Exceptional African American Figural Redware Bank

July 18, 2015 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 47

Price Realized: $12,650.00
($11,000 hammer, plus 15% buyer's premium).

July 18, 2015 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare Large-Sized Redware African-American Preacher Bank with Cold-Painted Surface, probably Southern or Mid-Atlantic origin, circa 1840, ovoid bank with footed base, tooled banding, and slot in reverse, the finial composed of a hand-modeled African-American man's head with wheel-thrown preacher's hat, fashioned with an upturned brim. Fine, ribbed strap handles at the sides are applied at a slight angle, simulating arms clutching the figure's stomach. Two strands of delicately-twisted clay form the figure's shirt collar. This bank includes an early surface with appealing, slightly-worn black paint. The craftsmanship and thoughtful details of this object reveal the ingenuity of a skilled and imaginative potter, whose identity is currently unknown. The form and subject matter are stylistically similar to the iconic African-American stoneware torso figures of Alabama. However, no definitive link can be made between this bank and any specific pottery. Among known American ceramic face and figural vessels, the bank form is easily one of the rarest. A striking example of ceramic folk sculpture. Collar is broken at tab-like joint at upper chest of figure, allowing the collar to swing freely at the figure's neck. Otherwise excellent condition with some small chips to hat. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, discovered years ago by the consignor. H 9".


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

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