SPARKS, Md. — An incised small-sized stoneware masterpiece memorial jug brought a final price of $138,000 (inclusive of 15 percent buyer’s premium) at Crocker Farm’s March 5 pottery sale. The firm uses ArtFact Live! to facilitate bidding worldwide.
The piece is a double-handled jug with incised decoration of a flower surmounted by three birds, a star, and a heart bearing the initials “B.H.” The reverse is incised with a lidded urn below the inscription “BENJAMIN HERINGTON / June the 1st, 1823 / aetat 22." The handles have incised diamond decoration, underscored by initials, presumably those of the makers of the piece. This 10-inch tall?jug is one of the most lavishly-incised examples of American stoneware known, was made as a memorial to Schenectady, N.Y.-trained potter, Benjamin Herrington, who drowned in Norwich harbor on June 1, 1823 at the age of 22.
Another stunning discovery was an outstanding cobalt-decorated stoneware pitcher with monkey handle, attributed to Wallace and Cornwall Kirkpatrick, Anna, Ill., circa 1880. This large-sized molded pitcher is in the form of a crouching frog clutching a stump covered with oak leaves and acorns, the frog’s wide mouth forming the spout of the pitcher. Incised details to frog’s fingers, toes, and eyes.
Featuring an applied molded handle in the form of a hatted monkey grasping a branch, the surface is covered in a salt glaze with the frog’s body decorated with large brushed cobalt splotches. The frog’s eyes are covered in a light brown slip. It is exceptional and an extremely rare figural form. This pitcher was likely copied from an example of majolica produced during the time period and is one of the finest example of Anna Pottery to be offered at auction in recent years. Despite two spout chips, the 13 1/2 inch high pitcher sold for $17,825.00 (also including a 15 percent buyer’s premium).
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