Important Morgantown, WV Stoneware Crock w/ Deer Scene and Fish Decoration

July 16, 2016 Stoneware Auction

Lot #: 267

Price Realized: $18,400.00
($16,000 hammer, plus 15% buyer's premium).

July 16, 2016 Auction Catalog

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Exceedingly Rare and Important Six-Gallon Stoneware Jar with Cobalt and Manganese Slip Deer, Fish, and Bird Motifs, attributed to David Greenland Thompson, Morgantown, WV, circa 1860, large-sized, cylindrical jar with tooled shoulder, tapered rim, and extruded lug handles, decorated in cobalt and manganese slip with a large stag featuring a sponge-decorated body, incised facial details, and oversized rack, standing atop a sponge-decorated ground beside a tree stump. Shoulder decorated with four flying birds, possibly ducks. Brushed manganese fish decoration below with cobalt-slip eye and incised details to gill and mouth. Brushed manganese highlights to handle terminals. Impressed at shoulder with Morgantown six-gallon capacity mark, flanked by cobalt brushwork. Additional six-gallon capacity mark on reverse. This exciting, recently-discovered jar is one of a few Morgantown pieces known featuring a deer design. The rarity and aesthetic value of the jar is compounded dramatically by the inclusion of a classic Morgantown fish motif and flock of birds, which create an elaborate natural scene depicting animals of the air, field, and stream. The overall style of the birds is noteworthy, most unusual among surviving Morgantown products. While typical Morgantown bird-decorated stoneware features crane-like birds in a stationary position, either standing or perched on a branch, this jar portrays flying and diving birds of a different form, possibly ducks. As such, this jar is not only the first piece of Morgantown stoneware we have seen depicting this type of bird, but also the first we have seen with such a strong sense of motion conveyed in the figure. A sense of depth is created to the scene with two of the birds depicted loosely, as X-shaped brushwork flying in the distance. This vessel holds great significance as possibly the only surviving Morgantown product decorated with multiple animal designs. The use of cobalt and manganese together is an additional trait we have only observed on a small number of finer pieces produced by the Thompsons. Certainly one of the most significant discoveries in Morgantown pottery of the last two decades. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor's grandfather during the mid 20th century. Two large reglued pieces to base / underside. An additional reglued 2 1/2" triangular piece on underside. A 1 1/8" triangular hole in underside. A tiny nick to one handle. H 17".


Important Morgantown, WV Stoneware Crock w/ Deer Scene and Fish DecorationImportant Morgantown, WV Stoneware Crock w/ Deer Scene and Fish Decoration

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

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