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RARE AND EXCEPTIONAL MARTIN CRAFTS / BOSTON STONEWARE JAR W/ ELABORATE SLIP-TRAILED BIRD DESIGN. stamped "MARTIN CRAFTS / BOSTON", MA origin, circa 1855, cylindrical jar with tooled shoulder, applied lug handles, and semi-rounded rim, lavishly-decorated with a large bird perched on a flowering vine. The decoration is executed with a high level of artistry, including profuse striped trails to the head and breast, V-shaped trails to the wing, and sharp, pointed trails to the splayed tail. The vine on which the bird sits features thickly scrolled leaves and large, oval blossoms, each embellished with striped details and protruding stamens. Shoulder impressed with rare "MARTIN CRAFTS / BOSTON" maker's mark above a two-gallon capacity mark, both highlighted in cobalt slip. Among the most intricate bird designs from New England that we have ever offered. The work of this highly-skilled decorator can also be traced to the J. & E. Norton Pottery of Bennington, VT and William E. Warner Pottery of West Troy, NY. This as-yet-unidentified artist has a flair for the dramatic and an amazing competence in manipulating the flow of the slip cup. Very nice condition with generally minor flaws. A base chip on side of jar and other minor base wear. Wear and shallow chipping to inner rim for lid. Two minor nicks to interior of rim. Two minor chips and tiny nick to right handle. A .75” piece of in-the-firing clay adhered to surface under right handle. A very faint 4" surface line to far right side of jar, not visible on interior. A minuscule in-the-firing iron ping to front. Some staining.

Sold at Crocker Farm July 20, 2019.

Price Realized: $17,700

EXTREMELY RARE AND IMPORTANT THOMAS DOWNING (NEW YORK CITY) STONEWARE COBALT-DECORATED OYSTER JAR, stamped "T. DOWNING / PICKLED OYSTERS / NO*5 BROAD ST / NEW YORK", probably Dennis McLees or Thomas Boone and Sons, Brooklyn, NY, circa 1840, cylindrical jar with tapered shoulder and tall, narrow collar, decorated with a large brushed-cobalt highlight over the advertising, "T. DOWNING / PICKLED OYSTERS / NO*5 BROAD ST / NEW YORK". Thomas Downing (1791-1866) was a prominent African-American oysterman and owner of the most well-known oyster house in 19th century New York City. Downing had grown up as a free black in Accomack County, VA, where he learned the trade of oysterman. His parents were slaves to a prominent land owner in that county, Captain John Downing, who freed them upon his conversion to Methodism. As a young man, Downing traveled north to serve during the War of 1812, meeting his wife in Philadelphia, and ultimately arrived in New York in 1819. Upon his arrival in New York, he purchased a boat and began oystering, eventually establishing Downing's Oyster House in 1825, a famous restaurant on the corner of Wall and Broad Streets that catered to the local elite. In 1842, Downing was responsible for providing food, including 50,000 oysters, for a well-known ball celebrating the arrival of British author, Charles Dickens. His oysters were shipped as far as London and Paris, presumably in jars of this type, and he was even gifted a gold chronometer from Queen Victoria for oysters he sent to her. Downing was also heavily-involved in the Abolitionist Movement. He used the cellar of his oyster house as a hiding place for runaway slaves in the Underground Railroad, helped found the United Anti-Slavery Society of the City of New York in 1836, and fought for less-restrictive black voting laws in the State of New York. Upon his death in 1866, the New York Chamber of Commerce closed for the day of his funeral. His son, George Thomas Downing (1819-1903), followed in his father's footsteps as a successful restaurateur and civil rights activist. He served in the Underground Railroad and American Anti-Slavery Society, and fought for equal education for blacks. He was an associate of Frederick Douglass, with whom he helped establish the American League of Colored Laborers in 1850. During the Civil War he was asked to support the enlistment of African-Americans in the Union army, receiving a written promise from the Governor of Massachusetts that they would be treated the same as Caucasian troops. His involvement with African-American civil rights causes continued well after the Civil War. Upon his death in 1903, George T. Downing was described in the Boston Globe as "the foremost colored man in the country." A wonderful piece of American ceramic history. A 1" x .875” rim chip. Two smaller adjacent rim chips, one of which is glazed-over. A minor, glazed-over rim nick. Small base chips. H 6.25”.

Sold at Crocker Farm July 20, 2019.

Price Realized: $4,425

EXCEEDINGLY RARE AND IMPORTANT TWENTY-GALLON SALT-GLAZED STONEWARE FACE COOLER, with Applied Lizard Handles and Turtle Spout, Inscribed "Willi[a]m Wilbur", Ironton, OH origin, circa 1870, very-large-sized cylindrical jug-form cooler with semi-squared spout, large open handles modeled in the form of lizards, and spout at base in the form of a turtle, the front decorated with a large, hand-modeled and applied clay face of an African-American man. Lizard handles are masterfully-executed with upswept snouts, incised eyes and mouths, curved spiny tails, and delicate open legs that add support when lifting the cooler. Hand-modeled turtle spout includes similar spiny embellishments to the tail, impressed eyes, and an incised mouth, the animal positioned so that the cooler's beverage would be dispensed through the shell. The cooler's large applied face features applied coleslaw eyebrows, balled clay eyes girded to the vessel by semi-circular eyelids, C-scroll ears, a nose with carved nostrils, an open mouth with carved teeth on interior, and an applied coleslaw mustached and beard, extending over a broad, smooth chin. The face is significant in the quality of the modeling and in its size, spanning approximately 15" horizontally and 10" vertically on the cooler's front, making it one of the largest applied faces on any 19th century American ceramic face vessel. The surface has two-toned decoration, brushed in cobalt oxide and Albany slips. Cobalt appears below the face in the form of a series of brushed flowering vines, additionally forming the figure's pupils. Albany slip is applied over the handles, turtle-form spout, and the face, descending to form bifurcated brushwork below. Two ornate impressed X's at the shoulder indicate the cooler measures twenty gallons. Among the most expressive and striking examples of American stoneware known, this object was made famous from its appearance on the 1998 Louisville, Kentucky episode of the PBS series, Antiques Roadshow. Since that time, it has gained notoriety as one of the more memorable appraisals on the show. Unbeknownst to the owner of the cooler, it bears the incised name of its maker, "Willi[a]m Wilbur", to the left of the face. William M. Wilbur (1841-1917) was the grandson of Zanesville, Ohio potter, Thomas Wilbur and the son of Clark Wilbur, yet another stoneware potter. After being brought up in the craft at the family's pottery near Zanesville, Wilbur served in the Civil War in the 16th Ohio Infantry, and by 1870, had begun potting in Ironton, Lawrence County, Ohio--a town located directly across the Ohio River from Russell, Kentucky and fifteen miles southeast of Huntingdon, West Virginia. (Wilbur would eventually move west to California, leaving Ironton by the late 1870's.) Within the highly-important genre of the American face vessel, a field that truly transcends stoneware collecting, this cooler is regarded as one of the greatest and largest works. Its size, form, two-toned slip treatment, and over-the-top figural decoration, rank it among the very best examples of American stoneware still in private hands. Large chip to nose. Several other small chips to applied decoration. Thin lines to body of cooler. H 25”.

Sold at Crocker Farm July 20, 2019.

Price Realized: $177,000

IMPORTANT AND PROBABLY UNIQUE STONEWARE PRESENTATION JUG, with Incised Federal Eagle Decoration, Inscribed "Liberty for / Ever" and "L. Riggs / May the 5th 1819", South Amboy, NJ origin, 1819, ovoid jug with footed base, tooled shoulder and stylishly-potted spout, decorated with a large incised and cobalt-highlighted design of a spread-winged Federal eagle clutching an American flag and arrows, displaying a shield across its chest, inscribed "Liberty for / ever". Ascending from the eagle's head is curving stem bearing large scalloped leaves, culminating in a four-petaled flower blossom, emanating with leafy vines. The reverse features the elaborate incised and cobalt-highlighted presentation inscription, "L Riggs / May the 5th 1819", with incised crosshatching and diagonal slashes to the interior of the lettering of the name. The jug's date indicates it recently became a two-hundred-year-old object. Among the finest eagle-decorated examples of American stoneware to ever come to auction, this jug carries an impeccable provenance and publication history. Its age, style, and superior level of craftsmanship, draw to mind the type of pieces gathered up by visionary collectors, such as John Paul Remensnyder and Elie Nadelman, whose collections have resided at the Smithsonian, Yale University, and the New York Historical Society for several decades. The emergence of a stoneware object of this quality is a true rarity in this day and age. Considering several factors, this jug is easily regarded as one of the greatest stoneware objects produced in the New Jersey potting tradition.

