Exceedingly Rare and Historically Significant Stoneware Flask w/ Incised Flag and Election of 1868 Inscriptions (Grant / Colfax vs. Seymour / Blair)

Fall 2020 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 33

Estimate: $8,000-$12,000.  A Note About Estimates

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Fall 2020 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare and Historically Significant Stoneware Flask with Incised Flag and Presidential Election of 1868 Inscriptions, OH origin, 1868, wheel-thrown, flattened form with tooled spout, one side featuring the incised and cobalt-highlighted inscription, "Grant / 45000 in / Ohio / Nov 3rd / 1868," the other side featuring the incised and cobalt-highlighted inscription, "H / C=Mour / will meat(sic) my Friends up / Salt River / Nov 4th / 1868." Additionally incised "MOB" below the spout, possibly referring to the flask's owner or maker. Edge of flask incised with a cobalt-highlighted decoration of an American flag, incised "Grant / Colfax." This flask was made shortly after the U.S. Presidential Election of 1868, in which Republican candidate and former Union General, Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), defeated the Democratic candidate, New York Governor Horatio Seymour (1810-1886). Grant's Vice Presidential nominee was Schuyler Colfax (1823-1885), a journalist and businessman who also served as the 25th Speaker of the House of Representatives. The inscription, "Grant 45000 in Ohio," refers to the number of votes Grant defeated Seymour by in Ohio, Grant's home state. (The actual number was 41,546.) The date at the base on this side, November 3, 1868, was Election Day. The opposite side pokes fun at Seymour's defeat. The term "meet. . up Salt River" is a slogan dating as early as 1827, which to be used to symbolize political defeat. Salt River runs through Kentucky and empties into the Ohio River. As the Ohio River was the main travel route in the region, to take Salt River instead would mean to follow a wayward and treacherous path that would leave you lost or worse. Note the date on this side, November 4, 1868, the day after the election, when the bitterness of defeat would be fresh in Seymour's mind. The Election of 1868 was a pivotal one in American history. It was the first presidential election of post-Civil War Reconstruction and the first in which African-Americans of the South could vote. Relatively few examples of American stoneware reference this period in our history. This political flask is among the finest American stoneware works commemorating Grant, the 18th President of the United States and one of the Civil War's most important figures, and its historical significance is difficult to overstate. Excellent, essentially as-made condition. H 8 1/2".



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