P. Byers (Philip Byers, Strasburg, VA) 1841 Crock

May 21, 2005 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 318

Price Realized: $3,520.00
($3,200 hammer, plus 10% buyer's premium).

May 21, 2005 Auction Catalog

◀ Back to Catalog

Unique and Important Shenandoah Valley Stoneware Jar with Cobalt Decoration and Signature "P. Byers / 1841," attributed to Philip Byers, Strasburg, VA, circa 1841, straight-sided jar with rounded shoulder and squared rim, decorated with a slip-trailed cobalt vine design at the shoulder and the date and name "1841 P. Byers" below. Jar stamped with an unusual raised-face one-gallon capacity mark below rim. The history of Philip Byers" activity as a potter is outlined in H.E. Comstock"s The Pottery of the Shenandoah Valley Region, pp. 381-382. According to Comstock, Byers was apprenticed to Peter Bell in 1823 and by 1831 was probably producing earthenware with Peter Bell and stoneware with William Miller of Strasburg. Byers also may have been the impetus for Peter Bell"s venture into stoneware production in 1832. Later in 1832, Byers established a pottery in Rockingham County, VA. By 1839, Byers was working with William Miller"s son, John, in Strasburg. Byers began managing the former Miller pottery of Strasburg around 1840, and hired Samuel Bell on occasion to produce some of his ware. (This jar, dated 1841, was made during this period.) According to Comstock, Byers may have persuaded Samuel Bell to move to Strasburg, where Bell and his sons would produce stoneware and redware for the next fifty years. Byers" career was long-lasting and he was involved with many important potters. Nevertheless, few signed examples of his work have survived. This example, likely signed by the man himself, is a rare glimpse into the production of a lesser-known but significant figure in Shenandoah Valley pottery history, and an important example of early Strasburg stoneware. Discovered years ago under a house in the Charlestown, WVA, area. Significant repairs to underside and base area. Crack on side. Height 10 7/8".


P. Byers (Philip Byers, Strasburg, VA) 1841 Crock

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(Our next auction takes place March 24, 2018.)

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