Outstanding New York City Stoneware Jug w/ Incised Bird Decoration, circa 1770-90

Fall 2022 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 114

Estimate: $2,000-$4,000.A Note About Estimates

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Fall 2022 Auction Catalog

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Sold!  $1,800.


Outstanding One-Gallon Stoneware Jug with Incised Bird Decoration, Manhattan, NY origin, probably Crolius family, circa 1770-1790, ovoid jug with heavily-tooled spout, the front decorated with an incised and cobalt-highlighted design of a bird perched on a leafy branch. Decoration includes circular eye and unusual elliptical incising to the bird's belly, both lacking cobalt. Scalloped tail feathers are accented with V-shaped incising. Slip-trailed cobalt highlights to handle terminals, including a scarce scalloped design surrounding the base of the handle. The spout construction and handle decoration relate this work to colonial or shortly post-colonial stoneware produced in Manhattan, including the iconic John Crolius 1775 jug at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The bird exhibits some similarities, but a number of differences, from later Manhattan birds from the 1790s and early 1800s most commonly atttributed to the Crolius family. Its "openwork" or hollow detail on its belly harkens back to decorative treatments from the Old World. Possibly the earliest example of Manhattan stoneware known with incised bird decoration--an image that would proliferate throughout the country in the coming century. A long network of cracks emanating from base of jug. No cracks on underside. Shallow chipping to base. An in-the-firing 5/8" surface flake to reverse. H 11 3/4".



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