Provenance: Originally discovered in the 1930s, in a second-floor closet of the Charles Rue house near Plainfield, NJ by a teenager, who was helping his mother hang wallpaper there. He offered the owners, relatives of the "L. Riggs" on the reverse on the jug, $25 at the time, but was turned down. He later purchased the jug at the Charles Rue estate auction in 1956, ultimately selling it to the consignor's father in 1973. This jug has been off the market since that time. Included with this lot is a notarized letter from the man who owned the jug between 1956-1973, discussing the piece's history. A second letter included with this lot was written in 1984 by New Jersey stoneware authority, M. Lelyn Branin, discussing the jug's possible manufacture by the Warne family of potters of South Amboy, NJ.

Exhibited: Regional Aspects of American Folk Pottery, May 12 to October 12, 1974, The Historical Society of York County, York, PA.

Literature: Illustrated on the cover and figure 116 of the hardbound exhibit catalog for Regional Aspects of American Folk Pottery, May 12 to October 12, 1974, The Historical Society of York County, York, PA. Discussed and illustrated in Branin, The Early Makers of Handcrafted Earthenware and Stoneware in Central and Southern New Jersey, pp. 74, 82. Branin describes this jug in his book as "one of the most incised pieces of New Jersey stoneware on record". Branin goes on to draw a connection between the person for whom the jug was made, Lewis Riggs, and the Warne family of potters of South Amboy, NJ. According to Branin, "about two weeks before the date on the jug, one 21 April 1819, Lewis Riggs bought from Hannah (Warne) DeWitt, a daughter of William Warne, brother of (potter) Thomas Warne, all of her rights and interest in the estate of her father and grandfather, which gave him and his wife Ida a share in both of those estates. Riggs seems to have been related in some way to the Warne family, possibly through his wife Ida, who might have been either a daughter or granddaughter of William Warne. Lewis Riggs was an executor, with David Hall, of William Warne's estate. David Hall was a brother of Joshua Warne's second wife, Patience Hall Clark" (Branin, p. 74). Excellent condition with some shallow base chips and a few spout chips. H 13”.

Sold at Crocker Farm July 20, 2019.

Price Realized: $44,250

EXCEEDINGLY RARE AND IMPORTANT THREE-GALLON OPEN-HANDLED STONEWARE JAR, with Elaborate Cobalt Watch Spring and Incised Floral Motifs, attributed to the Captain James Morgan Pottery, Cheesequake, NJ, circa 1775, ovoid jar with footed base, open loop handles, and tooling to shoulder and rim, decorated on the front and reverse with an incised and cobalt-highlighted floral motif. This distinctive design features a central bulb bearing a fanned blossom with scalloped petals and a series of curved leaves. The blossom joins the bulb through a delicately-incised looping stem. The jar is lavishly-decorated under the handle with large cobalt "watch spring" motifs underscored by a draped device. Additional draped decoration extends from the cobalt-highlighted handle terminals. This jar is considered one of the finest examples of intact stoneware made at the Captain James Morgan Pottery, among America's most important 18th century ceramic manufactories. It distinguishes itself as one of a very few surviving works from this site featuring incised decoration. Excellent condition for a piece of this age and origin with some in-the-firing flakes around one handle terminal, two small rim chips, and minor wear to interior of rim. H 11.25”.

Sold at Crocker Farm July 20, 2019.

Price Realized: $16,520

EXCEEDINGLY RARE AND IMPORTANT ALKALINE-GLAZED STONEWARE FACE CUP, Edgefield District, SC origin, circa 1855-1870, thinly-potted, ovoid form with flared rim and applied strap handle, decorated with an applied clay face including bulging kaolin eyes, set within eyelids, a small nose with pinched sides and scored nostrils, C-scroll ears, and an open mouth bearing very large, deeply-carved kaolin teeth. Surface covered in an attractive, mottled-green alkaline glaze. Among the rarest and most expressive Edgefield face vessels that we have ever offered, this example is one of a small number of face-decorated cups known from the region. The wide mouth and very large teeth on this example are noteworthy, creating an undeniably striking countenance that draws the attention of the viewer. This detail gains more significance when one considers the form involved, as several of the surviving Edgefield face cups are more simplistically modeled. Of the handful of Edgefield face cups known, this work certainly ranks among the very best. One of the most important discoveries in the genres of Edgefield stoneware and American ceramic face vessels of the past several years.

Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor years ago in New York State. Excellent overall condition for a form that is routinely found with in-the-firing losses or damage from use. The condition is as-made with an in-the-firing loss to one ear. (A small amount of glaze over the unglazed area where the ear was applied indicates this damage occurred during the firing.) No cracks or chips. H 4.125" ; Diam. (across top) 3.125”.

Sold at Crocker Farm July 20, 2019.

Price Realized: $70,800

RARE AND IMPORTANT ALKALINE-GLAZED STONEWARE FACE JUG, Edgefield District, SC origin, probably Lewis Miles' Stoney Bluff Manufactory, circa 1855-1870, cylindrical jug with flared spout, decorated with a hand-modeled and applied clay face, including upward-gazing kaolin eyes set within thick eyelids, arched eyebrows, a Roman nose with pointed tip, C-scroll ears with applied tragi, an open mouth with kaolin teeth, and pronounced chin. Surface covered in a glossy, olive-brown alkaline glaze with lighter green highlights throughout. The omission of incised details to the eyes and teeth as well as the shape of the nose relate this work to face vessel fragments excavated at Lewis Miles' Stoney Bluff Manufactory, where Dave served as an enslaved potter from 1849 until 1865. The jug's distinctive glaze is closely-related to those found on a number of inscribed "Lm" pieces, attributed to Dave and made at the Lewis Miles site. Edgefield face vessels are often difficult to attribute to a specific pottery. Based on archaeological evidence, this jug is one example that we can say where it was made with relative certainty. A sweet smell on the interior indicates it may have held molasses at one time. An incised line reminiscent of a mustache appears below the nose, likely unintentionally created by the potter's thumbnail as he applied the face's upper lip. A fine example of an increasingly desirable form. Coupled with this jug's sophisticated glaze treatment is a wonderful folk art quality to the modeling and placement of the facial features. including staggered application of the ears.

Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor years ago in New York State.

Condition: A tight horizontal line near each end of the handle indicate the handle was reglued at some point. Otherwise excellent condition with a minor spout chip. H 6.5”.

Sold at Crocker Farm July 20, 2019.

Price Realized: $30,680

VERY RARE AND IMPORTANT SIX-GALLON ALKALINE-GLAZED STONEWARE JAR, Inscribed "October 13th. 1843", attributed to Dave at the Reverend John Landrum Pottery, Horse Creek Valley, Edgefield District, SC, 1843, highly-ovoid jar with thin, rounded rim and applied lug handles, the surface covered in a runny, light-olive alkaline glaze. The double-dipping of the jar during the glazing process has created an appealing two-tone effect, with heavy drips cascading over a gray-green ground at the base. The incised date, "October. 13th. 1843" appears at the shoulder on the front, beside two incised slash marks, a distinctive Dave marking. Six incised punctates, denoting the jar's capacity, appear on the reverse. This jar is considered important in its early-period date. While the vast majority of dated Dave vessels are known with dates between 1849 and 1865, while Dave was working at Lewis Miles's Stoney Bluff Manufactory, few have been found with dates prior to this period, while Dave was working at Pottersville and at the Landrums' Horse Creek Valley potteries. The date on this jar indicates it was made at the Reverend John Landrum pottery in Horse Creek Valley. To our knowledge, it is the latest-dated Dave jar made prior to his 1844-1848 "Silent Period", and only two dated pieces from the entire year of 1843 have been documented.

