Monumental J. D. & T. W. CRAVEN Stoneware Water Cooler Inscribed "Moore Co. / N. C."

Fall 2020 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 160

Estimate: $10,000-$15,000.  A Note About Estimates

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Fall 2020 Auction Catalog

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Monumental Twelve-Gallon Stoneware Cooler with Cobalt Inscription, "Moore Co. / NC.," Stamped "J.D. & T.W. CRAVEN," Jacob Dorris Craven (1824-1895) and Thomas Wesley Craven (1829-1858), Moore County, NC origin, circa 1856-1858, cylindrical form with flared spout and applied strap handles, the base with original carved bunghole on the side of the vessel, the front featuring the freehand cobalt inscription, "Moore Co. / NC." Cobalt highlights to maker's mark, handle terminals, and depressions at base of handles. This antebellum Southern cooler of enormous capacity proudly commemorates the vessel's county of origin in cobalt brushwork, a decorative treatment rarely seen in North Carolina stoneware. It may have served as a storefront advertising piece or possibly prominently displayed in a local place of business, the inscription serving to promote the region and the vessel's Southern manufacture. A related jug, currently on display at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, bears the mark of 1845-1857 maker's mark of William Nicholas Craven and the cobalt inscription, "Sate(sic) of NC / randolph / county". As with the cooler, this Craven family member seems more concerned with promoting the vessel's production in a Southern state over his own signature. Exemplary in its form, size, and cobalt inscription, the cooler, made during the brief partnership of brothers, Jacob Dorris and Thomas Wesley Craven, is among the finest examples of Craven family stoneware to come to auction in years. Imposing in its size, it is also among the largest coolers known in 19th century Southern stoneware production. One handle professionally restored. An approximately 19" thin, sealed vertical crack to right side. A few minor base chips. A horizontal surface line to shoulder, along the seam between two wheel-thrown sections that were joined to form the cooler. H 28 1/2".

Special Note: Due to this object's large size, we are unable to ship it using our normal in-house shipping service. It must either be picked up by the high bidder, or special arrangements must be made by the high bidder for pick up and / or shipping by a third party. If you have any questions, please contact us; we are certainly able to recommend options for third party shippers ahead of time that you can contact for a quote.



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