Monumental Anna Pottery "Granger Cider Press," Wallace and Cornwall Kirkpatrick, Anna, Illinois

Fall 2022 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 33

Price Realized: $33,600.00

($28,000 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.

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Outstanding Anna Pottery Figural-Decorated Stoneware Cider Cooler, Inscribed "Granger / Cider / Press / 1776," Signed and Dated "Kirkpatrick / Anna, Ill / 1877," Wallace and Cornwall Kirkpatrick, Anna, IL, 1877, cylindrical form with circular, knot-form bunghole and applied twisted twig handles, the surface sculpted to resemble a tree stump and embellished throughout with applied and incised knots. Front with slab-built and applied clay sign, incised with the large Albany-slip-highlighted inscription, "Granger / Cider / Press / 1776." Further incised below on the cooler itself with the signature and date, "Kirkpatrick / Anna, Ill / 1877." Body of cooler and handles decorated with sponged Albany slip. Elaborate wheel-thrown lid embellished with incised bark and Albany-slip highlighted tree knots, surmounted by a hand-modeled figure of a portly Granger with hat, coat, and kerchief, seated atop a large apple. Figure includes remarkable sculpting to the face, displaying a humorous expression as he strains to juice the apple. A decorative crack in the side of the apple indicates the Granger is successful and a hand-modeled channel and bucket are figuratively used to collect the fruit's pressed juice. Surface of cooler and lid covered in a salt glaze with original paint, applied after the firing, decorating the figure and the apple. This work ranks among the most imaginative creations of the venerable Kirkpatrick brothers. Its lid, perhaps the grandest in all of 19th century American salt-glazed stoneware, is noteworthy for its creativity, detail, and size. Richard Mohr, in his book Pottery, Politics, Art: George Ohr and the Brothers Kirkpatrick, suggests this cooler was created by Wallace Kirkpatrick to poke fun at the pro-temperance stance of the Grange Movement, which fought for the social and economic well-being of America's farmers. This may certainly be the case, but the imagery of the Granger pressing the apple under his weight may reference a topical issue of the time: that of the Grange's successful effort to "squeeze" railroads and grain storage companies by lobbying four different Midwestern states (Illinois included) to pass legislation capping the rates these businesses could charge. The Kirkpatricks' affinity for the railroad may be at play here, as six different Supreme Court decisions of 1877 (now known as the "Granger Cases") upheld these regulations, representing a major national news story about the ability of states to regulate private businesses. Believed to be unique, this cooler is yet another example of the Kirkpatricks' uncanny ability to push the utilitarian stoneware craft to new heights of expression and artistic value. Literature: Illustrated and discussed in Mohr, Pottery, Politics, Art: George Ohr and the Brothers Kirkpatrick, p. 170. Very nice condition despite the fragile nature of the applied decoration. One hand of Granger with old plaster restoration. The hand may have been lost during the firing and restored at the pottery, as other Anna pieces exhibit similar early plaster restorations. Shallow chipping to brim of Granger's hat and a chip to coat on reverse. A loss to tip of hand-modeled channel below apple as well as chips to edge of bucket. A few minor edge chips to lid. Some expected wear to paint on Granger. Cooler with a loss to corner of applied sign, a minor chip to opposing corner of sign, and other very minor chips. H 30 1/4".

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