Monumental Lyman & Clark (Gardiner, Maine) 15-Gallon Stoneware Jug Cooler

Summer 2022 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 204

Price Realized: $4,800.00

($4,000 hammer, plus 20% buyer's premium)

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Auction Highlight:  Summer 2022 Auction | New England Stoneware | Incised Stoneware

Summer 2022 Auction Catalog

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Important Fifteen-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Elaborate Incised Bird-and-Floral Decoration, Incised "Second Edition 15 Gal Jug," Stamped "LYMAN & CLARK / GARDINER," ME origin, circa 1837-1841, extremely large, ovoid jug with tooled spout and ribbed open handles embellished with impressed screwheads at the terminals, decorated with an elaborate incised design of three birds perched in a flowering plant with moth to the right. Incised in script below the spout, "Second Edition 15 Gal Jug." Cobalt highlights to birds' wings, tails, and eyes, the incised inscription above, and the lower handle terminals. Reverse impressed with Lyman & Clark maker's mark. Believed to be the finest example of Gardiner, Maine stoneware known, this work combines grandiose size, stylish form, and extravagant decoration. Its incised flowering plant emanating from the base features blossoms modeled after Lyman and Clark's typical brushed cobalt and ochre slip tulip motifs. The three birds perched throughout the plant are depicted with unusual, leaf-like wings. A detailed moth appearing to the right of the large (9" long) bird at the top of the plant expounds on the naturalistic theme of the design, reminiscent of a 19th century theorem. The curious inscription at the top, "Second Edition," may refer to a specific type of liquor the vessel held or refer to the fact that the cooler is one in a series made by the potter. This rare survivor has an early lead repair, suggesting it may have once included a bunghole that was lost and filled. At some point, an owner of the giant vessel scrawled his or her initials at its shoulder. The monumental size of this work ranks it as possibly the largest example of pre-1875 Maine stoneware known and among the largest jug forms thrown in the early New England potting tradition. Provenance: Recently surfaced in Cape Cod, MA. Nineteenth-century lead repair to damage around base. Two large cracks extending partway up front of jug. Later carved initials on front. Two small spout chips and a few tiny spout nicks. Two small nicks to one handle. A small base chip. H 25".




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