Rare and Important Nine-Gallon David Drake Stoneware Jar, "Aug 5, 1851 / Dave"

Spring 2021 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 55

Estimate: $30,000-$50,000.  A Note About Estimates

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Spring 2021 Auction Catalog

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Sold!  $55000. 


Rare and Important Nine-Gallon Alkaline-Glazed Stoneware Jar, Inscribed "Aug 5. 1851 / Dave / Lm," Dave at Lewis Miles' Stony Bluff Manufactory, Horse Creek Valley, Edgefield District, SC, 1851, large-sized, ovoid jar with tall collar, narrow rounded mouth, and raised lug handles, the surface covered in an olive-green alkaline glaze. Varying levels of concentration of the glaze application creates appealing variations in the color, gloss, and texture of the surface, a characteristic admired in this potter's work. Incised on the front at the shoulder, "Aug 5. 1851 / Dave," as well as on the reverse with a horseshoe marking and the initials, "Lm," for Dave's owner, Lewis Miles. This work was made somewhat earlier than Dave's most prolific period of signing his wares, which spanned from 1857 to 1858. Its form, featuring a narrow collar accented with tooled lines, is unusual in Dave's work. As of the writing of Goldberg and Witkowski's authoritative Ceramics in America 2006 article, "Beneath His Magic Touch: The Dated Vessels of the African-American Slave Potter Dave," this jar was the only signed example of Dave stoneware bearing an 1851 date. Featuring an imposing size, unusual form, and desirable green glaze, this work is among the most important examples of Southern-made stoneware to come to auction in recent years. A 1 7/8" chip to one handle. A professionally restored, dime-sized hole to left side of jar's front near midsection. A small chip to opposite handle. A 1 5/8" chip to interior of rim. A few other very minor rim chips. Scattered light exfoliation to base area / underside of jar. A tiny in-the-firing surface flake to shoulder on front and small surface flake to shoulder on reverse. Some minor in-the-firing flaws to interior. No cracks. H 19".

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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