Rare and Important African-American W. JONES, Tuscaloosa Co, Alabama Stoneware Jug

March 23, 2019 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 223

Price Realized: $1,298.00

($1,100 hammer, plus 18% buyer's premium)

PLEASE NOTE:  The American ceramics market frequently changes, often dramatically. Additionally, small nuances of color, condition, shape, etc. can mean huge differences in price. Please do not hesitate to Contact Us for a Current, Accurate assessment of your items.

March 23, 2019 Auction Catalog

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Very Rare and Important Stoneware Handled Flask, Stamped "W. JONES", William Jones, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, origin, circa 1870, wheel-thrown jug with flattened sides and tooled spout, the surface covered in a clear salt glaze. Impressed with "W. JONES" maker's mark, featuring a reversed "N" and "S", at base on reverse. As explained in Joey Brackner's Alabama Folk Pottery, William Jones is "believed to be an African American," perhaps a former slave. Brackner illustrates a stoneware jar bearing Jones's maker's mark, and while the "JONES" (complete with backwards N and S) on that jar is identical, it reads "WM JONES," as opposed to the "W. JONES" seen on this flask. Jones's work is clearly exceptionally rare, and Brackner notes his operation may have only been in business for a few months, as follows: "William Jones, believed to be an African American, was a pottery owner in Romulus documented in the 1870 census of manufacturing. It is unclear how Jones became a potter, but a white family named Jones lived in the nearby community of Fosters. He may have been a former slave of the Jones family who had worked for the Maharry pottery, or he could have been a free person of color who was the owner of a pottery. No one knows how long Jones's pottery was in operation or how productive it was during its life. The 1870 industrial schedules indicate that it was in operation for three months of that year. Since Jones listed his occupation as farmer on the census population schedules, this could mean that the pottery operated on a seasonal basis or that the pottery was just beginning and operated for only three months." This may be the only example known bearing this exact version of Jones's maker's mark, and its exceptional form adds to its importance as a wonderful example of Southern stoneware. Excellent, essentially as-made condition with a small in-the-firing ping at base and some minor, in-the-firing clay residue to shoulder. H 9 1/2".


Rare and Important African-American W. JONES, Tuscaloosa Co, Alabama Stoneware JugRare and Important African-American W. JONES, Tuscaloosa Co, Alabama Stoneware JugRare and Important African-American W. JONES, Tuscaloosa Co, Alabama Stoneware JugRare and Important African-American W. JONES, Tuscaloosa Co, Alabama Stoneware JugRare and Important African-American W. JONES, Tuscaloosa Co, Alabama Stoneware Jug

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

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