Exhibited: David Drake Potter and Poet, September 24 to December 18, 2016, Vero Beach Museum of Art, Vero Beach, Florida.

Condition: Very nice condition with two chips to right handle, measuring 1.375" and 1.25", a small chip to left handle, and a shallow flake to underside, possibly in-the-firing. H 16”.

Sold at Crocker Farm July 20, 2019.

Price Realized: $12,980

OUTSTANDING FIVE-GALLON ALKALINE-GLAZED STONEWARE JAR, with Two-Color-Slip Floral Decoration, attributed to the Collin Rhodes Pottery, Edgefield District, SC, circa 1850, large-sized, highly-ovoid jar with tooled shoulder, tapered rim, and applied lug handles, the surface covered in a streaky light-olive glaze and decorated on the front and reverse with different floral motifs executed in brushed iron and slip-trailed kaolin slips. One side depicts a stemmed tulip with fan-shaped leaves including fine details to the interiors of the blossom and leaves. The other side features a related design that incorporates a daisy blossom at the base of the tulip. Rhodes two-color-slip pieces are among the most artistically-decorated stoneware objects from the region and today are considered scarce. The floral motifs on this example are noteworthy in their sizes, each measuring approximately ten-and-a-half inches in height

Provenance: Recently discovered in South Carolina.

Condition: One side with a professionally-restored, approximately 3.75" x 1" section to rim and a tight, approximately 7" hairline from rim, descending from a small professionally-restored chip. Reverse side with a short in-the-firing line from rim, descending from a small chip, and a faint surface line to rim. Some faint and relatively minor in-the-firing lines to body near base, below one handle. H 14.5”.

Sold at Crocker Farm July 20, 2019.

Price Realized: $20,060

EXTREMELY RARE AND IMPORTANT HALF-GALLON STONEWARE JAR, with Cobalt Floral Decoration, stamped "HUGH SMITH & CO." at Shoulder and "T" on Underside, attributed to Thomas Valentine at Hugh Smith's Wilkes Street Pottery, Alexandria, VA origin, circa 1822-1825, ovoid jar with footed base, tooled shoulder, and semi-rounded rim, featuring a brushed floral motif with circular blossom encompassing the maker's mark and sprigs extending to the left and right. Impressed at shoulder with rare "HUGH SMITH & CO." maker's mark, surrounded by a rectangular border of impressed leaf-like designs. Underside impressed with a large serifed letter T. The T stamp implies the jar was made by enslaved African-American potter, Thomas Valentine, while working at Alexandria's Wilkes Street Pottery, during merchant Hugh Smith's ownership of the manufactory. Other Smith-period pieces bearing the incised initial, "D", for African-American potter, David Jarbour, and "M" or "BCM", for Benedict C. Milburn, indicate Alexandria potters signed their ware in this manner. According to Eddie L. Wilder's Alexandria, Virginia Pottery, 1792-1876, no other Wilkes Street potters had names that began with the letter T, corroborating the idea that pieces bearing a T stamp were indeed made by Valentine. Valentine was owned by Alexandria potter, John Swann, for several years and was eventually sold by him to merchant and Wilkes Street Pottery owner, Hugh Smith. Valentine was freed by Smith in 1829, as stated by a manumission document dated Nov. 12, 1829 (Wilder, p. 366). In 1831, Thomas Valentine--along with fellow African-American potter David Jarbour--was the signatory on a petition to the Mayor of Alexandria, decrying Nat Turner's recent slave rebellion and essentially pledging allegiance to the town. The Smith family maker's mark on this jar, used circa 1822-1825, indicate it was made while Valentine was still an enslaved laborer. Adding to the jar's appeal is its small size and early, short-lived Smith mark, which is among the rarest Alexandria maker's stamps known. Excellent, essentially as-made condition. H 7.75”.

Sold at Crocker Farm July 20, 2019.

Price Realized: $17,700

RARE GREAT ROAD GLAZED REDWARE JUG with Manganese Slash Decoration, attributed to the Cain Pottery, Sullivan County, TN, mid 19th century, ovoid jug with footed base and narrow spout with rounded mouth, the surface profusely-decorated with bold, haphazard manganese slashes and covered in a clear lead glaze. The slash-decorated vessels of the Cain Pottery are rarely found and feature one of the most striking and distinctive slip treatments found on Southern-made redware.

Provenance: Originally found in Sullivan County, TN.

Condition: Glaze loss to body, handle, and mouth of spout, fairly typical of pieces from this region. H 10.25”.

Sold at Crocker Farm July 20, 2019.

Price Realized: $12,980

RARE AND IMPORTANT GLAZED REDWARE JAR, with Profuse Three-Color Slip Decoration, Inscribed "Jacob Wareham / Frankstown Township / Huntingdon County / 1811", Huntingdon County, PA origin, 1811, squat-shaped, cylindrical jar with tall collar and combed sine-wave incising around the midsection and shoulder. Body profusely-decorated with alternating bands of copper, cream, and manganese slip. Shoulder decorated with a wavy band of cream-colored slip, below a band of manganese. Collar decorated with a single band of cream-colored slip. Exterior and interior surface covered in a clear lead glaze. Underside features the elaborate inscription, "Jacob Wareham / Frankstown Township / Huntingdon County / 1811", in incised script. This jar, over two-hundred years in age, is the earliest dated piece of pottery from this Pennsylvania potting region that we are aware of. It is significant in its rarity and age, offering a glimpse at the style of pottery produced locally well before the famous Henry Glazier began producing stoneware. While rare and historically important, the jar also holds very strong decorative value in its appealing size and form and lavish use of three colors of slip. Wear and shallow chips to rim. Wear to edge of jar where angled shoulder meets body. Some expected light surface wear. H 4.25”.

Sold at Crocker Farm July 20, 2019.

Price Realized: $3,186

VERY RARE ONE-GALLON STONEWARE PITCHER, with Incised Bird on Flowering Branch Decoration, attributed to Henry Remmey, Sr., Baltimore, circa 1812-1829, ovoid pitcher with drooping spout and footed base, decorated with a large incised and cobalt-highlighted design of a bird perched on a leafy branch with flower blossom. The decoration includes heavy incised feather detail to the bird and veining to the leaves characteristic of the Remmey family's finest work, and covers an unusually-large portion of the pitcher's body. This pitcher also exhibits a distinctive trait found on a small number of Remmey's best Baltimore products: a combination of incised decoration with brushed cobalt floral designs. Cobalt leaves ornament the collar and a fan-shaped floral motif, closely-related to those found on stamped "H. MYERS" merchant stoneware made by Remmey, appear to the left of the bird. This pitcher was made during an important time and place in American stoneware production. Between the years 1810 and 1830, Baltimore witnessed an influx of skilled potters who produced some of the most artistically-incised works known in all of American stoneware. This lot is one of a small number of incised bird pitchers produced by Remmey that indicate this period's superior level of craftsmanship.

Provenance: A private Maryland collector; Crocker Farm, Inc., July 17, 2004.

Condition: Remarkable mint condition. H 9.5”.

Sold at Crocker Farm July 20, 2019.

