Very Rare and Important Early Dated Jug by the Enslaved Potter, Dave (Edgefield District, SC)

July 20, 2019 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 92

Price Realized: DNMR

July 20, 2019 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare and Important Two-Gallon Alkaline-Glazed Stoneware Jug, Incised "April 18th 1831", Impressed "I" at Base, Dave at Harvey and Reuben Drake's Pottersville Pottery, Edgefield District, SC, 1831, highly-ovoid jug with delicately-potted, stepped spout, the surface covered in a light-green alkaline glaze with a second, heavier application of glaze cascading from the shoulder. Shoulder incised with the date, "April 18th 1831", surrounded by numerous incised punctates. Base impressed with a large serifed letter, "I". This jug survives as one of the earliest dated vessels attributed to Edgefield's famous enslaved African-American potter, Dave. Adding to its importance is the fact that it is one of a few extant pieces of Dave stoneware bearing a date verifying that it was made during the four-year-period that the Pottersville Pottery belonged to Harvey Drake and his brother, Reuben, the former being Dave's sole owner for the first thirty-two years of the slave's life. At the time of the publication of the Ceramics in America 2006 article, "Beneath His Magic Touch: The Dated Vessels of the African-American Slave Potter Dave", written by Arthur Goldberg and James Witkowski, only three dated vessels attributed to Dave and bearing an earlier date are known, two dating to 1829 and a third dating to March of 1831, the year this jug was manufactured. This work utilizes a classic Dave treatment, the incised punctate, as an elaborate decorative embellishment rather than a gallonage notation, as seen on his products of a later time period. In all, over ninety punctates form a sinuous border around the date, possibly the most outstanding display of such markings found on any extant Dave vessel. The base features a rare "I" stamp found on Pottersville stoneware, and the surface displays the pottery's highly-prized two-toned glaze. Surviving in immaculate condition and combining beauty, rarity, and historical significance, this work is easily-regarded as one of the most important examples of Southern stoneware that we have ever offered. Provenance: Discovered last year in a Southeastern U.S. home, this jug is still partially-filled with molasses and retains its early corn cob stopper. Excellent, essentially as-made condition with some typical, very minor in-the-firing chips to underside at edge. This jug's remarkable state of preservation is very rare among Southern pieces of this age (nearly 190 years old). H 13 3/8".


Very Rare and Important Early Dated Jug by the Enslaved Potter, Dave (Edgefield District, SC)Very Rare and Important Early Dated Jug by the Enslaved Potter, Dave (Edgefield District, SC)Very Rare and Important Early Dated Jug by the Enslaved Potter, Dave (Edgefield District, SC)Very Rare and Important Early Dated Jug by the Enslaved Potter, Dave (Edgefield District, SC)Very Rare and Important Early Dated Jug by the Enslaved Potter, Dave (Edgefield District, SC)Very Rare and Important Early Dated Jug by the Enslaved Potter, Dave (Edgefield District, SC)Very Rare and Important Early Dated Jug by the Enslaved Potter, Dave (Edgefield District, SC)Very Rare and Important Early Dated Jug by the Enslaved Potter, Dave (Edgefield District, SC)Very Rare and Important Early Dated Jug by the Enslaved Potter, Dave (Edgefield District, SC)Very Rare and Important Early Dated Jug by the Enslaved Potter, Dave (Edgefield District, SC)Very Rare and Important Early Dated Jug by the Enslaved Potter, Dave (Edgefield District, SC)Very Rare and Important Early Dated Jug by the Enslaved Potter, Dave (Edgefield District, SC)

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

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