Very Rare and Important Small-Sized Stoneware Keg w/ Incised Owl and Fish Decoration, Albany, NY, c1810-15

Summer 2021 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 72

Estimate: $7,000-$10,000.  A Note About Estimates

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Summer 2021 Auction Catalog

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Very Rare and Important Diminutive Stoneware Rundlet with Incised Owl and Fish Decorations, Albany, NY origin, possibly Paul Cushman Pottery, circa 1810-1815, barrel form with raised banding and octagonal bunghole at center, decorated with incised and cobalt-highlighted designs of a raised-wing owl perched on a stylized branch and a large fish. Both designs are wonderfully-rendered with strong folk art appeal, and include a head-on stare with pointed "ears" on the owl and checkerboard scaling to the fish. Of particular note is the style of the incising of the owls' face, which is closely-related to animal faces seen on two iconic examples of signed Cushman stoneware: the cat churning butter depicted on a churn and the owl on a jug-form cooler. Both pieces are standouts at the Albany Institute of History and Art in Albany, New York. Further suggesting a Cushman-period Albany origin is the color of the rundlet and crudely-applied cobalt brushwork. This work ranks among the most outstanding examples of small-sized New York State stoneware that we have offered in recent years, featuring exceptional form and two excellent incised figural designs. Loss to bunghole. A few other minor chips. H 4 1/2".

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