Kensington Estate Fine Art & Antique On-Line Auction
Jul 13-13, 2020Applebrook Auctions Presents East Meets West
Jul 13-13, 2020
Published: October 28, 2014
SPARKS, MD. — At least three major auction records were left in the dust after Crocker Farm’s Saturday, October 25, auction that saw three rare and important pieces near the $100,000 mark. A handful of other records were still being tabulated at press time.
“The market for stoneware and redware has never been better,” said auctioneer/owner Tony Zipp, noting that better things are doing very well but this sale showed that a rising tide lifts all ships with items at all price points doing better than a few years ago.
The compact sale, comprising 356 lots, attained around $800,000, thought to be the company’s best sale in terms of lot value. All prices in this article include the buyer’s premium.
The top lot of the sale was a Cowden & Wilcox, 2-gallon stoneware jug depicting a Civil War soldier’s profile that set a new auction record for Pennsylvania stoneware. Private collectors from Pennsylvania, a husband and wife who collect Cowden & Wilcox in particular, beat out four other phone bidders and a handful in the room for the piece that they bought for $97,750. They had come out earlier in the week and spent several hours examining the circa 1865 jug.
Setting a new record for Virginia stoneware was a circa 1840, 7-gallon stoneware jar stamped Samuel Bell that had impressed and cobalt-highlighted horse motifs as well as lavish brushed floral decoration. A Virginia collector beat out bidders in the room and five other phone bidders to knock down the piece for $92,000.
Drawing equal interest in the room and on the phones was an Anna Pottery centennial snake temperance jug, with profuse applied snake decoration, and having a rare brown color instead of the typical salt glaze for which Anna pieces are known. The Leeds Art Foundation in Philadelphia acquired the jug, dated January 1, 1876, for an auction record price of $87,400 after sending two of its representatives to Crocker Farm to examine the piece before the sale. The previous record for this jug, set a few years ago, was just over $80,000.
“We felt strongly that this was a must-have masterpiece of stoneware as an immediate precursor of American Art Pottery. A superb temperance metaphor, this stellar example features a massive number of snakes slithering and knotted around the jug, signifying the temping evil of alcohol, and a ‘young man just entering’ the bottle, unable to emerge from the other side,” said Joseph Cunningham, PhD, curatorial director, Leeds Art Foundation, after the auction.
A complete report on the sale will appear in a future edition.
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