Charmingly slightly off-round, this is a fabulous stoneware storage crock made for an early New York City wholesale pharmacy business. It dates from around the Civil War era, very possibly before, given that the company existed from about 1830 until 1870 at the latest.
There is no manufacturing mark. On the upper shoulder is a wonderfully clear impression in serif Roman letters:
J & J F. TRIPPE.
DRUGGISTs No 90 & 92
Mn. LANE . NY
NOTE: Mn is the abbreviation for Maiden Lane, a popular commercial district in New York City at the time. Please scroll down to BACKGROUND, below. The III is a Roman numeral; we aren't sure what that meaning is.
SIZE: Perfect for display: about 9 inches tall; about 6-1/2 inches across the bottom; and the top opening is off-round, being about 3-3/4 inches wide and 4-1/4 inches long.
Take a close look: apparently it "should" have been totally round, but ended up with one shoulder slightly higher than the other (see our picture showing the height measurement) -- adding a lot of interest and individual character. One stoneware expert we consulted said it probably had a lid -- but we question how a round lid would ever satisfactorily work with an oval hole?
CONDITION: Extremely nice with NO cracks, NO hairlines, NO chips. The only questionable area is a very small side bump / indentation (SEE OUR 4th and 5th PICTURES) about 1 inch across, that stands out because the color there is slightly darker. This MAY be an OLD repair or a manufacturing flaw, as you can feel it with a finger on the inside wall.
IMPORTANT: Our last four pictures show ALL "sides" ... we rotated this so you could see completely around it.
BACKGROUND: John and James F. Trippe operated a wholesale druggist business at Numbers 90-92 Maiden Lane from 1830 until 1862. This granite and iron building, which replaced a dwelling and stable, was erected between 1827-1828 by a family named Duryea, which sold it to James and John, then in 1862 reclaimed the building. There were several Trippe men involved in the pharmacy business and I could not find anything definite after that until 1870-1871, when the structure(s) at 90-94 Maiden Lane was built, replacing 90-92.
Wikipedia says 90–94 Maiden Lane is a designated New York City landmark, one of the few surviving examples of cast-iron architecture between Fulton Street and the Battery, as well as one of a few mid-19th century commercial buildings still existing in Lower Manhattan. A cast-iron building on Gold Street between William and Pearl Streets in the Financial District of Manhattan, New York City. It was built in 1870-71 in the French Second Empire style and is attributed to Charles Wright. The building's facade was commissioned by Roosevelt & Son, the leading plate glass and mirror importer. Theodore Roosevelt Sr., father of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, was one of the company's principals. Unlike most other buildings of its sort, it has not been converted into condominium apartments, and is still in use as a commercial building.