"John H. Coffman 1853" Rockingham County, VA Stoneware Jar

April 10, 2010 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 212

Price Realized: $4,600.00
($4,000 hammer, plus 15% buyer's premium).

April 10, 2010 Auction Catalog

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Extremely Rare and Important Diminutive Stoneware Jar with Elaborate Cobalt Bluebell Decoration, Incised "John H. Coffman 1853," Park Factory, Eastern Rockingham County, VA, small-sized ovoid jar with rounded foot and pronounced squared rim, finely-decorated with a brushed and slip-trailed cobalt floral decoration consisting of three bluebells extending from a central stem with leaves. Reverse with incised signature and date "John H. Coffman 1853�. John H. Coffman was the son of Andrew Coffman, considered the father of the Rockingham County pottery tradition. According to Evans' and Suter's A Great Deal of Stone and Earthen Ware, Andrew potted from 1842 to 1853 in a part of Eastern Rockingham County referred to as "The Park". Here, John and several other brothers learned the potting trade. Upon Andrew's death in 1853, John continued to operate the "Park Factory" (as it was called) until 1856, when he removed with his family to Missouri (Evans and Suter, p. 9). This important jar was made the year Andrew Coffman died, and is possibly the finest example of John Coffman pottery known. The body of work known by this potter include a few signed and undecorated jugs, and a number of unsigned cobalt-decorated preserve jars, indicating he was a skilled and artistic craftsman. Interestingly, this particular jar was recently discovered in Missouri, suggesting that it may have been a piece that remained in the Coffman family, having traveled with John to his new home in the Midwest. One of the most important examples of Rockingham County, VA pottery to surface in recent years. Spidering hairline on underside, with some hairlines extending partway up wall of jar, the largest line being 2 3/4". Rim chips. Two very minor base nicks and a 3/4" base chip. H 5 1/2".


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Bidding is now closed.
(Our next auction takes place March 24, 2018.)

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