Very Rare J. SWANK & CO. / JOHNSTOWN, PA Stoneware Jar w/ 1857 Date

Summer 2022 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 294

Price Realized: $1,440.00

($1,200 hammer, plus 20% buyer's premium)

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Summer 2022 Auction Catalog

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Very Rare Three-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Cobalt Floral Decoration, Dated "1857," Stamped "J. SWANK & CO. / JOHNSTOWN. PA," 1857, ovoid jar with tooled shoulder, flattened rim, and applied lug handles, brush-decorated with a double-stemmed tulip motif on the front and reverse. Underside of one handle inscribed with the freehand date, "1857," underscored by a series of stripes. Opposite handle impressed with large-font Swank maker's mark, brushed over with cobalt dashes. Floral decoration to handle terminals. This jar was made early in the family's foray into stoneware production by brothers, Jacob and Hiram Swank, at a pottery previously owned by the firm Hamilton and Pershing, purchased in 1856 by Josiah Swank (Schaltenbrand, Big Ware Turners, p. 100). This work predates pieces made at the Swanks' more-prolific Kernville site, featuring a different clay body, different maker's mark, and decoration in the Hamilton & Pershing style. Dated examples of Swank stoneware are scarce, this example bearing an exceptionally early date. Literature: Illustrated in What a Crock! Johnstown Potteries of the 19th Century. Provenance: Estate of author and historian, Nancy Shedd, Petersburg, PA. Broken and reglued including a 2" filled section. Traces of black and blue paint to surface, including added blue stripes below authentic stripes on dated side. Tight networks of lines to rim, shoulder, base, and underside. A 1" rim chip. H 11 1/2".

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