Very Rare Inscribed Canton, Ohio Stoneware Jug by Joseph Halm at Bernard Goetz's Pottery, 1855

Spring 2022 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 148

Price Realized: $840.00

($700 hammer, plus 20% buyer's premium)

PLEASE NOTE:  This result is 2 years old, and the American ceramics market frequently changes. Additionally, small nuances of color, condition, shape, etc. can mean huge differences in price. If you're interested in having us sell a similar item for you, please contact us here.

Spring 2022 Auction Catalog

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Very Rare One-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Incised Inscription, Joseph Halm at the Bernard Goetz Pottery, Canton, OH, Dated 1855, ovoid jug with tapered spout, featuring four lines of incised script written in German Kurrentschrift, whose characters often differ markedly from comparable modern English: "Joseph Kalm / hat diesen gemacht / Den 13te Dezember 1855 / in Canton Ohio B. Goetz." This translates to: "Joseph Kalm made this the 13th December 1855 ... ." (It is unclear if the date reads the 13th or 18th of December.) Another (faint) slip-trailed inscription beneath the incised one appears to read "Halm / Canton." Though inscribed in German, Goetz and Halm were both apparently French-born potters, Halm documented in William Ketchum's Potters and Potteries of New York State ... as previously working with his apparent brother, George, in Rochester, New York. While little could be found on Joseph Halm beyond this reference in Ketchum, George Halm is listed in the 1880 census as a French-born potter working in Sherburne, NY. (Indeed, both Halms seem to have been itinerant potters, with George working in multiple New York locales; George is notably the "Halm" of the Havana, NY partnership that gave birth to rare examples marked "BREWER & HALM.") Bernard Goetz appears in the 1850 federal census as a 30-year-old potter working in Canton. Of note is the presence in his household of a 43-year-old woman named Florence Goetz (perhaps his sister), listed as a potter--female potters being an extreme rarity (at least in the historical record) within the American stoneware craft. (Florence is also noted as being "D[ea]f & Dumb" in this census.) Also of note, Paul Evans' Art Pottery of the United States references Bernard Goetz and two of his sons' 1877 founding of a Dayton, Ohio, shop called the Oakwood Pottery. A rare example of American stoneware made by immigrant potters, inscribed in what was perhaps their shared native tongue, and speaking to the often itinerant nature of the American stoneware industry. Very nice condition with some short lines emanating from below the lower handle terminal. A tiny chip to interior of spout. H 12 1/2".

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