Rare HUGH SMITH & CO (Alexandria, VA) Inscribed "DJ" for African-American Potter David Jarbour

Summer 2020 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 43

Price Realized: $720.00

($600 hammer, plus 20% buyer's premium)

PLEASE NOTE:  This result is 3 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.

Summer 2020 Auction Catalog

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Extremely Rare Three-Gallon Stoneware Jar, Stamped "HUGH SMITH & CO.," Incised on Underside "D J," David Jarbour at the Wilkes Street Pottery, Alexandria, VA, circa 1822-1825, ovoid jar with tooled shoulder, rounded rim, and applied tab handles, featuring the mark of merchant, Hugh Smith, within a rectangular cartouche. Small cobalt drip to front. Underside incised in large script with the initials, "DJ," for the free-black potter, David Jarbour, who worked at various times at Alexandria's Wilkes Street Pottery during the 1820s, 1830s, and 1840s. A highly-important, oversized stoneware jar in the collection of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Winston-Salem, NC bears the inscription, "1830 / Alexa / Maid by / D. Jarbour." The "D" on the underside of the jar in this auction relates in penmanship to the signature on the bottom of the MESDA jar as well as other Wilkes Street Pottery pieces attributed to Jarbour. This jar, however, is the first example that we have seen bearing the potter's full initials. A significant recent discovery in Virginia stoneware. A 2 5/8" rim chip. A 2 3/4" flake to underside at edge. Some light surface wear. A small, in-the-firing surface ping to shoulder above a shallow in-the-firing contact mark.

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