Extremely Rare and Important "Thomas Haig, Jr. / Philadelphia" Redware Log Cabin Bank, May 11, 1852

Summer 2020 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 216

Price Realized: $2,280.00

($1,900 hammer, plus 20% buyer's premium)

PLEASE NOTE:  The American ceramics market frequently changes, often dramatically. Additionally, small nuances of color, condition, shape, etc. can mean huge differences in price. Please do not hesitate to Contact Us for a Current, Accurate assessment of your items.

Summer 2020 Auction Catalog

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Exceptional Slip-Decorated Redware Log Cabin Bank with Impressed Inscriptions, Signed in Script "Thomas Haig, Jr. / May 11th, 1852," Thomas Haig, Jr., Philadelphia, PA, 1852, molded bank in the form of a log cabin with raccoon on roof, cider keg on each side, and open door forming a coin slot. Raccoon is composed of yellow clay and bears the impressed slogan, "OLD COON." Yellow slip highlights to windows and doorsteps. Sporadic manganese highlights throughout. Surface covered in a heavy lead glaze. Base bears the impressed signature, "HAIG / PHILADELPHIA," and the potter's initials, "TH," four times. Remnants of an incised 1852 date can be seen on the surface of the base as well. The underside includes a large and ornately-incised Thomas Haig, Jr. signature along with the date, "May 11th, 1852." An iconic Philadelphia ceramic form, such banks were produced by Thomas Haig, Jr. in stoneware, redware, and flint enamel, to commemorate William Henry Harrison's "Log Cabin Campaign of 1840." Relatively few examples produced in each clay medium are known, those in redware being perhaps the rarest. Harrison, a Whig candidate for U.S. President at age 67, was considered too old by Democrats, with one newspaper declaring, "Give him a barrel of hard cider, and. . . a pension of two thousand [dollars] a year. . . and. . . he will sit the remainder of his days in a log cabin." Harrison's Whig Party turned this idea against his opponents, presenting its candidate as "the log cabin and hard cider candidate", a man of the people, who contrasted starkly with the elitist Democratic candidate, Martin van Buren. Such banks, which celebrated Harrison with their log cabin form and cider kegs at each end, continued to be produced into the 1850s, long after Harrison's ill-fated, one-month presidency, which ended in his death from pneumonia. This bank is arguably the finest of all cabin banks created by Haig, as it is the only example that we have seen featuring impressed words on the raccoon and base. The moniker, "Old Coon," was a nickname for Winfield Scott, who ran as the Whig Party candidate against Democrat, Franklin Pierce, in the Presidential Election of 1852. The bank's May 1852 date indicates this piece was made as a souvenir for Scott's candidacy in the months before the election. Provenance: Ex-The Stradlings; Sotheby's: Sinking Springs Farms: The Appell Family Collection, January 18, 2003, lot 1211; purchased from Joe Kindig, Jr., York, PA for $35. Losses to base. Chips to chimneys. A chip and wear to slot. Some damage to ears of raccoon. L 4 7/8" ; W 3 1/2" ; H 4 1/2".

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