Important Double-Handled Stoneware Jug by Dave (August 31, 1852), Edgefield District, SC

Summer 2020 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 1

Price Realized: $72,000.00

($60,000 hammer, plus 20% buyer's premium)

PLEASE NOTE:  This result is 4 years old, and the American ceramics market frequently changes. Additionally, small nuances of color, condition, shape, etc. can mean huge differences in price. If you're interested in having us sell a similar item for you, please contact us here.

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Summer 2020 Auction Catalog

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Extremely Rare and Important Four-Gallon Double-Handled Stoneware Jug with Alkaline Glaze, Incised "Lm / August 31. 1852 / Dave," David Drake at Lewis Miles's Stony Bluff Manufactory, Horse Creek Valley, Edgefield District, SC, 1852, highly-ovoid jug with distinctive tooled spout and two applied strap handles, the surface covered in an attractive, light-green alkaline glaze. Front of jug deeply-incised diagonally with the inscription, "Lm / August 31. 1852 / Dave." Reverse shoulder incised with a horseshoe and slash mark above four punctates. Featuring an expressive two-handled form, high-gloss green glaze, and large signature, this work is among the finest Dave stoneware pieces to come to auction in the past decade. The glaze includes heavy runs to the shoulder, suggesting this piece was doubly-dipped or that additional glaze was poured over the top of the jug after it was initially coated. This vessel exudes character, featuring a highly-bulbous shape with an outstanding 42" circumference around the midsection. The double-handled jug form is among the rarest and most desirable Edgefield stoneware forms produced with any regularity. An example of a double-handled jug from any of the Edgefield potteries is a noteworthy object in any collection. Dave's surviving oeuvre indicates he rarely produced this form. At the time of publication of the Ceramics in American 2006 article by Arthur Goldberg and James Witkowski, "Beneath His Magic Touch: The Dated Vessels of the African-American Slave Potter Dave," 169 dated Dave vessels were documented. Only ten of these were double-handled jugs. Additionally, this is a form that is typically found with moderate to significant damage to the spout and/or handle(s). The fact that this work survives with its original spout and both handles intact is noteworthy. Our Summer 2020 auction offers a rare opportunity to acquire an example of signed Dave stoneware in an elusive and highly-sculptural form, surviving in exemplary condition. Literature: Illustrated in Goldberg and Witkowski, "Beneath His Magic Touch: The Dated Vessels of the African-American Enslaved Potter Dave," Ceramics in America 2006, fig. 31. A spider crack to left side of jug's front, with a thin line extending horizontally to the right, across the jug's front and a second line extending onto the reverse and terminating there. Minor spout and base chips. A minuscule nick to one handle. H 16".

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