Exceptional "EZER WHITE / 1841" Stoneware Keg w/ Incised Eagle Decoration, Ezra White, Mercer, PA

Fall 2021 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 131

Estimate: $4,000-$6,000.  A Note About Estimates

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Fall 2021 Auction Catalog

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Sold!  $3,000. 

Large-Sized Stoneware Keg-Form Cooler with Incised Federal Eagle Decoration, Incised "1841," Stamped "EZER WHITE," Ezer (Ezra) White, Mercer, Mercer County, PA, 1841, ovoid cooler with tooled banding, original hole in top, and large, semi-squared bunghole, decorated with an incised design of a Federal eagle clutching an olive branch and arrows in its talons. Appealing stylized details to the design include striped incising to the wings, scale-like feather incising to the body, a scissor-shaped tail, and a heart-shaped shield across its chest, incised "1841" and stamped "EZER WHITE." Surface decorated with poured brown slip and covered in a clear salt glaze. Few examples of incised stoneware from Western Pennsylvania are known, this example featuring one of the earliest renderings of a Federal eagle seen in stoneware from the region. Decades later, cobalt-stenciled eagles would become synonymous with the Western PA stoneware aesthetic. The few surviving works by White indicate he was proficient in both stoneware and redware production. A heavily-decorated redware tea canister by White, dated 1846, was sold in Crocker Farm's March 23, 2019 auction, lot 174. A related tea canister resides in the collection of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, Williamsburg, VA. While other examples of White's work include a hand-incised signature, this cooler is the first piece that we have seen marked with a maker's stamp. Provenance: A recently-discovered example. Excellent condition with two chips to bunghole, an in-the-firing recessed area near base on reverse, and very minor in-the-firing chipping to top edge of cooler. H 20".

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