Extremely Rare FORT EDWARD POTTERY CO. Stoneware Crock w/ Elaborate Scarecrow Scene

October 26, 2019 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 199

October 26, 2019 Auction Catalog

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Extremely Rare Three-Gallon Stoneware Crock with Cobalt Decoration of a Scarecrow in a Garden, Stamped "FORT EDWARD / POTTERY CO.," George Satterlee, Fort Edward, NY, circa 1859, cylindrical crock with tooled shoulder, semi-squared rim, and applied lug handles, decorated with a slip-trailed design of a scarecrow in a garden flanked by fences with a row of planted vegetables in the foreground. The scarecrow is depicted from behind with outstretched arms and hat, wearing a coat with buttoned coattails visible. The reverse is profusely-decorated with a large floral spray. Cobalt slip highlights the maker's mark and capacity mark on the crock's front. The maker's mark, "FORT EDWARD POTTERY CO.," was used by George Satterlee during a brief, early period of operation, circa 1859. Pieces bearing the somewhat-scarce mark are typified by the boldness of the cobalt slip decoration, as exemplified by this work. Among the Fort Edward Pottery Company's best pieces are those featuring large and thickly-slip-trailed bird and standing deer designs. This crock is the first example that we have seen from this pottery depicting an anthropomorphic figure, and is also only one of two scarecrow designs that we have seen in 19th century American stoneware production. This decoration may have been inspired by the vegetables commonly held in vessels of this type, such as pickled cabbage (sauerkraut). This object combines rarity with strong decorative appeal, with a design representative of the country lifestyle it saw use in. The inclusion of a second decoration on the crock's reverse side is exceptionally rare and speaks to the idea that this work was a specially-made presentation piece. Very nice condition with only minor flaws. A shallow, in-the-firing chip to top of rim. Shallow chipping to back end of right handle. A short and minor line along edge of left handle. Some faint surface lines in underside, not visible on interior, which likely occurred in the firing. A 3/4" surface chip to reverse. An in-the-firing contact mark to base of decoration on reverse.

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