Exceptional Slip-Decorated Redware Jar, Peter Bell or John Bell, Hagerstown, MD, circa 1820

Spring 2021 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 226

Price Realized: $2,880.00

($2,400 hammer, plus 20% buyer's premium)

PLEASE NOTE:  This result is 2 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.

Spring 2021 Auction Catalog

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Exceptional Slip-Decorated Redware Jar, Peter or John Bell, Hagerstown, MD, circa 1820, ovoid jar with footed base, heavily-tooled shoulder, and coved rim, the surface coated in whitish slip, decorated with haphazard drips of copper slip, and covered in a clear lead glaze. The jar's lead glaze over a light whitish slip creates a beautiful and extremely rare cream-orange color to the exterior. Semi-matte whitish coloration is also visible around the surface of the vessel. The interior is coated in a clear lead glaze revealing the jar's iron-flecked base clay. This work's very early glaze treatment indicates it was made by Peter Bell while working in Hagerstown, MD, or possibly by his son, John, during his formative years as a potter in the same city. John Bell would continue to produce this stylish form with more standardized glazes after the establishment of his Waynesboro, Pennsylvania shop, during a period in which the debossed stamps, "I. BELL" and "J. BELL," were used. Pottery attributed to Peter Bell is considered rare and highly-prized, with relatively few examples surviving in comparison to his sons' work. As father of the Shenandoah Valley style and patriarch of the illustrious Bell family of potters, he is regarded as one of the most important ceramicists in American history. This jar, combining factors such as a maker, decorative quality, age, and condition, is a noteworthy example of Southern or early Shenandoah Valley redware. Excellent condition with minor wear, a few minor in-the-firing pings, and some in-the-firing craquelure to glaze. Few pieces of this age and origin have survived in such remarkable condition. H 8 3/4".

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