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Origin: America, South Carolina, Edgefield District, Shaw's Creek
Overall: 13 1/4 x 10 x 10in. (33.7 x 25.4 x 25.4cm)
Alkaline-glazed stoneware
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1997.900.1
A single-handled alkaline-glazed stoneware jug embellished with lettering and a floral spray in kaolin slip and with two fancily-dressed hoop-skirted women in kaolin and iron slips. With the surface opposite the handle closest to the viewer, the women appear on either side, the foundations for their overall figures having been laid down in iron slip, with kaolin slip on top of the iron forming interior details. The woman to the viewer's right wears a checked or plaid skirt whose alternate squares are filled in with dots and daubs; a belt or ribbon streams forward from her waist. The other woman's skirt is horizontally striped (or layered) with alternating straight and scalloped lines. The two appear to toss a flower bloom between them. Separating the two women is lettering above a floral spray. Additional lettering appears near the handle within a reserve.
Label:The Collin Rhodes Factory of Shaw's Creek in the Edgefield District of South Carolina was one of the more successful southern potteries in the mid-nineteenth century. This jug was made for Joel Ridgel or Ridgell, a prominent farmer in Lexington County. It depicts two ladies in fancy dress who may represent Ridgel's first wife, Rebecca Norris, and his second, Susannah Fox. Depictions of people on American stoneware are rare, and the ladies on this jug are even more unusual because of the elaborate dresses they wear.
Provenance:In a telephone conversation of 2/21/97, Shank reported that he bought this jug at auction on January 26, 1994, through the Harmer-Rooke Galleries in New York City. Charles Moore (then with Harmer-Rooke but now at his own auction house) provided Shank with the following story: Harmer-Rooke received the unsolicited jug in the mail one day, with a note asking that it be included in the next pottery auction. Two half-brothers owned it: Jerry Kent and Robert Allen, both then living in Florida. Shank spoke with Kent at some length and learned that the boys' mother (name unknown) was an antique dealer who lived in Ohio (but bought "all over the place"); the boys could not recall where or from whom their mother had acquired the jug, but they do remember it as "always" having been in the house. Before sending the jug to Harmer-Rooke, Kent and Allen had offered it to Griffith, Georgia, dealer Newton Crouch (who, however, ignored their letter). Shank does not believe either Kent or Allen can provide additional information about the jug's history.
Inscription(s):On the side opposite the handle in kaolin slip is "CRh{ode}s/Maker". (The letters "ode" are raised and visible, though the contrasting kaolin slip has been obscured). On the side to the right of the handle in kaolin slip and within a slip-trailed reserve is "Joel/Ridgel".