• Stoneware/Redware
Lot 16


Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Sold for
Sold Price includes BP

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $10
$200 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$30,000 $2,500
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

IMPORTANT STAMPED "H. SMITH & CO.", ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA DECORATED STONEWARE CHURN, salt-glazed, "3" gallon capacity mark, cylindrical form with galleried rim, a single-incised shoulder ring, and applied tab handles. Brushed cobalt "Alexandria Motif" flower to front, additional cobalt to handle terminals. Incised "D" in curved script to underside. Possibly David Jarbour, made for Hugh Smith (1769-1856), Wilkes Street pottery, Alexandria, VA. 1822-1825. 16 5/8" H, 6 3/8" D rim.
Published: Wilder - Alexandria, Virginia Pottery, 1792-1876, p. 115, fig. HS030.
Literature: For further information on Jarbour see the Journal of Early Southern Decorative Arts, 2021-2022, vols. 42-43, "...my friend David Jarboe...": The Unfinished Portrait of an Alexandria Potter, by Angelika R. Kuettner. Hunter (ed.) - Ceramics in America 2012, "'Stoneware of excellent quality, Alexandria manufacture' Part I: The Pottery of John Swann," by Barbara H. Magid, pp. 133-134, 138-139. Wilder - Alexandria, Virginia Pottery: 1792-1876, p. 36-37; stamp p. 319, fig. Mk IV. Myers - The Potters' Art: Salt-Glazed Stoneware of Nineteenth-Century Alexandria, p. 23.
Catalogue Note: While the jar is stamped "H. SMITH & Co.", Hugh Smith was never a potter by trade. He hired numerous skilled potters and decorators to work for his shop on Wilkes Street including African Americans and those of European descent. The letter "D" incised to the underside of this jar is thought to identify the artisan who created the piece, a free African American named David Jarbour. Angelika Kuettner, in her article, "'...my friend David Jarboe...': The Unfinished Portrait of an Alexandria Potter", provided new insight into Jarbour and the stoneware vessels he is thought to have created through the analysis of the only known piece signed by him, which is housed in the MESDA collection. Kuettner compared the vessel having the full signature with those featuring similar decorations and inscribed with the letter "D". She concluded that the same individual created each. The inscribed "D" on the current piece closely matches the style of "D" incised on vessels (figs. 17 and 18) published in her article.
Hugh Smith was born in Knutsford, England in 1769. Immigrating to America in 1795, he founded a successful china mercantile business in Alexandria that would include his nephew Thomas Smith and eventually his eldest son Hugh Charles. Smith built numerous relationships with a variety of businesses in the city including John Swann's Wilkes Street pottery. By 1817, the American economy began to wane and Swann's pottery began to struggle financially and by 1821, the Wilkes Street pottery was mortgaged to Smith for the sum of $500. In 1825, Hugh Smith became the sole owner of the business after Swann was jailed in debtors prison. The pottery flourished under Smith's management. By 1830, he relinquished managerial responsibilities at the pottery to his son Hugh Charles. Three years afterward, Hugh Charles left the pottery, returning full time to the family mercantile business. At this time, the senior Smith officially leased the Wilkes Street pottery to potter and employee B.C. Milburn and by 1841, had sold the business to Milburn. Hugh Smith died in 1856, at the age of 88.


Very good condition, having a handle with minor chip to one terminal, a faint rim hairline, and a crack to back (not affecting resonance) extending from base to shoulder with applied epoxy/glue.

Collection of the late Al and Billy Steidel, Alexandria, VA.
James (Jimmy) Kappler, Towson, MD.