Exceptional Western PA Presentation Jug w/ Elaborate Electricity Scene for Pittsburgh Area Electrician, 1899

Spring 2022 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 174

Price Realized: $2,640.00

($2,200 hammer, plus 20% buyer's premium)

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Spring 2022 Auction Catalog

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Exceptional Presentation Stoneware Electricity Jug, Inscribed "CHAS. QUALMAN," Dated "MAY 10 / 1899," Western PA origin, 1899, ovoid jug with Bristol slip coating and Albany slip base, the surface featuring an elaborate incised and cobalt-highlighted decoration of a hatted man operating a 3000 volt generator, which in turn lights a series of lamp posts. The scene includes a vine extending up one post, a blooming plant, a small bird perched in a tree, and a bird flying in the distance. Midsection incised with the name, "CHAS. QUALMAN," flanked by flourishes, below an incised horseshoe. Spout decorated with incised bow. Brushed cobalt line and X decorations to handle. Underside incised "MAY 10 / 1899." Charles Qualman appears in a 1902 marriage record as an electrician living in Turtle Creek in what is now the Pittsburgh metro area. This was the general vicinity of George Westinghouse's famous and massive Electric and Manufacturing Company. (Qualman was still working as an electrician as of the 1920 census, in which he appears living in nearby Wilkinsburg.) A wonderful window into a changing America, this jug also opens avenues for research into its exact town of manufacture, perhaps Pittsburgh or elsewhere nearby. Handle broken into three pieces and reglued, with coloring along crack lines. H 7 1/2".

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