Extremely Rare Copper-Glazed Moravian Turtle Bottle, Salem, NC origin, circa 1800-50

Spring 2023 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 83B

Price Realized: $45,000.00

($37,500 hammer, plus 20% buyer's premium)

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Spring 2023 Auction Catalog

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Extremely Rare Moravian Redware Turtle Bottle with Copper Glaze, Salem, NC origin, circa 1800-1850, molded in the form of a turtle with protruding head creating the vessel's spout, the underside with hand-incised details to feet and tail. Surface covered in a lead-and-copper glaze. Johanna Brown's Ceramics in America 2009 article, "Moravian Press-Molded Earthenware", notes that two different types of turtle bottles, sometimes recorded in Salem pottery inventories as "terrapins", were produced (Brown, p. 115). As stated by Brown in her Ceramics in America 2010 article, "A Recently Discovered Moravian Turtle Bottle", the mold for this particular type, with its distinctive shell, was produced from an Eastern box turtle. The turtle bottle form remains one of the most coveted and elusive of all Moravian figural objects. Very few have survived. Literature: See Brown, "Moravian Press-Molded Earthenware", Ceramics in America 2009, pp. 114-115 for a related turtle bottle and mold; See also Bivens, The Moravian Potters of North Carolina, pp. 212-213, for additional photos. Provenance: A recently-discovered example. A 5/8" hole in underside. Surface flakes throughout. A crack in top of flask. Shallow edge chips to reverse. Spout shortened and worn. A chip to turtle's chin. L 6 3/4".

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