Exceedingly Rare and Important Incised Southern Stoneware Jug, Virginia or Tennessee

Fall 2020 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 139

Estimate: $1,000-$1,500.  A Note About Estimates

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Fall 2020 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare and Important Southern Stoneware Jug with Incised Floral Decoration, VA or TN origin, possibly John Floyd at the Graves Pottery, Knox County, TN, circa 1857, highly-ovoid jug with heavily-tooled spout and ribbed handle, decorated with a large incised and cobalt-highlighted flower blossom featuring distinctive undecorated sections to the blossom's center and petals. Cobalt highlights to handle terminals. Shoulder impressed with a four-gallon capacity mark, stylistically similar to those found on stoneware produced during the second quarter of the 19th century in Virginia's James River Valley. The distinctive "open-work" incising featuring tear-drop-shaped petals relate this work to a highly-important cooler made by itinerant potter, John Floyd, at the Graves Pottery in Knox County, Tennessee. The cooler bears the inscription, "Made by Jn Floyd Knox Couty(sic) Tenn June 30 1857." Both the cooler and this jug are decorated in the style of Manhattan's Lower East Side potters, but feature darker clay typical of most Southern-made stoneware. The style of incising also compellingly connects this jug to the Rockbridge County, Virginia potter, John Morgan, himself a former Lower East Side potter and probable relative of the well-known David Morgan. The impressed capacity mark and style of handle on this jug further indicate it was not made in Manhattan. As relatively few examples of incised stoneware made in the American South are known, this jug serves as an important work both decoratively and historically speaking. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, from a recently-surfaced Brooklyn, NY collection. Excellent, essentially as-made condition with some typical in-the-firing flaws to surface and a faint horizontal line to handle. H 17".



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