Exceedingly Rare and Important Roseville, Ohio Stoneware Crock with Inscribed Potters' Names

Summer 2021 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 140

Price Realized: $6,600.00

($5,500 hammer, plus 20% buyer's premium)

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Auction Highlight:  Summer 2021 Auction | Ohio & Midwest

Summer 2021 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare and Important Four-Gallon Stoneware Collaborative Crock with Elaborate Freehand Cobalt Decoration, Inscribed "C. Swain / G.W. Pope / J.H. Newman / Roseville Ohio / OHIO," Roseville, OH, circa 1870, cylindrical crock with tooled shoulder, semi-rounded rim, and applied lug handles, decorated with intricate freehand spot, S-curve, and spotted drape designs to shoulder. Midsection with flowering stem motif featuring distinctive blossoms in the Roseville style. Inscribed on left side with the names, "C. Swain" and "G.W. Pace," both underscored by stripes and inverted pyramidal spots. Right side of crock inscribed "Ohio," with the same flourishes below, as well as the inscription, "J.H. Newman / Roseville / Ohio." Reverse impressed "4" at shoulder. Census research has revealed the identities of the three names on the crock. The U.S. Federal Census of 1870 lists Caleb Swain as a 41-year-old "pedlar" living in Roseville, Ohio. This transcription, however, may be a misreading of the word, "potter," or may indicate that Swain was involved in peddling stoneware to various customers. The same year lists George Pace and Joseph Newman as "Jour[neyman] Potter[s]," both living in Roseville, aged 54 and 36 respectively. This crock, then, was either made collectively by all three or celebrating some form of partnership. The combination of three hand-inscribed names on a single piece is highly unusual. Combining both high decorative appeal and insight into the local pottery industry, this work ranks among the most noteworthy Ohio stoneware objects that we have offered in recent years. Sealed cracks on underside, becoming very thin and extending partway up body of crock. This damage includes a reglued 5 3/4" wedge at base on the reverse. Two short, minor Y-shaped surface lines to front, not visible on interior. H 11 1/2".




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