Very Rare E. J. MILLER / ALEXANDRIA, VA Stoneware
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Lot 0426 Details
Exceptional Four-Gallon Stoneware Water Cooler with Cobalt Decoration, Stenciled "E.J. MILLER & CO. / QUEENSWARE & C. / ALEXANDRIA. VA." and "JAMES HAMILTON & / MANUFACTURERS / GREENSBORO. PA.", circa 1875, cylindrical form with semi-rounded rim, applied lug handles, and circular bunghole at base, the front decorated with the stenciled cobalt advertising "E.J. MILLER & CO. / QUEENSWARE & C. / ALEXANDRIA. VA." interspersed with stenciled tulips and stylized flourishes. Freehand stripes at shoulder and base. Base with two diagonally-stenciled four-gallon capacity marks, flanked by flourishes. Stenciled vertically along the side of the cooler, "JAMES HAMILTON & / MANUFACTURER / GREENSBORO. PA", with stenciled geometric pattern at center. Heavy cobalt highlights surrounding bunghole and handle terminals. Numerous examples of stenciled stoneware made for Alexandria, VA merchant, Elisha Janney Miller, by Greensboro, PA potters are known. This example survives as one of the very best. The cooler form is highly unusual among the body of surviving work made for Miller's business, and the employment of a vertically-stenciled signature along with the advertising adds significantly to its rarity and visual appeal. This cooler also includes perhaps the best color and contrast we have seen on a piece of Miller advertising stoneware. An outstanding offering, which appeals to both Western PA and Virginia collecting interests. Provenance: A fresh-to-the-market example, purchased in Virginia by the consignor many years ago. Very condition with a tight vertical line on reverse, measuring approximately 7 1/2", with some short, faint hairlines extending off from it. H 15".