J. MILLER / ALEX (James Miller, Alexandria, VA) Stoneware Jar (Rare Mark)

March 5, 2011 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 7

Price Realized: $4,887.50
($4,250 hammer, plus 15% buyer's premium).

March 5, 2011 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare One-Gallon Ovoid Stoneware Jar with Cobalt Decoration, Stamped "J. MILLER / ALEX," James Miller, Alexandria, VA, circa 1824-26, one-gallon ovoid jar with tooled shoulder, flaring rim, and thin tab handles, potted in a visually-appealing squat and rotund form. The mark of Alexandria, VA potter, James Miller, is impressed at the shoulder and surrounded in a wavy oval of bright cobalt slip. The handles, which are applied in typical Miller fashion, with one slightly higher than the other, are also surrounded completely in cobalt. Miller spent his early years working at the Alexandria pottery shops of Henry Piercy and Lewis Plumb. He became the first recorded stoneware potter within the limits of today's District of Columbia when he opened a shop in Georgetown circa 1820; he would later establish a stoneware and redware pottery in Alexandria, circa 1824. Interestingly, Miller is noted for having produced redware sugar jars for the Moore-McLean Sugar House in Alexandria. Sherds of these jars bearing Miller's mark are currently in the collection of the Alexandria Archaeology Museum. The jar to be sold on March 5 is one of less than ten stoneware examples known bearing Miller's Alexandria mark. Of those ten, it is certainly one of the finest. Along with its attractive form and size, the color of the cobalt is exceptional for Alexandria stoneware of this time period. One of the rarest examples of Alexandria stoneware to be offered anywhere in years. Provenance: A newly-discovered example consigned from North Carolina. Several small rim chips. Hairlines on underside, continuing partway up body of jar from base. Chip to one handle. H 9".


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

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