Published: December 11, 2012
A strong selection of stoneware and redware offered at auction by Crocker Farm once again saw substantial prices paid on November 3. Nearly 500 lots of American pottery and associated items were sold during the course of the sale, with strong prices established from the opening lot until the end of the auction.
As always, Crocker Farm starts its auction off with a zinger, usually a piece of coveted early New York City or New Jersey stoneware. Leading the assortment of rare and early late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Century pieces was an exceptional New Jersey jar with vertical loop handles and leafy vines with pomegranates decoration that was attributed to the Kemple Pottery, Ringoes, circa 1750. Measuring just under a foot tall, the bold decoration was accented by the robust plump form, further accentuated by the open handles.
Cataloged as “one of the earliest examples of American stoneware known,” it was also “one of the very few intact Kemple jars bearing this decoration.” Bidding on the lot would set the fast-paced tone for the auction, with it selling well above the $4/6,000 presale estimate at $10,350.
A small straight-sided jug with sloping shoulders and a boldly formed handle was attributed by the auction gallery to Cheesequake, N.J. Decorated with a leafy sprig on the front, dated 1796 on one side and with the initials “EE” on the other, the piece was bid to $3,450.
Another diminutive piece of early stoneware to attract major attention was an attractive half-gallon jug, thought to be Manhattan or New Jersey. Decorated with a large incised and cobalt-filled bird with a sprig in its beak, the rare piece was dated “March 17,1808,” St Patrick’s Day. Thought to have been made for celebration, the rare jug realized $13,800. Another jug with an incised and blue-filled bird decoration, thought to be by either Remmey or Crolius, brought $5,175.
Another early New York City piece to attract substantial attention was a small rundlet. Measuring just 8 inches tall, the small keg was marked with the oval Crolius stamp in four different spots. It sold at $2,645.
A MacQuoid crock with spread-winged eagle above a banner inscribed “Gold $1.44½” was cataloged as made to commemorate the Black Friday scandal of 1869 when two ruffians attempted to corner the gold market by convincing President Rutherford B. Hayes to have the US government withdraw from the gold market. In little more than 20 days, gold prices spiked from $34 to $144 an ounce. The crock sold at $3,737.
Other pieces with good decoration included a large 3-gallon Bennington jug with bold cobalt decoration depicting two pheasants in a tree. Marked with a retailer’s name, the rare jug was attributed to J&E Norton. Fresh to the market, having been recently discovered, it brought $6,325. A 4-gallon jug marked by Norton featured a single bird in a tree and it made $4,312.
Redware in the sale did well, with a rare piece of Southern pottery becoming the top lot of the auction. A covered redware jar with bold manganese splotches from top to bottom was said to be from the Cain Pottery, Sullivan County, Tenn. The rare example caught the eye of collectors and bidding on the lot was brisk, climbing to $23,000.
Another piece of Southern pottery to do well was a large stoneware pitcher incised “Evan G. Ricketts, July 4th, 1833.” Recently discovered, research by the auction house placed it as possibly the earliest piece of Kentucky stoneware known to exist. Spirited bidding resulted in the lot finishing at $19,550.
A good assortment of slipware was offered, with a rare tri-colored slipware plate bringing $4,887. A small redware bowl with dotted slip decoration was hotly contested, selling far beyond the $600/800 estimate at $3,450. An early slipware bowl attributed to Peter Bell, Hagerstown, Md., was a classic example of early Shenandoah redware and it finished at $3,162.
Several pieces of Anna Pottery were offered, with a flat-sided Temperance jug with entwined snake handle topping the group at $17,250. The body of the jug was entirely covered in cobalt, except the flat sides, which were decorated with a cross-hatch pattern on one side and a railroad map on the other.
A large-sized Anna Pottery stoneware aquarium castle was well executed with incised stonework and cobalt decoration. It sold at $12,650. Also sold was a rare stoneware inkwell that was inscribed “Anna.” In the form of a frog on a shell, it brought $5,750.
For additional information, www.crockerfarm.com or 410-472-2016.
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