788 exists, as does his census records from 1790 and 1800. In 1790, Cuyler, Jr's household on the corner of Market and Steuben Streets included four family members and two slaves. (The intriguing incised heart-with-arrow motif below the owner's name indicates the jar may have been made for a wedding, although there is no evidence of Cuyler, Jr. ever marrying.) The form and overall style of the jar, which includes a lack of slip coating on the interior, appears to predate the famous "ALBANY WARE" of William Capron. The most likely makers of this jar are two potteries located in nearby Troy, both of which date to the late 18th century. One was owned by Moses Crafts, who, according to local tax records, appears to be associated with Troy potter, Josiah Chapman. A second pottery firm, that of Morgan and Smith, is another possibility. The small incised "M" on reverse may refer to either "Moses", as in Moses Craft, or "Morgan", as in Morgan and Smith. Heavy chipping to rim and base. Network of surface cracks to bottom half of jar, primarily to base area, some of which extend onto underside, along with one short crack that extends through to interior at base. H 13".


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Bidding is now closed.
(Our next auction takes place October 26, 2019.)

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