Rare and Important Edgefield Face Jug, probably Lewis Miles / Stoney Bluff

July 20, 2019 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 90

Price Realized: $30,680.00

($26,000 hammer, plus 18% buyer's premium)

PLEASE NOTE:  This result is 5 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:  Greatest Hits | July 20, 2019 Auction | Southern Pottery | Edgefield Stoneware | Face Jugs

July 20, 2019 Auction Catalog

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Rare and Important Alkaline-Glazed Stoneware Face Jug, Edgefield District, SC origin, probably Lewis Miles' Stoney Bluff Manufactory, circa 1855-1870, cylindrical jug with flared spout, decorated with a hand-modeled and applied clay face, including upward-gazing kaolin eyes set within thick eyelids, arched eyebrows, a Roman nose with pointed tip, C-scroll ears with applied tragi, an open mouth with kaolin teeth, and pronounced chin. Surface covered in a glossy, olive-brown alkaline glaze with lighter green highlights throughout. The omission of incised details to the eyes and teeth as well as the shape of the nose relate this work to face vessel fragments excavated at Lewis Miles' Stoney Bluff Manufactory, where Dave served as an enslaved potter from 1849 until 1865. The jug's distinctive glaze is closely-related to those found on a number of inscribed "Lm" pieces, attributed to Dave and made at the Lewis Miles site. Edgefield face vessels are often difficult to attribute to a specific pottery. Based on archaeological evidence, this jug is one example that we can say where it was made with relative certainty. A sweet smell on the interior indicates it may have held molasses at one time. An incised line reminiscent of a mustache appears below the nose, likely unintentionally created by the potter's thumbnail as he applied the face's upper lip. A fine example of an increasingly desirable form. Coupled with this jug's sophisticated glaze treatment is a wonderful folk art quality to the modeling and placement of the facial features. including staggered application of the ears. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor years ago in New York State. A tight horizontal line near each end of the handle indicate the handle was reglued at some point. Otherwise excellent condition with a minor spout chip. H 6 1/2".

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