Exceptional Boonville, MO Stoneware Snake Jug Inscribed "B. Heiberger / 1891"

Summer 2021 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 133

Price Realized: $11,400.00

($9,500 hammer, plus 20% buyer's premium)

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Exceptional Albany-Slip-Glazed Stoneware Presentation Snake Jug, Inscribed "B Heiberger. / 1891," Boonville, Missouri, 1891, ovoid jug with tall spout and incised bark surface, the handle in the form of a hand-modeled and carved snake with turned head and open mouth. Body of jug further decorated with two applied snakes with open mouths, flanking the inscription, "B. Heiberger, / 1891., incised in a sgraffito style. Each snake features different sgraffito patterning to their skins--the snake handle with carved ovals, one lower snake with V-shaped markings, and the third with fan-shaped designs. Blasius Heiberger appears in the 1880 census as a viniculturist living in Boonville; given his occupation, it is possible that this jug was produced to hold wine or brandy. The 1890 census was destroyed, but it is worth noting that as of 1880, Heiberger was living next door to a local potter named Fred Lala. This sculptural work, featuring a dizzying array of incised treatments along with the owner's name, is among the finest examples of Missouri stoneware that we have ever offered. Excellent, essentially as-made condition, rarely found in American stoneware snake jugs. H 6 1/2".

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