Extremely Rare and Important Stoneware Figural Sculpture, attrib. A.P. Donaghho, Parkersburg, WV

Spring 2023 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 14

Price Realized: $7,800.00

($6,500 hammer, plus 20% buyer's premium)

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Auction Highlight:  Spring 2023 Auction | West Virginia Stoneware

Spring 2023 Auction Catalog

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Outstanding Cobalt-and-Albany-Slip-Decorated Sculpture of Two Hunters, attributed to the A.P. Donaghho Pottery, Parkersburg, WV origin, late 19th century, elaborate sculpture depicting two seated hunters, one with rifle, flanking a hollowed tree with hanging deer and a pig at their feet, all atop a slab base. The hunters, whose heads and possibly portions of their bodies are molded, are portrayed with buttoned coats and two different hats; one figure is seated in the crook of the central hollowed tree beside a hollowed stump, while the other is seated on the edge of a hollowed stump. Heavily-incised bark and button-shaped knobs decorate the applied tree and connected stumps and pinched crimping forms the opening of the tree. Each figure rests one foot atop a hollowed log with incised bark. The hunter's prize, the deer, is sprig-molded and attached to the flattened end of a tree limb. The pig, loyally seated between the figures, is entirely hand-modeled. The surface of the sculpture is coated in an off-white Bristol slip with cobalt and Albany slip highlights throughout. The hunters feature brushed Albany slip eyes and mustaches and opposing application of cobalt and Albany slip to their coats and pants. The base is decorated with abstract dashes of these same slips. This work may have functioned as a match safe, with the two hollowed stumps serving to hold the marches. The central tree, hollowed entirely through the underside when it was made, may have held spill. The distinctive glaze on this sculpture is consistent with a small number of other figural pieces produced at the A.P. Donaghho pottery in Parkersburg, WV. A spaniel doorstop with related glaze, sold as lot 199 in Crocker Farm's October 22, 2016 auction, is signed "BEN TAYLOR / D.P. [Donaghho Pottery] / P. W. Va. [Parkersburg, West Virginia]," presenting the possibility that Taylor made this figural group as well. Among the most striking examples of late 19th century American stoneware sculpture that we have seen. Provenance: Featured on the PBS series, Antiques Roadshow, Season 20, Episode 17, Aired May 15, 2016. Excellent, essentially as-made condition. This work survives in a remarkable state of preservation given its delicate nature. L 5 3/4" ; W 5 1/4" ; H 10 1/2".

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