Exceptional Edgefield District, SC Stoneware Face Jug, Lewis Miles' Stony Bluff Manufactory

Spring 2022 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 25

Estimate: $30,000-$50,000.A Note About Estimates

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Spring 2022 Auction Catalog

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Sold!  $50,000.


Exceptional Alkaline-Glazed Stoneware Face Jug with Protruding Tongue, attributed to Lewis Miles's Stony Bluff Manufactory, Horse Creek Valley, Edgefield District, SC, circa 1855-1865, ovoid jug with squared spout, decorated with a hand-modeled and applied clay face, including unglazed eyes set within protruding lids, arched eyebrows, well-sculpted nose with incised nostrils, C-scroll ears with tragi, prominent chin, and open mouth with unglazed protruding tongue. Two applied pieces of clay flanking the tongue may serve to represent teeth. Surface covered in a mottled, olive-green alkaline glaze. One of a small number of Edgefield face jugs known with an exposed tongue, this work features a facial construction and glaze that firmly attribute it to Lewis Miles's Stony Bluff Manufactory, the famous pottery where David Drake was enslaved from 1840-1843 and again from 1849-1865. Most distinctive about this group are the construction of the nose and the lack of incising on the eyes and teeth. Recent scholarship, in fact, postulates that face jugs of this style were perhaps made by Drake himself. This jug's stylized facial features include unusual, close-set eyes, placed high on the jug in an upward-looking, supplicant gaze. Its life-like, rounded cheeks are less-commonly seen on pieces from this site. Among the finest Stony Bluff face vessels known, this work combines rare and highly expressive modeling with outstanding condition. Provenance: A recently-surfaced example. Excellent condition with small chips to one ear and two minor nicks to opposite ear. The jug's tongue survives in original, undamaged condition. H 6 3/8".



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