Exceptional Morgantown, WV Stoneware Jar w/ Cobalt Decoration of a Farmer and his Wife

Fall 2022 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 264

Price Realized: $15,000.00

($12,500 hammer, plus 20% buyer's premium)

PLEASE NOTE:  This result is 2 years old, and the American ceramics market frequently changes. Additionally, small nuances of color, condition, shape, etc. can mean huge differences in price. If you're interested in having us sell a similar item for you, please contact us here.

Auction Highlight:  Fall 2022 Auction | West Virginia Stoneware

Fall 2022 Auction Catalog

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Exceptional One-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Cobalt Decoration of a Farmer and his Wife, attributed to the Thompson Pottery, Morgantown, WV, circa 1861-1865, ovoid jar with heavily-tooled shoulder and semi-squared rim, decorated with a brushed design of a man with scroll-brimmed hat, holding a long implement in his hand above a smaller design of a woman with stylized ground below. This intriguing design was initially catalogued as a Civil War soldier with lance, referred to during the period as a "lancer," as other Civil-War-themed people crocks from the region are documented. A more likely understanding of the decoration is that it represents a farmer holding a long, pointed gardening hoe. The smaller decoration of a woman in dress can be interpreted as the farmer's wife in the distance, calling him in from the field. Thompson's human forms have been documented holding a number of different objects, including a gun, parasol, cane, bag, a flag, and what appear to be hats and fans. This jar is the first example that we have seen with the figure holding this specific object. The hat worn by the figure is also consistent with a farmer's attire. The depiction of two figures in vastly different scale is highly unusual in Thompson's oeuvre, and showcases his ability to convey perspective and distance in his work. Featuring a desirable, smallish size and unusual form to the vessel, this jar's appealing image of early American life could be described as a 19th century "American Gothic" in clay. Provenance: Ex-Paul Flack. Excellent, essentially as-made condition with no visible flaws. H 10".

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