Extremely Rare and Important T. W. CRAVEN 10 Gal. Stoneware Jug, Randolph County, North Carolina

Summer 2022 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 62

Estimate: $2,000-$3,000.A Note About Estimates

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Summer 2022 Auction Catalog

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Sold!  $3,250.

Extremely Rare and Important Ten-Gallon Double-Handled Stoneware Jug with Freehand Sumac Tree Decoration, Stamped "T.W. CRAVEN," Thomas Wesley Craven (1829-1858), Randolph County, NC, circa 1850-1858, monumental jug with rolled spout and applied double strap handles, decorated with elaborate freehand brushed cobalt sumac tree decoration on front and reverse. Handle terminals and edges brushed over with cobalt. Area above the decoration on each side features the impressed maker's mark "T W CRAVEN," one of which is flanked to the right with an impressed masonic emblem. Relatively few cobalt-decorated stoneware pieces were made in North Carolina during the 19th century with this jug being one of the most legendary such examples. The jug's monumental size and extremely elaborate use of a brushed cobalt-oxide rendering of a tree on both sides indicate it was made to command attention, perhaps being used for display in a storefront window. Thomas Wesley Craven was the brother of the more-well-known Jacob Dorris Craven (1827-1895), whose stoneware is found with frequency. T.W. Craven's stoneware is considered scarce as this member of the family potting dynasty only lived to the age of twenty-nine. This jug is evidence of the young potter's abilities and ranks among the very best examples of his work known, being arguably T. W. Craven's most legendary surviving product. Literature: Pictured in Scarborough, The Craven Family of Southern Folk Pottery, p. 71, fig. 56. Exhibited: Great Pots from the Traditions of North & South Carolina: Exhibition at the Pottery Center in Seagrove, North Carolina, 2017. One handle professionally restored. Large cracks and surface flakes throughout. H 22".

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