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Flask

ca. 1780
Origin: America, New York, Manhattan
Overall: 6 3/4 x 2 7/8 x 4 3/8in. (17.1 x 7.3 x 11.1cm) (Width is flattened sides, length is sides with handle)
Stoneware, salt-glazed, brown with blue and purple
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 2006-132
Incised cobalt and manganese decorated salt-glazed stoneware flask of ovoid flattened form, with ringed neck and strap handle, each side decorated with a cobalt blue heart enclosing a bird, the birds and stylized leaves filled with alternating manganese and cobalt blue. One side has a kiln scar, a slight concave shape due to excess heat in the kiln and poor adherence to the oxides also as a result of excessive heat.
Label:The Crolius and Remmey potters were influenced by English imports, creating objects whose forms were English and whose decorative elements were a blend of techniques. This was the beginning of an American style in stoneware. The small flask, made around 1780, has incised decoration depicting a bird perched on a branch within a heart-shaped cartouche. This design is filled with cobalt and manganese, creating a colorful blue and purple image on both sides. The slightly flattened ovoid form is more common in English stoneware, although here the potter chose to combine this English shape with German-inspired incised lines filled with color. The flask is not marked but has been attributed to either the Crolius or Remmey potteries. John Remmey died in 1762 and William Crolius in 1775. The Remmey family continued to make stoneware in Manhattan until at least 1820, and the Crolius family maintained their business until 1849, more than one hundred years after William Crolius began to produce stoneware.
Provenance:Purchased from Sotheby's Auction, New York; seller was Leslie Keno; Mr. Keno purchased it at auction from Nadeau's Auction Gallery in Windsor, Connecticut, October of 2004.