Price Realized: $18,880

EXCEPTIONAL LARGE-SIZED REDWARE FIGURE OF A DOG WITH MONKEY RIDER, Pennsylvania origin, circa 1850-1880, hand-modeled figure of a standing dog with curled tail, carrying a basket with jug in its mouth, surmounted by the figure of a monkey in tailcoat with outstretched arms, smoking a pipe. Dog includes profuse incised details to fur, impressed collar, and incised paws. Its face features excellent detail, including incised eyebrows and muzzle, carved tongue, and eyes composed of impressed circles with pierced pupils, set within impressed ellipses. The basket includes incised ribbing and impressed oval and circular details, and the hand-modeled jug it carries is fashioned with a hollowed neck. This sculpture features an ambitiously-decorated base with pinwheel-shaped floral motifs, blossoming from stems spreading from a series of impressed leaves, the whole bordered in a series of impressed circles. The sculpture's surface is decorated with manganese accents and covered in a clear lead glaze. The dog with monkey rider is among the most desirable and elaborate forms documented in the Pennsylvania redware figural tradition. Few have been documented. This example, featuring strong detail throughout and an expressive attitude to the monkey, is among the best Pennsylvania redware animal sculptures to come to auction in recent years.

Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, which descended in an Adams County, PA family to the current owner.

Literature: For a related example, see Hollander, American Radiance: The Ralph Esmerian Gift to the American Folk Art Museum, p. 154.

Condition: Monkey is reglued to dog with a clean break where the monkey's rear met the back of the dog, which extend to the figure's legs. There is a glued crack in each leg, and one leg includes a restored chip to knee along the crack, as well as a small unrestored chip to underside of same knee. The monkey's pipe is restored. This sculpture survives in otherwise excellent condition with virtually no visible wear. Dog's basket retains its original handles, a rarity on figures of this type. L 6.5" ; W 2.875" ; H 7.375”.

Sold at Crocker Farm July 20, 2019.

Price Realized: $10,030

FINE SGRAFFITO-DECORATED REDWARE PLATE, with Flowering Urn Motif, possibly Henry Roudebush, Upper Hanover Township, Montgomery County, PA, circa 1815, the interior coated in yellow slip and sgraffito-decorated with a flowering plant emanating from a stylized urn with scalloped border. Flower includes a geometric blossom with crosshatched interior, its stem featuring oval and thin scrolled leaves and an unusual horizontal line motif at the stem's midsection. Green copper slip highlights are brushed throughout the floral design and additionally decorate the edge of the plate on two sides. This example survives in difficult-to-find condition and its surface retains a vibrant color and brilliant luster.

Condition: Chipping to edge. Professional restoration to two spots along edge, one measuring 2" x .375” and the other measuring .75” x .25”. A restored 1" x .25” flake to interior. Diameter 9.75”.

Sold at Crocker Farm July 20, 2019.

Price Realized: $7,080

EXCEPTIONAL DIMINUTIVE REDWARE JAR, with Sponged Copper and Manganese Decoration, stamped "J. BELL", John Bell, Waynesboro, PA, circa 1840, small-sized, cylindrical jar with footed base, tapered shoulder, and semi-rounded rim, lavishly-decorated with alternating diagonal copper and manganese sponging over a light-orange ground. Surface covered in a clear lead glaze. Shoulder impressed with the early-period "J. BELL" maker's mark. Featuring an exceptional size and over-the-top glaze scheme, this example is among the finest John Bell pottery jars that we have ever offered.

Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased by the consignor in the early 1980s.

Condition: Excellent condition, the rim with a small chip and some light wear. H 4 .25”.

Sold at Crocker Farm July 20, 2019.

Price Realized: $22,420

SET OF FOUR FRAMED THOMAS COLE THE VOYAGE OF LIFE ENGRAVINGS, Manhood, Childhood, Youth, and Old Age, engraved by James Smillie, each ht. 24.25, wd. 31 in.

Condition: Youth is with flaking to the upper left and right, a pinhole to the center, and stains to the upper central portion. Old Age is with a few minor stains, Manhood is with buckling to the margins, and Childhood is with a tear to the upper right corner and stains to the lower margins.

Sold at Skinner Auctions July 25, 2019.

Estimate: $600-800

Price Realized: $1,107

SLIP-DECORATED REDWARE DISH, coggled rim, decorated with the figure of a lion in yellow and brown slip against a dark brown background, diameter 12.625 in.

Condition: utensil marks, crazing, and heaving chip.

Sold at Skinner Auctions July 25, 2019.

Estimate: $400-600

Price Realized: $19,680

FOUR GLAZED REDWARE TABLE ITEMS, 19th century, an inkwell with trailed slip decoration, a miniature jug, a porringer, and a small cup with wide flaring base, ht. to 3.25 in.

Sold at Skinner Auctions July 25, 2019.

Estimate: $200-300

Price Realized: $1,845

EAST TENNESSEE HEPPLEWHITE WALNUT CHEST OF DRAWERS, Grainger/Greene County provenance. Highly figured walnut primary wood, poplar secondary. Comprised of a plain rectangular top, four graduated dovetailed drawers, kite inlaid escutcheons, shaped apron, and bracket feet. 38" H x 38.75" W x 17.75" D. Circa 1820. Descended from Franklin William Taylor (1810-1886) of Grainger Co., TN, grandson of Daniel Taylor (1761-1834). In 1844, Franklin acquired Deaderick Plantation near Russellville and renamed it, "Greenwood". The home served as headquarters to Confederate General Joseph Kershaw in the Civil War.

Condition: Older refinish with backboards replaced in the late 19th century, interior patch to top of left side of second drawer, replaced drawer supports and a few drawers with the drawer sides built up. Earlier brass pulls with one bale missing.

Sold at Case Auctions July 13, 2019.

Estimate: $1,400-1,600

Price Realized: $3,000

EAST TENNESSEE, GREENE OR SULLIVAN COUNTY, LEAD GLAZED EARTHENWARE JAR WITH MANGANESE SPLOTCHED DECORATION, pulled loop handles, rim and upper shoulder with incised concentric lines, unglazed base with beaded foot. 15" H. For a related form, refer to the article, "Earthenware Potters Along the Great Road in Virginia and Tennessee," J. Roderick Moore, Antiques Magazine, September 1983, p. 532, plate IV. This form is one of the largest found from this group

Provenance: Descended through the Bireley Estate, Hamblen County, Tennessee.

Condition: Overall very good condition.

Sold at Case Auctions July 13, 2019.

Estimate: $16,000-18,000

Price Realized: $31,200

LARGE HISTORICAL STAFFORDSHIRE POLYCHROME CREAMWARE LIVERPOOL JUG OR PITCHER, transfer print and enameled decoration of the American masted ship the General Mercer to front and the reverse with the coat of arms for the baker's guild reading "The Baskers Arms/Praise God For All"; decorated underneath the spout with monogram DFN and vignette of an American eagle with American shield, holding a laurel branch and arrows in its talons. Anthemion border design around the top and spout. 9 1/2" H. Circa 1800-1810.

Condition: Overall light crazing to glaze. Spider crack to one lower side, hairline to base.

Sold at Case Auctions July 13, 2019.

Estimate: $2,000-2,400

Price Realized: $6,600

THE UNITED STATES OF NORTH AMERICA WITH BRITISH TERRITORIES AND THOSE OF SPAIN, according to the Treaty of 1784 Map, Sixth State, engraved and published by William Faden, Geographer to the King, London, 1796. Copper plate engraving with hand coloring extending from New Britain to Bahama or Lucayas, depicting the original thirteen colonies, the "Tannesse Government" with East Tennessee referred to as "Franklinia," the new national capital "Washington or / the Federal City", and Louisiana. Also depicts cities, towns, various company and Native American lands, early roads, boundary lines, bodies of water, mountain ranges, and other areas of interest. Decorative title cartouche, lower right. Reference to coloring with notation to color key that all lands not settled by Europeans "should belong by right to the Aborigines", center right. Scales, lower left. "Longitude West from London" lower left under image. Map surrounded by scale notations and line border. Ink inscription en verso of frame. Housed under glass in a gilt wood frame. Image - 20.875" H x 25" W. Sight - 21.625" H x 27.75" W. Framed - 29.25" H x 35.125" W. Late 18th century.Overall very good condition. Likely deacidified by David Lloyd Swift in the late 20th century. Not examined outside of frame.

Condition: Overall very good condition. Likely deacidified by David Lloyd Swift in the late 20th century. Not examined outside of frame.

Sold at Case Auctions July 13, 2019.

