Exceedingly Rare and Important Baltimore Union Stoneware Manufactory Jug, 1808-10 (Earliest Southern Maker's Mark)

Summer 2021 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 299

Estimate: $1,000-$1,500.  A Note About Estimates

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Summer 2021 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare and Important Three-Gallon Iron-Decorated Stoneware Jug, Stamped "BALTIMORE / UNION STONE WARE / MANUFACTORY" Michael Grub and John Kilmer, Baltimore, MD, circa 1808-1810, highly-ovoid jug with heavily-tooled spout, tooled shoulder, and short handle with grooved midsection. Jug dipped in a reddish-brown iron solution and covered in a clear salt glaze. Impressed with distinctive three-gallon capacity mark above the maker's mark, "BALTIMORE/ UNION STONRWARE / MANUFACTORY." Decorated in the "iron-dipped" English style, Baltimore Union pieces were made contemporaneously with related Alexandria, Virginia stoneware produced by Lewis Plum, the master under which John Swann apprenticed. The stamp on this jar predates any maker's marks found on Alexandria or Richmond, VA stoneware, pieces produced by the Webster family in Fayetteville, NC, examples of Samuel Smith, Jr. stoneware from Knoxville, TN, or pieces produced at Abner Landrum's Pottersville Pottery in the Edgefield District of SC, making it the earliest Southern stoneware maker's mark known. The refined, English style of the vessel is also evident in its potting, most obvious in its wonderful spout, featuring a construction uncommon in America. This jug is one of a small number of known pieces bearing this stamp, used prior to the arrival of the Remmeys and the frequent use of cobalt decoration in the city. Provenance: Recently surfaced in Western Pennsylvania. Base chips. In-the-firing contact marks to surface, including some with raised pieces of adhered clay. A shallow chip to side of handle. Some surface crazing. H 16 1/2".



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