July 19, 2008 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 16

Price Realized: $4,312.50
($3,750 hammer, plus 15% buyer's premium).

July 19, 2008 Auction Catalog

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Outstanding One-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Slip-Trailed Folk Art Owl Decoration, Midwestern or Southcentral U.S. origin, possibly Kentucky, circa 1850, straight-sided jar with tooled shoulder, semi-rounded rim, and distinctive one-gallon capacity mark, decorated with a slip-trailed cobalt design of an owl perched in a tree. Owl depicted with large circular eyes, rounded ears above, and human nose and mouth, surrounded by numerous hair-like strokes. The anthropomorphic depiction of the bird's face may be a reference to the long-held belief that owls are a symbol of wisdom. Perhaps the decorator was depicting someone he or she was familiar with. Interestingly, a few other rare examples of stoneware with owl decorations also represent the bird with a humanoid face. The color of the clay is consistent with stoneware made west of Pennsylvania and Virginia. An excellent example of folk art decoration. Provenance: Recently discovered at a small Kentucky auction. A 1" rim chip on reverse. 5" thin crack from rim on reverse. H 10 1/4".