Estimate: $1,000-1,200

Price Realized: $3,840

TENNESSEE NEEDLEWORK FAMILY REGISTER SAMPLER, worked 1830 by Elizabeth M. Henley at the Knoxville Female Academy. Elizabeth Henley, granddaughter of Revolutionary War hero Col. David Henley, married Barclay McGhee, grandson of Knoxville settler and politician Col. Charles McClung. Silk on linen sampler with wide floral border, partially unfinished, with zig zag design satin stitch edging in contrasting light and dark threads, enclosing three rows of cross-stitched alphabet, the date 1830 and a row of numbers, over a bud and heart-with-cross motif band, over two verses: "Teach me to feel another's woe/To hide the fault I see/that Mercy to others show /that mercy show to me" and "When age shall steal on me and youth is no more/and the moralist Time shakes his glass at my door/What charm in lost beauty or wealth shall find/my treasure my wealth is a sweet peace of mind". Below the side by side verses is Elizabeth M. Henley's signature and a family register with names and birth dates of her father, Arthur H. Henley, born Nov. 15, 1782; mother Ann E. Henley born Sept. 29, 1798, and siblings and/or possibly cousins: Sally H. Henley, born Feb. 20, 1816; David Henley, born Oct. 5, 1816; Mary K. Henley born Nov. 16, 1820; Alexander S. Henley born Nov. 15, 1822; and Mildred W. Henley (no birth date stated). Housed under glass in an early 20th century stained molded wood frame. 17.5" H x 21,75 W sight; 19.5" H x 23 3/4" W framed. Note: This sampler has been documented by the Tennessee Sampler Survey ( a copy of this report will accompany the sampler). Elizabeth Henley was born 1819 in Monroe County, Tennesssee to Arthur and Ann Henley. Her grandfather on her father's side, David Henley, was a Continental Army officer during the American Revolutionary War, who served as George Washington's intelligence chief and prisoner of war commandant. He later served as the Agent for the United States War Department for the Southwest Territory (later Tennessee) in the 1790s. Elizabeth's name appears in the Knoxville Female Academy catalog for 1831 along with that of her sister Mary, and may have been worked while she was attending this school in Knox County, or at the Bolivar Academy in Madisonville, Monroe Co. as it bears a resemblence to other samplers made there at that time, according to the Tennessee Sampler Survey. Sadly, Elizabeth did not live long enough to reach the old age to which she alluded in her verse. She married Barclay McGhee in 1843 and died the following year at the age of 25, twelve days after the birth of their daughter. Barclay McGhee was the son of John Charles McGhee and Elizabeth Betsy Jones McClung McGhee (daughter of Knoxville settler and surveyor Colonel Charles McClung (1761-1835); he also was known as the master of land his family owned on the prehistoric Native American site in Monroe County called Toqua. Three years after Elizabeth's death, Barclay married her sister Mary (whose name appears on the sampler). In 1856, at the age of 32, Barclay was found dead in a Chattanooga hotel room with a slit throat! Period accounts leave it unclear as to whether his wounds were self inflicted or the result of a deadly feud with a neighbor. Provenance: The Living Estate of Elizabeth Johnston Davidson Frierson, Knoxville, TN.

Condition: Sampler has not been fully removed from frame but appears glued to cardboard backing. Overall discoloration to ground and fading to thread. Two significant areas of staining, 2" diameter center right and 4" diameter center left, other scattered minor spots of darker discoloration throughout. No apparent holes or significant losses, although the names Alexander and Mildred appear to have possibly been reinforced with darker thread or added later.

Sold at Case Auctions July 13, 2019.

Estimate: $3,400-3,800

Price Realized: $7,200

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON (1785-1851), AMERICAN ROBIN - TURDUS MIGRATORIUS, Plate CXXXI, HAND-COLORED AQUATINT ENGRAVING by R. Havell from the double-elephant-folio first edition of The Birds of America (London: 1827-1838). Plate dated 1832. Depicts a male and female robin, feeding their young in a nest. 38.25 x 25.125". Matted and framed under glass in a burnished molded frame, 50" x 43". Provenance: Middle Tennessee estate.

Sold at Case Auctions July 13, 2019.

Estimate: $1,800-2,200

Price Realized: $12,160


Two branded "S. Gragg Boston Patent". Professionally repainted by Robert Mussey in mustard yellow, with peacock feathers on central splats and foliate designs on crest rails and seats. Carved hooved front legs. Back heights 34.5". Seat heights 18”.

Samuel Gragg's "elastic" chair was a marvel of its time, a truly unique invention of American craftsmanship. Although the sinuous profile is reminiscent of classical English and French furniture of the period, the "elastic" chair backs, seats and front legs were formed from steam-bent continuous strips of wood, a patented technological advance Gragg developed, possibly based on fabrication techniques used by boat builders. In contrast to other chairs of the time, Gragg intended his to be comfortable - the general shape is ergonomic, and the construction method allows it to conform with the body of the sitter then return to its original shape, ergo "elastic". The avant-garde design far outpaced its time, and it wasn't until the 20th Century that the same streamlined aesthetic and a similar bent-wood construction would reappear in furniture design.

Little is known about Samuel Gragg (1772-1855), though it seems the "elastic" chair was an outlier of creativity in an otherwise long but conventional career as a furniture maker. Robert D. Mussey Jr., who repainted these chairs, is a renowned furniture conservationist, restoring pieces for museums, historic homes and private collections. He founded the furniture conservation laboratory at the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities in Boston in 1982.

See "Samuel Gragg and the Elastic Chair" by Michael S. Podmaniczky, published by the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, "The Patented Elastic Chairs of Samuel Gragg" by Robby Sexton, published by the Art Institute of Chicago, and "The Incredible, Elastic Chairs of Samuel Gragg at Winterthur" by Karla Klein Albertson, published by Antiques and the Arts Weekly, April 1, 2003.

Provenance: Willis Henry Auction, Marshfield, Massachusetts. Includes copy of auction brochure illustrating the chairs.


No damages noted other than minor wear to paint on the six chairs. All in good condition and are structurally sound, though delicate as intended in the making.

Sold at Eldred’s Auction July 14, 2019.

Price Realized: $13,200

POLYCHROME SCRIMSHAW WHALE'S TOOTH BY EDWARD BURDETT Circa 1830-1833, Inscribed on lower edge Engraved. by Edward Burdett. of Nantucket. onboard of The Ship Wm Tell." in script lettering. Obverse titled "Wm Thomson. Cutting. Boiling. And Fast. To A Whale." in serifed lettering. Depicts the American whaleship William Thomson flying a large and boldly rendered American flag off her stern. A whaleboat off her bow is in the process of capturing a surfaced sperm whale. Another American whaleship, identified as the Leonidus in script lettering, is depicted near the tip. Reverse titled "Pacific. Homeward Bound Full." in the same serifed lettering. Depicts the American whaleship Pacific flying a large American flag, an agent's red and blue "Pacific" flag off the foremast, a long and waving red and blue pennant off the midmast and a blue house flag off the stern mast. A coastal lighthouse and house is off the bow, and another hilly landmass is in the distance. The titles flank a cut-cornered rectangular cartouche inscribed "New Bedford Ships. S.N. Potter. Master." in the same serifed lettering as the titles. The tooth exhibits exceptional details throughout including a lookout in a mast, a rooster-form weather vane atop the lighthouse, smoke emanating from the house's chimney and the flurry of activity happening aboard the William Thomson. A red berry vine, typical of Burdett's work, wraps almost completely around the circumference of the base. Extensive use of red sealing wax in flags, whale and whale blubber. Ship hulls as well as the sperm whale, the whaleboat and assorted pennant and flags are carved in relief. Length 8”.

From the inscription, we know the tooth presented here was created while Edward Burdett was onboard the ship William Tell, which left New York in November 1829 and returned to port in February 1833. It is likely the William Tell encountered the ships William Thomson, Leonidus and Pacific while in the Pacific whaling grounds. The William Thomson sailed from New Bedford in October 1830 and returned August 1834, therefore this tooth likely dates from 1830 to 1833. We believe the tooth was engraved by Burdett and given to the ship captain, Stephen Potter.

