Extremely Rare and Important B. Duval & Co. / Richmond, VA Stoneware Jar

Fall 2022 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 444

Estimate: $3,000-$4,000.A Note About Estimates

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Fall 2022 Auction Catalog

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Sold!  $3,250.

Extremely Rare and Important Two-Gallon Cobalt-Decorated Stoneware Jar, Stamped "B. DuVal & Co. / Richmond," VA origin, circa 1811-1820, ovoid jar with footed base, tooled shoulder, and angled rim molding, the shoulder fitted with two rounded lug handles with deeply-depressed and cobalt-highlighted terminals. Stoneware made for pharmacist and pottery owner, Benjamin DuVal, is distinguished as the first cobalt-decorated stoneware bearing a maker's mark from the state of Virginia. The only marked Virginia stoneware of any kind to predate DuVal's pots are iron-dipped vessels produced by William Rogers of Yorktown during the second quarter of the 18th century. Attesting to the rarity of this jar, it is only the second example of signed DuVal stoneware that we have ever offered, the first being in our inaugural auction in 2004. Provenance: Descended in the family of John H. Craven (1774-1845), prominent Charlottesville, Virginia, area land owner who leased Tufton Farm from Thomas Jefferson from 1800-1809. During the bulk of the period during which this jar would have been made, Craven was the proprietor of a "saw- and merchant mill" in Charlottesville's Pen Park section, according to the National Archives' notes on Thomas Jefferson's papers. Of note, Jefferson's own association with Richmond area stoneware manufacturer, Richard Randolph, has been well documented in Russ, Hunter, Mueller-Heubach, and Goodman, "The Remarkable 19th-Century Stoneware of Virginia's Lower James River Valley" in Ceramics in America 2013. Literature: For a closely-related example, see Hunter and Goodman, "The Destruction of the Benjamin DuVal Stoneware Manufactory, Richmond, Virginia," Ceramics in America 2005, p. 45, fig. 14. Very nice condition with three shallow base chips, a tiny rim nick on reverse, an in-the-firing iron ping to shoulder, and some light staining. H 12 1/2". ($1000-$2000)

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