Very Rare Morgantown (WV / VA) School Redware Jar, attrib. Jacob Foulk, Jr.

Fall 2022 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 263

Estimate: $3,000-$5,000.A Note About Estimates

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Fall 2022 Auction Catalog

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Sold!  $7,500.


Extremely Rare Ovoid Redware Jar with Three-Color Slip Tulip Decoration, attributed to Jacob Foulk, Jr., Frederick County, VA or Morgantown, VA (now WV) or Samuel Butter, Morgantown or Clarksburg, VA (now WV), late 18th or early 19th century, highly-ovoid jar with footed base, tooled shoulder, and raised rim molding, decorated around the shoulder with brushed copper-slip tulips surrounded by cream-colored slip and bordered by slip-trailed manganese spots. Interior and exterior surface covered in a clear lead glaze. This recently-surfaced jar bears a distinctive spotted tulip motif found on a jar attributed to Samuel Butter of Clarksburg, Virginia, circa 1820, which resides in the collection of the National Museum of American History and is pictured and discussed in Donald Horvath and Richard Duez's Ceramics in America 2004 article, "The Potters and Potteries of Morgan's Town, Virginia: The Earthenware Years, Circa 1796-1854". Butter apprenticed to Jacob Foulk, Jr., a Morgantown, Virginia potter who also employed similar tulip motifs in multi-color slip. Before 1802, Foulk was active in Frederick County, VA, as noted by H.E. Comstock in his book, The Pottery of the Shenandoah Valley Region. The original discovery of this jar just north of Harrisonburg, Virginia, approximately seventy miles south of Foulk's Frederick County pottery site, offers the possibility that this piece may actually be a very early Shenandoah Valley of Virginia product, made by Foulk prior to his Morgantown venture. A jar by the same hand, sold as lot #511 in Sotheby's sale, "Visual Grace: Important Folk Art From the Collection of Ralph O. Esmerian", carried an attribution (which we believe to be erroneous) to Christian Klinker of Bucks County, PA. It had been acquired by Joe Kindig, Jr. in 1971, a dealer known for acquiring objects further south. Slip-decorated redware of the Morgantown school is considered extremely rare and few examples have come to market in recent years. Literature: For a jar by the same maker, see American Radiance: The Ralph Esmerian Gift to the American Folk Art Museum, p. 130, fig. 90. Some losses to slip. A 7/8" chip to interior of rim. Some glaze wear and a small, shallow chip to exterior of rim. H 6 1/2".



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