Exceedingly Rare and Important Henry Remmey (Baltimore) Stoneware Pitcher w/ Elaborate Incised Bird Scene

Spring 2023 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 155

Price Realized: $57,000.00

($47,500 hammer, plus 20% buyer's premium)

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Spring 2023 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare and Important One-Gallon Stoneware Pitcher with Elaborate Incised Bird and Floral Decoration, attributed to Henry Remmey, Sr., Baltimore, MD, circa 1815-1820, ovoid pitcher with footed base and inwardly-tapering collar, decorated with a large incised and cobalt-highlighted design of two birds perched on the branches of a flowering plant. The birds are depicted with long necks and tails, one with turned head, each detailed with numerous incised feather strokes. The flowering plant features scalloped leaves detailed with numerous incised veins and stems bearing grape-like clusters on which the birds are perched. The plant culminates in a heavily-incised flowerhead, composed of two circular rows of petals surrounding a circular center, festooned with two long-stemmed, clustered blossoms emanating from its peak. The application of the cobalt on the design includes omission of the cobalt on the inner row of petals, creating an almost three-dimensional quality to the decoration. A cobalt band surrounds the rim and highlights the handle terminals. Incised decorations of such artistry and attention to detail are rarely found in American stoneware. The entire design is composed of over five-hundred incised strokes. The color of the clay and cobalt, as well as the distinctive bird and floral decorations, are consistent with the work of Henry Remmey and his son, Henry Harrison Remmey, particularly during their Baltimore period of stoneware production, circa 1812-1828 Similar bird designs, but of lesser quality, can also be found in the work of Henry H. Remmey, during his career in Philadelphia, over the next several decades. Interestingly, the form of the pitcher, ovoid with a narrow spout and small handle, is reminiscent of the style of pitcher Henry Remmey, Sr. would have produced while working for his brother, John Remmey III, in Manhattan, circa 1790 to 1810. One of the most elegantly crafted examples of American stoneware we have handled. Provenance: Crocker Farm, Inc., May 19, 2007, Lot 1. A section broken and reglued at base. Restoration to portion of underside. Two hairline cracks on right side of pitcher, which are difficult to see. H 11".

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