Monday, July 21, 2014

19th Century Stoneware Face Jug

Auction House description:
Exceedingly Rare and Important Cobalt-Decorated Stoneware Face Jug, Virginia origin, third quarter 19th century, narrow, cylindrical jug with tooled spout, applied handle, and salt-glazed surface, the front decorated with a large applied man's face with clay "coleslaw" beard. Face includes a semi-circular piece of clay forming the forehead, a Roman nose with depressed nostrils, eyes, ears, a chin, and mouth with incised teeth. A large, thickly-applied beard composed of extruded clay descends from the ears to the base of the jug. Heavy cobalt highlights to beard. Additional cobalt applied to eyes and nostrils. The form and distinctive spotted, iron-rich clay of the jug indicate it was produced in Virginia during the third quarter of the 19th century. The color, spotting, and shape of the jug are most typical of pieces produced in the Shenandoah Valley region of the state, primarily Strasburg, during the third quarter of the 19th century. Stylistic traits of the jug's form, spotting, and color, can be linked to the shops of Solomon Bell and Jeremiah Keister, among others. To date, only two other salt-glazed stoneware face vessels from Virginia have been recorded. A significant recent discovery in Southern American ceramics. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, recently found in New York State. Two minor chips to top of forehead. An in-the-firing, glazed-over chip to forehead, mostly visible on reverse side of forehead. A few typical minor losses to beard. Chipping to edge of one ear. H 8 1/2".

Sold for $11,000.00 (w/o premium) at Crocker Farm.

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