Important Four-Gallon L. APPLEBY, Old Bridge, NJ Stoneware Water Cooler

March 14, 2015 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 164

Price Realized: $3,450.00
($3,000 hammer, plus 15% buyer's premium).

March 14, 2015 Auction Catalog

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Four-Gallon Ovoid Stoneware Water Cooler with Incised Foliate Decoration, Stamped "L. APPLEBY. N.J*," Leonard Appleby, Old Bridge, NJ, circa 1825, ovoid cooler with heavily-tooled shoulder, narrow mouth, large ribbed handles, and squared bunghole. Decorated with a crisply-incised and cobalt-highlighted design of a vine with heavily-veined leaves. Shoulder impressed with the mark, "L. APPLEBY. N.J*". Leonard Appleby's life is detailed in the 1882 book, History of Union and Middlesex Counties with Biographical Sketches of Many of their Prominent Men, edited by W. Woodford Clayton. According to this account, Appleby, born in New York City in 1798, traveled to Old Bridge, NJ to work as a clerk for his uncle, Obadiah Herbert, prior to 1812. In 1821, Appleby married Ann Amanda Fitzallen van Wickle, the daughter of pottery operator, Jacob van Wickle, and Sarah Morgan van Wickle. Appleby's biographical sketch states that he later "dealt extensively in lime, and embarked in the manufacture of pottery and fanning-mills [and] began soon after the snuff and tobacco business. . ." (Clayton, History of Union and Middlesex Counties, p. 782). Appleby is most well-known for his involvement in the tobacco business. HIs son, Jacob Appleby, was a partner in the firm "APPLEBY & HELME", for which many stoneware advertising jars were produced. While it has previously been suggested that this cooler was made as a gift for Leonard Appleby, based on the information provided in his biography, it is more than likely a piece produced at a short-lived pottery owned by Appleby. If truly made at a pottery owned by Appleby, the stamp on this cooler should be regarded as one of the rarest maker's marks from the region. While significant in its rarity and origin, this example also carries great decorative appeal with its elegant cooler form and finely-incised leaves in the classic Old Bridge style. Variants of this distinctive leaf design can be found on pieces bearing early 1820s dates, attributed to the van Wickle and Bissett potteries. A wonderful example of early New Jersey stoneware. Provenance: Found decades ago in the northeastern U.S. Excellent condition with only very minor flaws. A small, shallow chip to top of rim and small iron ping to interior of rim. Minor wear to bunghole and base. Some faint surface lines to base area, not visible on interior and presumably in-the-firing. H 15 1/2".


Important Four-Gallon L. APPLEBY, Old Bridge, NJ Stoneware Water CoolerImportant Four-Gallon L. APPLEBY, Old Bridge, NJ Stoneware Water Cooler

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

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