Midwestern American Stoneware Elephant Crock

May 21, 2005 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 37

Price Realized: $25,300.00
($23,000 hammer, plus 10% buyer's premium).

May 21, 2005 Auction Catalog

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Unique and Important Six-Gallon Stoneware Crock with Slip-Trailed Cobalt Elephant & Rider Decoration and the Phrase "Hold Six," Midwestern origin, probably Ohio, circa 1875, large, straight-sided crock with handles, decorated on front with a slip-trailed cobalt elephant and rider. Elephant with curling trunk, curved tusks, and saddle on back. Rider wears a hat & buttoned jacket, and holds a whip twisted in the shape of a "6." The cobalt words "Hold" and "Six" are written to the left and right of the decoration; just as the vessel holds six gallons, the phrase "Hold Six" is written across the front, and the rider "holds a 6" of his own. This is the only known example of American stoneware we are aware of bearing the decoration of an elephant with a rider. Further adding to the importance of this piece is the clever usage of decoration as a form of denoting capacity. 1 1/4" line above one handle, invisible on interior. Y-shaped line on underside, which extends 7 3/4" up from base on reverse. Portions of line barely visible on interior. A few 1 1/2" vertical lines from base. Four small rim chips. Large chip to one handle. Height 13 5/8".