Edward Burdett was a pioneer of American scrimshaw, and in his short but prolific career he produced what are widely considered masterpieces of the genre. He was born on Nantucket in October 1805, the son of a merchant sea captain. His first whaling voyage was aboard the Foster from 1822 to 1824. In successive voyages he sailed aboard the William Tell and the Montano. In November 1833, while serving as first mate onboard the Montano, Burdett was entangled in line, dragged by a whale overboard, and drowned.

This tooth is remarkably similar to another Edward Burdett tooth sold at Eldred's Marine Sale, July 20, 2017, Lot #1, for the world-record price of $456,000. That tooth bears the same maker's inscription and also depicted the whaleship William Thomson, though it was seen "Homeward Bound", not involved in active whaling as depicted on this example.

Provenance: Descended directly through the family of Captain Stephen Potter of the William Thompson. A letter from the family will accompany the tooth.

In our opinion this lot provides an exceptional opportunity to own a scrimshaw whale's tooth with an important provenance and excellent patina engraved by one of the masters of the craft.”

Condition: Deep rich patina. Two old chips at base, one through the berry vine. Faint and unobtrusive age lines at tip and base.

Sold at Eldred’s Auction July 25, 2019.

Price Realized: $384,000

HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT POLYCHROME SCRIMSHAW WHALE'S TOOTH SIGNED BY WILLIAM A. GILPIN Circa 1835, Subtlety signed W A Gilpin" within a delicate vine that forms the proscenium arch on the obverse. Engraved on board the American whaleship Ceres of Wilmington, Delaware, circa 1835. Before the discovery of this historically significant tooth, William Aratus Gilpin was known simply as "Ceres Artist No. 1". Because of the signature seen here, collectors and scholars were able to connect a name and history to the formerly anonymous master artist and his outstanding body of work. Says Dr. Stuart M. Frank, Senior Curator Emeritus of the New Bedford Whaling Museum and founder of the Scrimshaw Forensics Laboratory, "Every now and then a watershed piece shows up that is not only an aesthetic tour-de-force but has unique and enduring historical and iconographical significance that, in addition to being 'A Thing of Beauty,' enlightens the genre and informs research. The so-called Ceres Teeth by William Gilpin are just such outstanding pieces."

Obverse depicts Jack Tar resting his right arm on an anchor and holding a wide-brimmed hat in his raised left hand. An eagle grasping three arrows in its talons and a "Free Trade And Sailors Rights" banner in its beak is perched on Jack's right shoulder, with the banner arching above Jack. A polychrome American shield rests against Jack's left leg, which is slightly raised. He is wearing the typical dress of the American sailor of the period, including a dark-colored short-waisted jacket, a large collared shirt and a necktie. The depiction of his hair, necktie and the ribbon on his hat give the appearance they are blowing in the wind. The scene is framed within a border typical of Gilpin's style.

Above the scene is the proscenium arch, a distinctive layout characteristic of Gilpin's work. It contains a beautifully detailed portside rendering of an American merchant ship with false gunports, flying a pennant from the main mast and an American flag off the gaff.

Reverse with a large and very accurately engraved portrait of a merchant ship with false gunports, sailing away from the viewer at an angle that shows her portside and transom. A long pennant flies from the main mast. This is likely a larger and more detailed view of the ship that appears on the obverse in the arch, and it is outstandingly detailed, particularly the spars, the shading of the sails and the rigging.

A sawtooth border wraps around the circumference of the tooth at the base.

This tooth, like all of Gilpin's engravings, were created with the pinprick transfer method. The pigmentation in this tooth is bold and remarkably well preserved, due in part to Gilpin's use of true black ink as opposed to the lamp black ink that was commonly used by whalemen.

Accompanied by substantial genealogical research on William A. Gilpin and the family through which the tooth descended for many years, as well as research on Gilpin's whaling voyages, a copy of an April 11, 2008 letter from Donald A. Ridley of the New Bedford Whaling Museum confirming the "Ceres" authenticity of the tooth, and copies of a slide show presentation given by Ridley at the 2008 New Bedford Whaling Museum Scrimshaw Weekend delineating the discovery of Gilpin as the missing "Ceres" artisan.

Length 6.5”.

Provenance: Descended in a family with roots in New Hampshire.

Property of a Midwestern Private Collector.

Sotheby's New York, September 26, 2008, Lot #25.

According to Scrimshaw and Provenance: A Third Dictionary of Scrimshaw Artists by Stuart M. Frank (Mystic, Ct.: Stuart M. Frank and Mystic Seaport Museum, 2013), pp. 121-124, William A. Gilpin, born in 1805, came from a prominent Wilmington, Delaware family. He is known to have made at least two whaling voyages, including an 1834-1837 voyage aboard the whaleship Ceres. It is believed he produced at least 18 scrimshaw whale's teeth and one busk. A similar depiction of Jack Tar, minus the proscenium arch but attributed to Gilpin, can be seen in Through the Eyes of a Collector by Nina Hellman (2015), fig. 41, and was sold as part of the Thomas Mittler Scrimshaw Collection during Eldred's Marine Sale, October 15, 2016, Lot #23. A similar foliate proscenium arch on a tooth by Gilpin is illustrated in Ingenious Contrivances, Curiously Carved by Stuart M. Frank (Boston: David R. Godine, 2012), fig. 3.9. The Barbara Johnson Whaling Collection included at least two similar teeth. One with a nearly identical border and foliate proscenium arch containing a ship portrait was Lot #341 in the December 11-12, 1981 auction at Sotheby's, and one more simply rendered but with a similar border, depiction of Jack Tar and foliate proscenium arch containing a ship portrait was Lot #395 in the April 29-30, 1983 auction at Sotheby’s."

Condition: Mellow age patina. Minor age cracks and no chipping. Remarkably well preserved.

Sold at Eldred’s Auction July 25, 2019.

Price Realized: $264,000

EXTRAORDINARY CARVED, SCRIMSHAWED AND INLAID WHALE IVORY AND WHALEBONE CANE, Mid-19th Century. Whale ivory handle carved as a fist clenching a snake coiled about the hand and wrist above a shirtsleeve. The snake has inlaid eyes, a visible forked tongue and deeply engraved scales, and the overlapping shirtsleeve has engraved trim and applied buttons. Whale ivory collar with carved braided rope design above baleen spacers and an inlaid harlequin pattern. Tapered whalebone shaft with silver metal and shell inlay in a sawtooth and tassel design separated by a harpoon- and a lance-shaped inlay in the same materials and two silver metal geometric inlay. Silver metal ferrule. The workmanship exhibited on this cane is of the highest caliber, from the accurate and lifelike rendering of the fingers and palms of the fist, to the exquisite precision of the shirtsleeve, to the delicacy of the inlaid tassel design. A truly exceptional example of whaleman art. Length 35.

Provenance: The Barbara Johnson Whaling Collection.

Rafael Osona Auctions, August 9, 1994, Lot #147.

Important American Folk Art from the Collection of Ralph O. Esmerian, Sotheby's New York, January 25, 2014, Lot #724.

Exhibited: de Menil Gallery at Groton School, Groton, Massachusetts: "American Radiance: Highlights of the Ralph Esmerian Gift to the American Folk Art Museum," October 15-December 15, 2002.

South Street Seaport Museum, New York: "Compass: Folk Art in Four Directions", June 20-October 7, 2012.

Illustrated in American Radiance: The Ralph Esmerian Gift to the American Folk Art Museum (Harry Abrams Inc., 2001), p. 320 and 330.

Sold at Eldred’s Auction July 25, 2019.

