Outstanding Stoneware Jar Inscribed "Lm / Dave / Decr. 17 1857" Edgefield District, SC

Spring 2020 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 11

Price Realized: $216,000.00

($180,000 hammer, plus 20% buyer's premium)

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Spring 2020 Auction Catalog

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Rare Eight-Gallon Alkaline-Glazed Stoneware Jar, Incised "Lm / Decr 17. 1857 / Dave," Dave at Lewis Miles's Stoney Bluff Manufactory, Horse Creek Valley, Edgefield District, SC, 1857, ovoid jar with thick, arched handles and wide, semi-rounded rim, the surface covered in a poured, green-toned alkaline glaze. The jar's shoulder is deeply incised on the front with the initials of Dave's owner, Lewis Miles, and the vessel's date of manufacture: "Lm / Decr 17. 1857". The signature, "Dave," of the enslaved African-American potter appears below in large script. An incised symbol resembling a half-moon, letter "D," or reductive fish appears to the left of the potter's signature. The reverse shoulder is incised with two vertical rows of four punctates, indicating eight gallons, flanking two incised slash marks. A series of deeply-incised slashes at the base of the jar's front appear purposeful, although their meaning is unknown. Varying concentrations in the application of the glaze on this jar has created a dramatic surface rife with vitality, color, and texture, and numerous bold glaze runs are visible around the entire body of the vessel. Surviving in outstanding condition, sporting a crisp Dave signature, and displaying the artist's flare for both throwing and glazing, this jar is among the finest works that we have offered by one of America's most well-known African-American artisans. Excellent condition. Left handle with two shallow chips, measuring 3/4" and 5/8", and a tiny nick. Right handle with three very minor chips. A thin, approximately 5 1/2" crack on underside, extending approximately 5 1/2" up reverse. A long, faint horizontal line at base of jar, which does not extend through to interior and likely occurred in the firing. A minor base chip. H 16" ; Diam. (across top) 12 7/8".

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