Exceedingly Rare and Important Monumental Stoneware Figure of a Deer

Summer 2022 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 2

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

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Summer 2022 Auction Catalog

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Sold!  $37,500.


Exceedingly Rare and Important Large-Sized Figure of a Reclining Deer with Cobalt Decoration, OH or Western PA origin, circa 1875, hand-modeled figure of a deer with large antlers, bulging circular eyes, and open mouth with carved teeth, reclining on a slab base with incised and cobalt-highlighted border. Incised lines form a crop of hair atop the deer's head and deeper incising forms the animal's hooves. The neck and chest are embellished with a vertically-pinched strip of clay. The figure is elaborately-decorated in brushed cobalt with heavy spotting and dashes to the body, antlers, and tail, highlights to the eyes, ears, and hooves, and stripes to the face, chest, and reverse of the tail. A brushed cobalt collar surrounds the deer's neck and the brushed initial, "D," on the reverse of the neck possibly serves as the signature of the artist. Surface covered in a salt glaze. Among the largest surviving examples of 19th century American figural stoneware, this work set a world auction record in 2007 for an American folk pottery sculpture. Its combination of imposing size, stylized features, and punchy cobalt brushwork create an object of undeniable visual power and presence. Literature: Illustrated and discussed in Greer, American Stonewares, p. 252; Illustrated on the cover of Maine Antique Digest, December 2007. Provenance: Pook and Pook, September 27 and 28, 2007; Ex-Collection of Edwa Wise. One antler broken into the three pieces, including an old staple repair to base of antler and some minor touch-up to tip of antler. Some painted restoration to other antler, although antler appears largely original. Tail tightly reglued. Minor in-the-firing surface lines to base. L 14" ; H 11 3/8".



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