Rare and Fine Anna Pottery Stoneware Temperance Jug w/ Snake, Frog, and Human Figures

Spring 2022 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 130

Estimate: $20,000-$30,000.A Note About Estimates

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Spring 2022 Auction Catalog

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Sold!  $35,000.


Rare and Fine Anna Pottery Salt-Glazed Stoneware Temperance Jug with Original Painted Surface, Wallace and Cornwall Kirkpatrick, Anna, IL, circa 1875, ovoid form with tall spout and semi-rounded mouth, decorated throughout with applied animal and human figures, including a snake-form handle, five smaller snakes, two frogs, and two male figures lodged headfirst within the wall of the vessel. The jug's snake handle and another large snake appear to be kissing at the shoulder of the vessel, an unusual treatment, and two of the snakes include rattles at the ends of their tails. Elaborate crosshatched and textured patterning to the snake's skin, impressed eyes and incised accents to the snakes and frogs, and crosshatched incising to the coats of the male figures. Outstanding relief sawtoothed decoration to top edge of spout and profuse crosshatched incising to neck and body of jug, accented throughout with incised punctates. Bottom half of jug, including underside, decorated with impressed circles. Surface covered in a light salt glaze with remnants of original red and white cold paint to human figures and teal, green, white, black, brown, and yellow paint to the snakes and frogs. Albany-slip-glazed interior. This previously-undocumented work is a classic example of the Anna Temperance Jug form in its gourd-like shape and realistic entanglement of animals and drunkards throughout. Typifying the brothers' obsessive decorative tendencies, the entire surface of the jug is embellished with some form of decoration or another, whether it be applied, incised, or impressed. Uncommon to most Anna temperance jugs, this example survives in excellent condition and features an appealing, slightly-smaller size than is commonly found. One of America's most celebrated ceramic art forms, melding utilitarian and art pottery aesthetics. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, acquired by the consignor forty-five years ago. Excellent condition with a typical in-the-firing loss to one man's coattails and a loss to the other man's coattails, the latter possibly also in-the-firing. A chip to one small snake's mouth, possibly in-the-firing. A 1" section of neck of small snake slithering atop the base of the handle has a very old plaster restoration with incised scales. As we have seen other Anna snake jugs with similar restorations, it is possible that this restoration was done at the pottery after the damage was incurred during the firing. Typical paint wear. H 8".



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