Battling For The Record, Crocker Farm Sells Civil War Churn For $402,500

SPARKS, MD. — A phone battle erupted at Crocker Farm’s Tenth Anniversary auction on July 19 when two prominent and deep-pocketed collectors went after a 5-gallon stoneware churn, shown here with auctioneer Tony Zipp. The vessel, thought to have been made by a Ford Edward, N.Y., pottery between 1861 and 1865, is uniquely decorated in cobalt with four Union soldiers marching in formation. Standing 15½ inches tall, it sold to American folk art enthusiast Jerry Lauren of New York.

Lauren’s hammer bid of $350,000 narrowly eclipsed that tendered for an eagle-decorated jug from the Grievo collection, auctioned by Pook & Pook for $340,000 hammer in June 2012. With premium, the Pook jug made $402,900; the Crocker Farm churn, $402,500. We pray that a soccer-style penalty kick not be used to break this virtual tie.

Off the market since the 1930s, the Civil War churn was a last-minute addition to the sale that generated $1,210,858 on slightly more than 500 lots for the Sparks, Md., specialist in American pottery.  Watch for a complete report in a later issue.                                   —LB

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