Exceedingly Rare Pair of JOHN BELL (Waynesboro) Redware Spaniel Figures w/ Original Painted Surfaces

Fall 2021 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 306

Estimate: $10,000-$15,000.  A Note About Estimates

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Fall 2021 Auction Catalog

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Sold!  $16,000. 


Exceedingly Rare and Important Pair of Redware Spaniel Figures in Original Paint, Both Stamped "JOHN BELL," Waynesboro, PA, circa 1840-1880, molded pair of Staffordshire-style spaniels on bases, featuring incised details to face and paws, the reverse of each with impressed circular details to collar. Surfaces of each in original black-and-white paint, including finely-brushed details to the eyes, collar, locket, and chain, under a very old, possibly original, coat of varnish. Original light-red paint to mouths. Each impressed "JOHN BELL" on underside. The molded spaniel is regarded as one of the most coveted forms in Bell family pottery production. Relatively few from the Bells' operations in Pennsylvania or Virginia have survived, and very few pairs are known, all of which were made at John Bell's Waynesboro shop. In our research, we have yet to find record of another pair having been sold at auction. This lot is arguably the finest of the few known pairs in existence, defined by its exemplary condition. Easily among the most important Bell family pottery lots to ever come to auction. Literature: Right-facing spaniel illustrated in Wiltshire, Folk Pottery of the Shenandoah Valley, p. 30, pl. 5. Exhibited: Spaniel on left- exhibited at The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, Williamsburg, VA, May 25-October 4, 1975. Provenance: Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates, The Collection of the Late John & Lil Palmer, April 5, 2014, 27. Spaniel on left- purchased from Bob and Carol Lewis, Frederick, MD; Sotheby's Parke Bernet, New York, NY, February 1, 1978, lot 2; red accession number, 1974.57, on underside. Spaniel on right -purchased from Tommy Ennis, Charlestown, WV; Nelson Myers, Greencastle, PA, 1987; Rick Hamilton, Hagerstown, MD, 1978; Ex-Collection Mrs. James A. (?), Quincy, PA. Early paper label on interior of spaniel on right reads "Mrs. James A. ? . Quincy, Pa, / PO Box 20 / (circa 1888)". Both in excellent condition, the right spaniel with a minor base chip. H (of each) approx. 9".



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