Extremely Rare Redware Face Flask, Northeastern U.S. origin

Fall 2023 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 33

Price Realized: $32,400.00

($27,000 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:  Greatest Hits | Fall 2023 Auction | Face Jugs | New England Redware

Fall 2023 Auction Catalog

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Extremely Rare Slip-Decorated Redware Face Flask, Northeastern U.S. origin, first half 19th century, wheel-thrown and flattened form with semi-rounded spout, the front decorated with a hand-modeled and applied clay face including semi-lunate forehead, curved ears, recessed eyes within elliptical lids, large, delicately incised eyebrows, nose, open mouth with incised teeth, and broad chin. The spout, eyes, and teeth are highlighted in yellow slip. Manganese spots form the figure's eyes. Sculpting of the cheek and jaw area gives the face a certain anatomical accuracy. Hand-modeled clay feet allow the flask to stand upright. Surface covered in a heavy lead glaze, the resulting surface a lustrous, mottled red and orange color. Few face flasks are known, this recently-surfaced example possibly representing a Native American. A related, large-sized face jug possibly by the same as-yet-unidentified maker is currently on display at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York. The overall style of the flask indicates a skilled artist likely familiar with face jug production. Of interesting note is the shape of the forehead, a treatment which finds its way into the decorative vocabulary of face jug makers throughout the country. Wear to spout and top of forehead. A small chip to nose and one ear. Chips to applied clay feet. A smooth adhered piece of clay to reverse. Other minor surface wear. H 6" ; L 5".

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