• Stoneware/Redware
Lot 39


Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Sold for

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

STAMPED "BC' MILBURN", ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA DECORATED STONEWARE CUSPIDOR / SPITTOON, salt-glazed, "1/2" gallon capacity mark, semi-waisted cylindrical form, having incised shoulder ring, and circular drain hole. Bold brushed cobalt "Alexandria Motif" sunflower and foliage decoration surrounding drain hole and five dropped feathered leaf ornaments from rim. Benedict Cuthbert Milburn (1805-1867), Wilkes Street Pottery, Alexandria, VA. 1833-1866. 3 1/8" H, 7" D rim.
Published: Hunter (ed.) - Ceramics in America 2013, "'Stone-ware of excellent quality, Alexandria manufacture' Part II: The Pottery of B.C. Milburn", by Barbara Magid, p. 116, fig. 79. Wilder - Alexandria, Virginia Pottery, 1792-1876, p. 277, fig. BCM106, stamp p. 323, fig. Mk XII.
Catalogue Note: Benedict Cuthbert Milburn was the third owner of the Wilkes Street pottery located in Alexandria, VA. Born near St. Mary's City, MD, Milburn relocated to Alexandria, VA when he was 17-years-old. Hired by John Swann (the founder of the Wilkes Street pottery) in 1822, the young Milburn began a long, fruitful career in the pottery industry. It is unknown if Milburn maintained employment at Wilkes Street through Hugh Smith's tenure as manager (starting in 1825), however by 1833, documents provide evidence that Benedict officially began leasing the pottery from Hugh Charles Smith (the son of Hugh Smith). Milburn officially purchased the Wilkes Street pottery from Hugh Smith (elder) in 1841. Business flourished under Milburn until the Civil War, when work at the kilns was extinguished. The pottery remained quiet the remainder of the war until 1865, when Milburn's son, Stephen Calvert took up the business. Sadly, Benedict C. Milburn passed away in 1867, at the age of 62. After his death, his sons continued operating the Wilkes Street pottery until 1876, when William Lewis Milburn sold the pottery to the neighboring tannery, permanently closing the door on the Milburn pottery legacy.


Mostly undamaged, except having some professional restoration to center hole, slightly yellowing. Manufacturing flaws including three kiln furniture marks to top, as made.

Collection of the late Al and Billy Steidel, Alexandria, VA.
Alan Darby, Washington, DC, 6/21/2006.