Very Rare Early Hagerstown Redware Pitcher, possibly Peter Bell or John Bell

October 26, 2019 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 153

Price Realized: $1,475.00

($1,250 hammer, plus 18% buyer's premium)

PLEASE NOTE:  This result is 3 years old, and the American ceramics market frequently changes. Additionally, small nuances of color, condition, shape, etc. can mean huge differences in price. Please Contact Us for a Current, Accurate assessment of your items.

October 26, 2019 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare and Important Glazed Redware Pitcher with Multi-Colored Slip Floral Decoration, Hagerstown, MD origin, possibly Peter or John Bell, first quarter 19th century, ovoid pitcher with footed base and tooled collar, the lead-glazed surface dipped in cream-colored slip and decorated in copper and manganese slip with a wavy stem bearing three tulip blossoms. Additional manganese decoration appears at the spout, the sides of the collar, highlighting the handle terminals, and covering the underside of the pitcher. The early style form and distinctive color scheme of the pitcher indicate it was made in Hagerstown, MD during the early 19th century. More specifically, the vessel's tulip motif is reminiscent of floral motifs employed by Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania master potter, John Bell, who began is career in Hagerstown, MD with his father, Peter. A documented tin-glazed redware coffee pot, made somewhat later in Bell's career, exhibits related slip decoration featuring copper blossoms and manganese stems. Moreover, two slip-trailed redware bowls, both attributed to Bell's father, Peter, during his tenure in Hagerstown (see Crocker Farm, Inc., July 11, 2009, lot 145 and November 3, 2012, lot 66) bear somewhat-related tulip designs. A relationship can also be seen in the wide-bodied, footed form of this pitcher and a number of early ale mugs produced by John Bell during his first several years potting in Pennsylvania. Based on this pitcher's glaze scheme and distinctive decoration, it was quite possibly made by John Bell during his formative years working with Peter Bell in Hagerstown, or possibly by Peter Bell himself. Provenance: Recently-surfaced in the Hagerstown, MD area. Poorly-restored handle. Glazed surface survives in excellent condition. A chip to interior of rim and minor rim wear. A faint, approximately 5" vertical hairline appears on the front. H 6 3/4".

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