Extremely Rare Solomon Loy / Refined Stoneware / 1855 Alamance County Stoneware Jar

Fall 2021 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 6

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

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Fall 2021 Auction Catalog

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Sold!  $17,000. 


Exceedingly Rare and Important Two-Gallon Cobalt-Decorated Stoneware Jar, Inscribed "Solomon / Loy / refien / d Stone Ware / 1855," Solomon Loy, Alamance County, NC, 1855, cylindrical jar with flattened rim and wide lug handles, inscribed on the front with the slip-trailed inscription, "Solomon / Loy refien / d(sic) Stone Ware." Reverse inscribed with the date, "1855." Slip-trailed vine motif under one handle. Cobalt highlights to handle terminals. Heavy, golden-colored salt runs, prized in Loy's stoneware, descend the reverse side of the jar. Loy's dramatic salt-glazing produces a number of appealing focal points on this jar, including a green area with craquelure to the top of one handle and an area where the cobalt slip at the opposite handle's terminal combines with a salt drip to create a blue-colored run. This newly-discovered work is emblematic of the diverse output of Solomon Loy, a potter who, decades earlier, produced some of the most elaborately-decorated redware in the entire country. Following a general trend throughout the nation in progressing from the production of redware to more-durable stoneware, this heavily-inscribed work includes a signature, date, and the important slogan, "refien/d(sic) Stone Ware." Other Southern potters, such as Thomas Chandler of Edgefield, SC and William R. Craven of Henderson County, TN, used terms like "Waranted Good" or "Warrented(sic) / to be stoneware" to emphasize the quality of their product. This jar survives as one of Loy's greatest salt-glazed stoneware creations, running counter to the majority of his work in this medium, which is typically found lacking cobalt and, when signed, bearing an impressed signature. Likely made less for use and more as a piece advertising the potter's abilities, this vessel is unusually decorative, featuring Loy's classic glaze runs and abundant use of slip-cup decoration, a treatment mastered from years of producing redware dishes. Provenance: A recently-discovered work, which descended in a Western NC family. A 1 1 5/8" flake to underside of rim. A long, sealed horizontal crack at base. A few in-the-firing base chips and two post-firing base chips. H 12 3/4".



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