Extremely Rare WM. ROOKER /EASTON Stoneware Jug Inscribed "Stolen From H. B. McKeen"

Summer 2022 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 130

Price Realized: $3,120.00

($2,600 hammer, plus 20% buyer's premium)

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Auction Highlight:  Summer 2022 Auction | Central PA Stoneware

Summer 2022 Auction Catalog

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Extremely Rare One-Gallon Cobalt-Decorated Stoneware Jug with Incised Inscription, Stamped "Wm Rooker / EASTON. PA," late 19th century, tapered jug with tooled shoulder and semi-squared spout, featuring the incised and cobalt-highlighted inscription, "Stolen from / HB McKeen." This humorous quip indicates the jug was made to be used at the business of Henry Boyd McKeen, a local grocer. (McKeen’s father, also named Henry Boyd McKeen (1835-1864), was a decorated Union brigade commander during the Civil War who died at the Battle of Cold Harbor in Richmond, Virginia.) As was common during the period, it was required of McKeen's patrons to return the jugs once the liquid was consumed or used. Other stoneware and glass articles from the 19th century feature related inscriptions, such as "THIS JUG NOT SOLD." The words on this jug, coarser in language, proclaim that anyone using it for a length of time beyond its original purpose has stolen it from McKeen. Signed Rooker stoneware is difficult-to-find in its own right and this jug is the first that we have seen bearing an incised inscription. A tight crack in base of handle. Minor chips to edge of handle. A small worn spot to side of jug near base. H 11 1/4".

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