Extremely Rare and Important Craven Family Stoneware Footed Sugar Bowl, North Carolina, 1853

Fall 2021 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 7

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

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Fall 2021 Auction Catalog

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Sold!  $6,500. 


Extremely Rare and Important Cobalt-Decorated Stoneware Sugar Bowl, Dated 1853, attributed to the Craven Family, Randolph or Moore County, NC, 1853, diminutive sugar bowl of ovoid form with tooled shoulder and two vertical strap handles, resting on three applied feet. Front decorated with the underscored cobalt date, "1853." Handles with striped cobalt decoration and highlights to the terminals. Original salt-glazed lid with cobalt-highlighted finial. Relatively few examples of cobalt-decorated stoneware from North Carolina are known, the majority of which were produced by members of the Craven family of potters. This example is one of a few 19th century salt-glazed stoneware sugar bowls known from the entire state. Its distinctive vertical-handled, three-footed form is related to an incised sugar bowl made by Chester Webster in Randolph County, NC, circa 1850, illustrated in Quincy and Samuel Scarborough's North Carolina Decorated Stoneware: The Webster School of Folk Potters, p. 61. Relationships between Webster and Craven family vessel forms are noted in Scarborough, indicating the two families influenced each other's work. Corroborating these stylistic links, census research indicates, that for a period prior to 1870, Chester Webster lived two houses away from potter, B.Y. Craven (Scarborough, p. 95). Lot 14 in Crocker Farm's August 2020 auction, a jar with cobalt "1854" date and "T.W. CRAVEN" mark, exhibits a similar "open-topped" number 8 in the date, offering evidence that Thomas Wesley Craven (1829-1858) is the sugar bowl's possible maker. Provenance: Recently surfaced in Kentucky. Sugar bowl in excellent condition with expected in-the-firing chipping to feet. Lid with an edge chip, very minor edge nicks, two minor finial chips, as well as two tightly reglued pieces, measuring a total of 2". H (including lid) 4 1/2".



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