Extremely Rare "W. H. Rager," Palatine, WV (or Greensboro, PA) Redware Razorback Pig Flask

Fall 2021 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 129

Estimate: $2,000-$3,000.  A Note About Estimates

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Fall 2021 Auction Catalog

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Sold!  $2,700. 

Exceedingly Rare Glazed Redware Razorback Hog Flask with Incised Slogan, Signed "W.H. Rager," William Herbert Rager, Palatine, WV or possibly Greensboro, PA origin, circa 1875-1885, molded flask in the form of a reclining pig with spout at rear, incised details to face and hooves, and anatomically-correct underside. An appealing, folky rendering of the classic pig bottle form with broad, flattened snout and applied razorback crest with incised details. Flask is incised on one side with the script slogan, "the oil of gladness / suck me and be happy." Additionally incised on the underside with the signature, "W.H. Rager." Surface covered in a clear lead glaze with iron flecking throughout. Made by Rager at his Palatine stoneware manufactory, or possibly earlier during his tenure in Greensboro (where he appears as a potter in the 1870 census), this outstanding work is the only redware pig flask from the Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia potting tradition that we are aware of. Its humorous inscription includes the term, "oil of gladness," used to describe God's anointing in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Provenance: Collection of Lewis Fenley "Dusty" Parker. Missing tail. Chips to ears. A chip and wear to snout. A chip and minor nick to spout. Chips to legs. L 7 1/4".

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