Price Realized: $78,000

POLYCHROME SCRIMSHAW WHALE'S TOOTH BY EDWARD BURDETT, Circa 1830-1833, Inscribed on lower edge Engraved, By Edward Burdett. Onboard Of The. Wm Tell." Obverse titled "Arrabella. of Sag Harbor. In the Act of Whaling." Depicts an active whaling scene with three whaleboats and a surfaced whale off the Arrabella. Multiple figures are seen on the deck of the whaleship and a lookout is in the crow's nest. Reverse titled "William Tell. Of New York. Homeward Bound." Depicts the American whaleship William Tell with a sailboat, coastal lighthouse, house and outbuilding in the distance off her bow. The lighthouse is topped by a bannerette weather vane, smoke wisps from the house's chimney and a fence surrounds all three buildings. Some elements colored red, including the house and outbuilding, the doors and windows on the lighthouse, the sailboat's pennant, and the figures onboard the Arrabella. A stylized foliate vine with red berries, typical of Burdett's work, wraps almost completely around the circumference of the base, and the lettering throughout the tooth is the same serifed lettering seen on other Burdett examples. The coastline, the sperm whale and both whaleship hulls are deeply carved. Length 7.75”.

Because of the inscription on this tooth, we know it was created while Edward Burdett was onboard the ship William Tell, which left New York in November 1829 and returned to port in February 1833. It is likely the William Tell encountered the Arrabella while both ships were in the Pacific whaling grounds between 1830 and 1833. Because this tooth depicts the William Tell on its homeward voyage, it can be surmised it was done toward the end of Burdett's time aboard the ship. It descended through the family of Burdett's sister, Lydia Burdett Hallett, and was perhaps engraved as a gift for her.

Many elements of this tooth are similar to an Edward Burdett tooth sold at Eldred's Marine Sale, July 20, 2017, Lot #1, for a world-record $456,000. Both teeth bear inscriptions indicating the teeth were engraved by Burdett aboard the William Tell, the obverses both depict whaling scenes, the reverses both depict ships on their homeward bound voyage, and the whaleships are boldly rendered yet finely detailed. While the whaling scene on this tooth is more simplistic, it can be argued the coastline scene is more substantially developed. Given that the tooth was most likely engraved while Burdett was homeward bound onboard the William Tell and that it was intended as a gift for his sister Lydia, it is easy to imagine his thoughts had turned more toward the comforts of home rather than the toils of whaling.

Provenance: Descended in the family of Edward Burdett's sister, Lydia Burdett Hallett, through the Hallett family then as a gift to the current consignor.

Edward Burdett was a pioneer of American scrimshaw, and in his short but prolific career he produced what are widely considered masterpieces of the genre. He was born on Nantucket in October 1805, the son of a merchant sea captain. His first whaling voyage was aboard the Foster from 1822 to 1824. In successive voyages he sailed aboard the William Tell and the Montano. In November 1833, while serving as first mate onboard the Montano, Burdett was entangled in line, dragged by a whale overboard, and drowned.

Edward had one older sister and four younger sisters. His next to youngest sister was Lydia (1812-1895), who married Captain William Hallett (1812-1882), son of Isaac and Rebecca Matthews Hallett of Barnstable. Lydia and William lived at 570 Main Street, Hyannis, which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

William and Lydia had no children but William had many siblings, Allen Hallett (1809-1864) being the closest in birth order. Allen Hallett was a carpenter and woodworker on Nantucket. He married Hepsabeth Rand (1813-1859) and they had a son, Eugene, born in 1838. As Eugene grew up, Nantucket's economy began to falter, due to decline of the whaling industry and young men leaving the island for the California Gold Rush.

Eugene Hallett wanted to learn jewelry and watch making so he and his parents left Nantucket for Boston when Eugene was 15 years old so he could apprentice with a jeweler. Eugene excelled at the craft, and after a year and a half, he was recommended to a jeweler in Providence, Rhode Island. Another year and a half later he was deemed proficient enough to go out on his own.

At that point, the Halletts became part of the great migration west so Eugene could start his jewelry business where there was no other. He and his parents pooled their savings for Eugene to purchase inventory and they set out via stage coach and river boats for Leavenworth, Kansas. Upon arrival in 1856, Leavenworth was nothing more than a wild dusty crossroads and military outpost with few structures. Eugene was indeed the first to establish a jewelry, watch and engraving business there, while his father established the first lumber and hardware business and did construction in the burgeoning town.

It is believed Lydia Burdett Hallett gave her nephew Eugene the sperm whale tooth before he left on his venture west, since both her brother and her young nephew were skilled engravers.

Eugene married Martha Jonson Brown (1847- 1935) in Ottumwa, Iowa, in 1865, and they made their home in Leavenworth until relocating to Lincoln, Nebraska in 1871. Eugene died at age 98 in 1933. Eugene's sons, Fred and Hugh, followed in their father's successful jewelry business in Lincoln, renaming it Hallett Bros. Jewelry. Fred (1869-1952) and his wife, Mabel Curtis (1873-1962) had no children, but Hugh (1878-1948) and his wife, Henrietta Hawley (1879-1949), had three sons. The only one who continued the family jewelry business was Eugene Sheldon Hallett (1904-1971).

Going by the name Sheldon, he married his University of Nebraska sweetheart, Frances Bolton Hallett (1906-1985) in 1929. As the next generation engraver, Shel and Fran took custody of the Burdett tooth directly from Sheldon's grandfather upon his passing in 1933.

Shel and Fran had no children. When Shel reached retirement age, he was anxious to enjoy his golden years in a warmer climate, so he liquidated the 100-year-old Nebraska family business and retired to Scottsdale, Arizona, in the fall of 1969. After an invigorating morning desert horseback ride on his thoroughbred, he was lounging by the pool and suffered a fatal heart. He passed away at age 66 in 1971.

In the fall of 1971, Sheldon's widow struck up a close friendship with the current consignors. Having no family of her own, Fran gave the Burdett tooth to them in 1983. The tooth has never before been offered for sale.

Condition: Age crack on obverse extend approx. 1.75 into scene from base. An age fracture at tip with crack wrapping around tip extending approx. 6" into scene on obverse and approx. 3" into scene of reverse. Faint old cracks at base of reverse. Some loss of ink on reverse's whaleship. Very small, old shallow chip at very tip.

Sold at Eldred’s Auction July 25, 2019.

Price Realized: $180,000

SCRIMSHAW WHALE'S TOOTH ATTRIBUTED TO THE LOCKET ENGRAVER 1840s. Obverse depicts a characteristic Locket Engraver portrait of a dark-haired woman holding a locket. She has bows in her ringlets, a Maltese cross at her neck and her dress has puffy sleeves and lace trim. The locket, suspended from her neck on a long cord, contains a portrait of a man. The reverse has two ship portraits, one identified as the Swan" and the other as the "Boston". Both ships are flying assorted flags and pennants, including an American flag flying off the stern. Length 7.25”.

Illustrated in Scrimshaw and Provenance: A Third Dictionary of Scrimshaw Artists by Stuart M. Frank (Mystic, Ct.: Stuart M. Frank and Mystic Seaport Museum, 2013), p. 165, fig. 13. Frank writes that Judge Vardeman coined the moniker "Locket Engraver" after identifying six teeth in public and private collections attributed to the anonymous artisan. Others have been more recently discovered. Most depict a lady with a locket and portraits of U.S. Navy vessels.

Provenance: Richard "Sam" Sylvia, Nantucket, Massachusetts. Sylvia purchased the tooth from someone who discovered it in a newly purchased antique desk.

The Collection of Paul Vardeman.

Condition: Age crack on obverse approx. 1.5.

Sold at Eldred’s Auction July 25, 2019.

Price Realized: $28,800


This is the only known tooth by the Naval Monument Engraver with an original whaling scene. Most of his work was sourced from the 1816 and 1837 editions of Abel Bowen's The Naval Monument. Obverse, with original scene titled Whale Scenery", depicts two whaleships, one in the act of cutting in, and two whaleboats, one under sail, pursuing a pod of whales. Reverse titled "Despatch, Majestic, Endymion, Tenedos, President, Pomone, The President Engaging The Endymion While Pursued By the British Squadron". Billowing smoke surrounds the ship in the foreground. Rich patina throughout. Length 7”.

