Rare and Important "Dave / Aug 28. 1858" Stoneware Jar by Enslaved Edgefield, SC Potter David Drake

July 20, 2019 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 91

Price Realized: $22,420.00

($19,000 hammer, plus 18% buyer's premium)

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July 20, 2019 Auction Catalog

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Rare and Important Four-Gallon Alkaline-Glazed Stoneware Jar, Inscribed "Aug 28. 1858 / Dave / Lm / X", Dave at Lewis Miles' Stoney Bluff Manufactory, Horse Creek Valley, Edgefield District, SC, 1858, rotund jar with flared, semi-rounded rim and arched tab handles, the surface covered in a light, olive-green alkaline glaze with traces of rutile below the rim. Incised vertically on the shoulder with the large date, "Aug 28. 1858", followed by the signature of Edgefield's enslaved African-American potter, Dave. This inscription includes an interesting, looping flourish to the "g" in "Aug" conjoined to the "D" in "Dave". Additionally incised on the shoulder with the initials, "Lm", for Dave's owner, Lewis Miles, followed by an "X". At the time of publication of Goldberg and Witkowski's Ceramics in America 2006 article, "Beneath His Magic Touch: The Dated Vessels of the African-American Slave Potter Dave", no dated vessels signed by or attributed to Dave made during the month of August 1858 were known. This example is an exciting recent discovery, which descended to a North Carolina resident from her grandmother. Today, the emergence of such a piece, a previously-unknown signed example of Dave stoneware, is considered a rare and noteworthy occurrence. This example, featuring the potter's classic jar form, an appealing glaze, and deeply-scrawled inscription including a signature, date, owner's initials, and x-shaped "slave mark", is regarded as an outstanding example of Southern stoneware or African-American art. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor's grandmother in Georgia decades ago. A 3 1/8" rim chip on reverse. A 2 1/4" rim chip on front. Handle chips. A faint 1 1/4" line in one handle. A thin 5 1/2" crack from rim. Minor base wear. H 13 1/4".


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(Our next auction takes place October 26, 2019.)

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