Rare Glazed Redware Inkwell, "W G B / 1838 / Dec 6," possibly William G. Barton, Hampshire County, VA (now WV)

Fall 2021 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 130

Price Realized: $1,920.00

($1,600 hammer, plus 20% buyer's premium)

PLEASE NOTE:  The American ceramics market frequently changes, often dramatically. Additionally, small nuances of color, condition, shape, etc. can mean huge differences in price. If you're interested in having us sell a similar item for you, please contact us here.

Fall 2021 Auction Catalog

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Rare Redware Inkwell, Inscribed "W G B / 1838 / Dec 6," possibly William G. Barton, Hampshire County, VA (now WV), 1838, cylindrical form with central spout surrounded by three quill holes, the top and bottom edges embellished with scalloped carving. Lead-glazed surface with vibrant red and orange coloration. Incised on underside "W G B / 1838 / Dec 6." This inkwell comes from the collection of the Washington County Historical Society's Miller House Museum in Hagerstown, MD, an institution whose pottery holdings are almost entirely Shenandoah Valley in origin. A survey of Shenandoah Valley potters bearing the initials of the signature on the bottom of this inkwell finds one possible result, a potter named William G. Barton, who was active in Hampshire County, VA (now WV), west of Winchester, during the mid 19th century. While none of Barton's work is known for comparison, a distinctive stripe-decorated redware jar, which descended in a Hampshire County family, was sold in Crocker Farm's October 26, 2019 auction, lot 15. The bold coloration of this inkwell differs markedly from typical Shenandoah Valley pieces, suggesting it may have been made at a pottery such as Barton's, whose work has yet to be documented. Provenance: Property deaccessioned by the Miller House Museum, Hagerstown, MD. Chips to top and bottom edge. A 5/8" chip to spout. Dimensions: 4 1/4" x 2 5/8".

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