Rare Stereoview of "An Aesthetic African" Depicting Edgefield, SC Face Jug

Fall 2022 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 47

Estimate: $10,000-$15,000.A Note About Estimates

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Fall 2022 Auction Catalog

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Sold!  $8,500.


Extremely Rare and Important Stereoview of "An Aesthetic African," from "AIKEN AND VICINITY.," J.A. Palmer, Aiken, SC, circa 1882, depicting a seated African-American boy in prayerful or contemplative state with clasped hands, gazing at a sunflower placed in the spout of an Edgefield, South Carolina face jug. Reverse with printed label for "AIKEN AND VICINITY. / PHOTOGRAPHED BY J.A. PALMER, AIKEN, S.C." including the hand-written name of the photograph, "An Aesthetic African," and the number, "566." This stereoview is the only example depicting this specific scene that we are aware of. Two other, extremely rare Palmer images of African-Americans with the same face jug are documented, one depicting a young woman with the jug, entitled "The Wild Woman of Aiken," and the other closely-related to the stereoview to be auctioned, entitled "An Aesthetic Darkey," depicting the same boy with different positioning of his head and objects on the table. Because "An Aesthetic Darkey" and "An Aesthetic African" bear the same photograph number, 566, it is likely that "An Aesthetic African" is an earlier, even rarer version of this image. Among the most important period American decorative arts photographs to come to auction in years and a significant recent discovery in African-American, ceramic, and photographic art. Provenance: Recently surfaced in Virginia. Excellent condition with a minor paper clip impression at base. Dimensions: 7" x 4".



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