Extremely Rare and Important Shenandoah Valley Stoneware Poem Jar by D. L. Eberly.

Fall 2021 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 252

Estimate: $6,000-$8,000.  A Note About Estimates

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Fall 2021 Auction Catalog

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Sold!  $8,000. 


Exceedingly Rare and Important Two-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Freehand Cobalt Poem, Signed "D.L.E." and Stamped " FROM / J. EBERLY & BRO. / STRASBURG, VA.," Daniel Letcher Eberly at the J. Eberly & Bro. Pottery, Strasburg, VA, circa 1877-1885, cylindrical jar with tooled shoulder and squared rim, one side decorated with the large freehand poem, "2. Y's. U. B / 2. Y's U. See / 2. Y's U Think / U.R. For Me. / D.L.E." Additionally inscribed vertically with the town of origin, "Strasburg," along with the two long swags featuring delicate dashed brushwork. Regarded as the Eberly pottery's masterpiece in stoneware, this wonderful jar displays D.L. Eberly's proficiency as an artist in clay and the written word. Eberly's charm and flair for writing are evidenced by a surviving diary and numerous love letters to his future wife, Estelle Golladay. Using letters to represent words in a rebus-like manner, this jar's poem, taken from related rhymes of the period, is romantic and playful. The repeated use of the number "2" to denote the word "too" may be a pun on the fact that the jar measures two gallons. The word, "Strasburg," written vertically down the body of the jar and flanked by regionally-styled brushwork, proudly states where the piece was produced and further indicates that it was a specially-made object. Examples of stoneware featuring poetry written in rhyming verse are extremely rare. Other noted examples of poetry on Southern stoneware included approximately thirty-five highly important rhyming verse jars by the enslaved Edgefield, South Carolina potter, David Drake, and a brandy jug made by Washington County, Virginia potter, Jessee Vestal, the latter owned by the William King Museum in Abingdon, Virginia. Provenance: Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates Auctions, The Collection of the Late John and Lil Palmer, April 5, 2014, lot 29; Ex-Collection Bill and Leah Pollard, Aldie, VA; Green Valley Auctions, March 5-6- 1993; Ex-Collection Tom and Liz Thorpe, Catlett, VA. Excellent with a small flake to top of rim, tiny rim nicks and a tiny base chip. H 11 3/4".



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