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Rare Pottery Portrait Face Jug of L.W. Berry

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American Furniture & Decorative Arts - 3080B
Date / Time :
March 03, 2018 10:00AM


Rare Pottery Portrait Face Jug of L.W. Berry, William "Uncle Billy" Decker, Keystone [Decker] Pottery, Chucky Valley, Tennessee, 1892, designed as the head of a man with detailed anatomical features, applied textured eyebrows, sideburns, moustache and beard, incised teeth, pierced ears, and wearing a hat, the jug with double spouts modeled in red clay with manganese slip under salt glaze, and orange paint added to hat and cheeks, incised on the bottom "Made by Wm Decker/July 9th 1892" and "L.W. Berry.," ht. 8 in.

Provenance: Stephen Score, Boston, Massachusetts, to a private Massachusetts collection.

Literature: Illustrated in The Pottery of Charles F. Decker: A Life Well Made, Jonesborough/Washington County [Tennessee] History Museum, show catalog, 2004.

Note: The Keystone Pottery was founded in 1873 by a German immigrant named Charles F. Decker, according to research undertaken by Mr. Beverly Burbage and collated in the Beverly Burbage Papers at East Tennessee State University. Decker came to the United States in the 1840s, and was soon after employed at Richard C. Remmey's Stoneware Manufacturing Company. He left Remmey's to found Keystone Pottery in Philadelphia in 1856, and in 1871 moved to Tennessee, where he founded another pottery with the same name in August of 1873, though it was commonly referred to eponymously as the Decker Pottery. Charles had two sons with his first wife: Charles Jr. and William, both of whom became master potters at Decker Pottery. William, known affectionately as "Uncle Billy," made and signed the present lot in 1892. By the early 20th century, the Decker Pottery had closed.
Estimate $40,000-60,000

Rear spout has a loss that extends into the edge of the hat, front spout has a chip on the front, chip on side of nose, loss to one ear, chip on base. No obvious cracks or repairs.

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Stoneware Manufacturing Company, Charles Jr., Charles F. Decker, Beverly Burbage, Stephen Score, Decker, Pottery, Philadelphia, United States