Outstanding J. & E. NORTON / BENNINGTON, VT Six-Gallon Water Cooler w/ Profuse Flowering Urn / Compote

Summer 2020 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 119

Price Realized: $10,800.00

($9,000 hammer, plus 20% buyer's premium)

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Auction Highlight:  Summer 2020 Auction | New England Stoneware | Norton Pottery

Summer 2020 Auction Catalog

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Outstanding Six-Gallon Stoneware Water Cooler with Profuse Cobalt Flowering Urn Motif, Stamped "J. & E. NORTON / BENNINGTON, VT.," circa 1855, cylindrical, jug-form cooler with squared spout, applied open handles at the shoulder, and circular bunghole at base. Exuberantly-decorated with a slip-trailed design of a pedestal-based urn emanating from the bunghole, brimming with flowers, leaves, vines, and spotted trails. Urn design includes stripes and turnings to its pedestal, spotted gadrooning above, and open handles. When considering the curve of the vessel, this extravagant design measures roughly 15" tall by 14" wide, making it among the largest Norton urn motifs known. Cobalt highlights to maker's mark and capacity mark. The form of this cooler is unusual, as the vast majority from this period in Norton family production are designed as kegs. A few masterworks in the Bennington Museum exhibit this stylish jug form as well. This cooler was made during the zenith of the Nortons' output in Bennington, typified by over-the-top slip-trailed decoration. Many such designs from this period, and possibly the design on this jug, are attributed to a German-born itinerant artist named John Hilfinger (1826-1888), who was active in Bennington from 1855 to 1864. Designs such as that seen on this jug have helped stoneware become recognized as an art form in the 20th century. Imposing in size, sculptural in its potting, and captivating in its decoration, this cooler ranks among the finest examples of Norton stoneware to come to auction in recent years. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor decades ago. An approximately 6" crack from spout on reverse. Two horizontal cracks in left handle with a couple of chips along one crack, although it is clear that no section of the handle was broken out and reglued. An in-the-firing chip/contact mark to top of same handle. A minor chip and small spider crack to bunghole. A recessed, in-the-firing contact mark to reverse. A small in-the-firing contact mark to right side of cooler's front. H 20".



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