This tooth is mentioned in the section on the Naval Monument Engraver in Scrimshaw and Provenance: A Third Dictionary of Scrimshaw Artists by Stuart M. Frank (Mystic, Ct.: Stuart M. Frank and Mystic Seaport Museum, 2013), p. 202.

Provenance: Estate of Helen Palmer Lincoln, Kenneth W. Van Blarcom Auction, Wareham, Massachusetts, August 22, 1993.

Rafael Osona Auctions, Nantucket, Massachusetts, August 13, 1994, Lot #154.

The Collection of Paul Vardeman.

Condition: Age cracks, approx. 1.5, extend from base into scenes on both obverse and reverse. Uneven base.

Sold at Eldred’s Auction July 25, 2019.

Price Realized: $84,000

PATRIOTIC POLYCHROME SCRIMSHAW WHALE'S TOOTH, Mid-19th Century. Obverse depicts a Liberty" banner above a spread-wing eagle clutching an "E Pluribus Unum" banner in its beak, a shield at its breast and arrows and olive branches in its talons. The eagle is perched on a stylized American shield flanked by American flags. Below the shield is an arrangement of cannons, swords, spears, anchors and cannonballs. Reverse depicts the "U.S.F. Constitution" at sea, flying an American flag off the stern. Both sides initialed near base "JB". Length 7.5".

This tooth has been authenticated by Don Ridley and Dr. Stuart M. Frank at the Scrimshaw Forensics Laboratory.

This tooth is by the same hand as a similar tooth and a cane sold at Skinner, November 4, 2017, Lot#144.

Provenance: Richard A. Bourne Company, August 4, 1981, Lot #134.

Sotheby's, May 22, 2003, Lot #752.

Hyland Granby Antiques, Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.

The Collection of Paul Vardeman

Condition: Age cracks on both obverse and reverse extending into scenes.

Sold at Eldred’s Auction July 25, 2019.

Price Realized: $31,200


Tenney is also known as the King of the Sea Artist". Scene of a spread-wing eagle, Liberty, a monument and an American-flagged ship wraps around the circumference of the tooth. Liberty, wearing an eagle helmet and holding an American shield at her side, holds aloft a torch on which the eagle is perched. In its beak it clutches a "Liberty And Freedom" banner, which wraps nearly around the entire tip of the tooth. Beside the eagle and Liberty is a columnar monument surrounded by American flags, an anchor and a pyramid of cannonballs. A warship flying an American flag and ensign, probably the U.S.S. Brandywine is just offshore beyond the monument. Nicely proportioned and finely detailed, particularly in the eagle's feathers, Liberty's dress and the embellishments on the monument. Length 5.25”.

Provenance: Leslie Hindman Auctions, Chicago, January 24, 2010, Lot #162

Nina Hellman, Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Samuel W. Tenney's identity was discovered by scrimshaw historian Michael Gerstein through a tooth in the collection of Historic New England. Tenney was born in Oxford, Massachusetts and served in the Navy aboard the U.S.S. Brandywine and later on the whaleship Fenelon of New Bedford. Examples of Tenney teeth to come to market include Lot #623 in Eldred's November 21, 2013 auction and a scrimshaw walrus tusk presented later in this auction.

The Collection of Paul Vardeman.

Condition: Small and unobtrusive age line at chip. Two small cracks at base are nearly invisible given their placement in the design. Small old chip at one edge of base.

Sold at Eldred’s Auction July 25, 2019.

Price Realized: $27,600

SCRIMSHAW WHALE'S TOOTH ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM LEWIS RODERICK, First Half of the 19th Century. Depicts a whaling scene of a whaleship, three whaleboats and two visible whales. One whaleboat is under sail and another has been stoved, tossing whalemen into the water. The whaleship is flying a British ensign and another unidentified flag, and the hull is deeply engraved. Like all Roderick's work, this scene is exceptionally detailed, from the careful rendering of the whalemen, to the individual teeth visible in a whale's jaw, to the undulations of the water. Scene framed within a double line border at left and right. Reverse is unpolished. Length 8.

This tooth is almost identical in size, shape and subject to two pieces signed by Roderick that are part of the Mystic Seaport collection.

Provenance: Richard "Sam" Sylvia, Nantucket, Massachusetts, who indicated in 1979 that the tooth had been part of Ed Stackpole's collection for 35 years.

Private Collection.

The Collection of Paul Vardeman.

Condition: Light and typical wear commensurate with age. No significant damages noted. Entire length of the tooth at top is bisected by a deeply engraved line and has two pierced holes at top, probably for display purposes.

Sold at Eldred’s Auction July 25, 2019.

Price Realized: $54,000

RARE SCRIMSHAW WHALE'S TOOTH WITH ANTI-SLAVERY IMAGERY, Mid-19th Century. Obverse, sourced from the frontispiece of Abel Bowen's The Naval Monument, depicts Liberty carrying an American flag while riding a horse-drawn chariot past a monument to Washington Independence Manly Jones and a banner with "We have Met the Enemy and They are Ours" draped over a tower of cannons and cannonballs. Upper half of the reverse depicts standing Liberty holding a large olive branch in one hand and a staff topped with a phrygian cap in the other. She is identified below the portrait and above the Biblical verse "Christ hath made us free. Gal. 5:1". Lower half with a circular cartouche depicting a slave kneeling before Lady Justice, surrounded by "Am I Not a Man And A Brother Remember them that are in bonds as bound with them". Below the cartouche is the verse "Natives of a Land of Glory, Daughters of the good and brave! Hear the injured Negro's story; -- Hear and help the kneeling slave. Follow! -- faithful, firm confiding; -- Spread our wrongs from shore to shore; Mercy's God your efforts guiding, Slavery shall be known no more." Elements on both obverse and reverse executed in pinpoint. The base of the tooth has nearly grown together, indicating it was from a very old whale. An exceptionally detailed and fascinating tooth. Length 7.5”.

Provenance: Richard "Sam" Sylvia, Nantucket, Massachusetts, who acquired it from a Nantucket collector who indicated it came from a collection in Duxbury, Massachusetts.

The Collection of Paul Vardeman.

Condition: Typical age lines at tip and base. No significant wear or damage noted.

Sold at Eldred’s Auction July 25, 2019.

Price Realized: $36,000

RARE AND UNUSUAL SCRIMSHAW PANBONE TUB, Mid-19th Century. Constructed from a scrimshaw base plate and multiple staves, two with heart-shaped handles, bound with baleen hoops. Base plate depicts a whaling scene of a whaleship and four whaleboats in pursuit of a large pod of whales. The whaleship is flying a pennant from the central mast and the figurehead is in the form of a harpooner poised with his harpoon. Each whaleboat carries six whalemen. Approx. height 6.75. Approx. width 9.25”

Provenance: Private Collection, having been discovered in New York City.

The Collection of Paul Vardeman.

Sold at Eldred’s Auction July 25, 2019.

Price Realized: $31,200

POLYCHROME SCRIMSHAW WHALEBONE PLAQUE WITH EXCEPTIONAL WHALING SCENE, Mid-19th Century. Depicts a three-masted whaleship flying a black and red pennant surrounded by four whaleboats in pursuit of a pod of whales. Each whaleboat is manned by six whalemen. One boat is under sail approaching a group of five whales and three boats are actively lancing at whales that are spouting blood. Another whale is waifed. In the distance is a hilly coastline. The scene is framed within red and black borders, with an image of a harpoon and lance above and a sperm whale below. The details and subtle but effective use of coloring on this plaque set it apart as a truly fine example of the craft, equal to the workmanship of W.L. Roderick. 7.5 x 10.5”.

Provenance: Descended in the family of a Bucksport, Maine estate and has never before been offered for sale. It is believed the plaque was gifted to a family member by an elderly sailor sometime in the 1890s. It then hung in the parlor of the family home in Bucksport. A statement of provenance accompanies the piece.

Condition: Plaque with typical uneven surface. Very slight fracture at upper right corner. No other damages noted.

Sold at Eldred’s Auction July 25, 2019.

Price Realized: $54,000

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