Rare and Important David Drake Stoneware Jar: "Decr. 4, 1856 / Dave / Lm," Edgefield District, SC

Fall 2023 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 30

Price Realized: $48,000.00

($40,000 hammer, plus 20% buyer's premium)

PLEASE NOTE:  The American ceramics market frequently changes, often dramatically. Additionally, small nuances of color, condition, shape, etc. can mean huge differences in price. If you're interested in having us sell a similar item for you, please contact us here.

Auction Highlight:  Fall 2023 Auction | Southern Pottery | Edgefield Stoneware | David Drake Pottery

Fall 2023 Auction Catalog

◀︎ Back to Catalog


Rare and Important Six-Gallon Alkaline-Glazed Stoneware Jar, Inscribed "Decr. 4 1856 / Dave / Lm," David Drake at Lewis Miles's Stony Bluff Manufactory, Horse Creek Valley, Edgefield District, SC, 1856, rotund jar with arched lug handles and thin, semi-rounded rim, incised across the shoulder with the date and signature, "Decr. 4 1856 / Dave," along with the initials, "Lm," for Drake's enslaver, Lewis Miles. Two incised slash marks, a Drake hallmark, appear to the right of the inscription, along with two rows of three incised punctates, denoting the jar's six-gallon capacity. Surface covered in an olive-green alkaline glaze; an area of the surface remains unglazed, as made. Drake, an enslaved African-American potter, is regarded today as one of the most outstanding and historically significant artisans of 19th century America. Having learned the potter's trade during the 1810's and active until the years following his emancipation in 1865, Drake is known for challenging the social construct by inscribing his signature on his work. His best examples features rhyming couplets, offering insight into the artist's personality, opinions, and life under slavery. Noted even in his day for his proficiency as a potter, Drake produced some of 19th century America's largest wheel-thrown ceramic vessels. This work displays Drake's distinctive potting style and features a desirable combination of the artist's signature, date of manufacture, and initials for Lewis Miles. Provenance: A recently-surfaced example, which descended in the family of the consignor. A 3 3/4" flake to rim on reverse. Two vertical lines ascending from base on side of jar, measuring 4 1/2" and 1 1/2". A minor flake to shoulder on reverse. Minor surface wear. H 14 3/4".

©2024 Crocker Farm, Inc. | info@crockerfarm.com | (410) 472-2016