Fine antique two-tone gaudy blue, broad brush stroke, pearlware Sunflower coffee pot from the c1815 to c1830 period with several noteworthy features (Photos 1, 4, etc.). The early looking pearlware glaze on this pot appears anachronistic because it has more affinities with 1790 than 1824 and covers a recognizable cream-colored clay body. The cobalt blue tinted glaze yields a greenish hue caused by the underlying creamy white clay. This effect is most evident where the glaze thickens such as along crevices, ridges and the foot rim. The greenish tinge to the glaze, while visually evident in person is harder to capture digitally especially under artificial lighting. The green tinge is seen best here in Photo 7 on the underside of the base where there is also a small bare area about 1 1/2 inches long by 1/4 inches wide with no appreciable glaze over the creamy white clay body (see Photo 7 for the diagonally trending glazeless rectangular patch located at about the 3 o’clock position on the base and about 1/2 inch in from the foot rim).
This pot has a lathe turned pedestal base, relief molded acanthus leaf thumb rest (Photo 4), original matching high dome top cover with acorn knop (Photos 1 and 8), and segmented bamboo joint handle (joint is visible further down the handle in Photo 4). The motif painted on both sides of this tall pot and also its high domed cover is a stylized sunflower. And the particular style of floral hand painting exhibited on this coffee pot is also found on other pearlware tea, coffee and dessert services. Many of these broad brush blue floral patterns also appear to mimic some qualities of the highly sought and more complex Staffordshire polychrome wares collected today under the label Gaudy Dutch and which date from about the same period (see John A. Shuman III’s ‘The Collector’s Encyclopedia of Gaudy Dutch and Welsh’, published by Collector Books, Paducah, KY, 1991; Susan Bagdade and Al Bagdade’s ‘English & Continental Pottery & Porcelain’ published in 1991, pages 128-129).
Collectors of Gaudy Dutch wares recognize about sixteen main patterns and one of them is called Sunflower. The link between two-tone Gaudy Blue pearlwares and traditional polychrome Gaudy Dutch wares of the 1815 to 1835 era has been mostly overlooked in the published literature to date. And as a consequence, Gaudy Blue broad brush wares have not obtained the same market values as Gaudy Dutch wares despite the fact that Gaudy Blue wares are less common to encounter in excellent condition today than many of the antique traditional polychrome Gaudy Dutch wares. Furthermore, most Gaudy Blue pearlwares were produced for common daily use among less affluent households and consequently were less expensive than porcelain sets or transfer printed pearlwares. And what makes this coffee pot particularly special is that family records associated with it identify its original American owner. She was born about 1802, acquired the coffee pot in 1824, and lived much of her adult life in the vicinity of Norristown, Pennsylvania. More will be said about this family provenance farther below.
Coffee Pot Blanks in both Gaudy Dutch and Gaudy Blue Motifs
A pedestal base Gaudy Dutch coffee pot with the same double curved upper section and which also seats a tall dome top cover with acorn finial similar to the Gaudy Blue coffee pot listed here is shown in Photo 9 (c.f., Photos 8 and 9). This Gaudy Dutch pot is not for sale here and, instead, is illustrate just for comparative purposes (Gaudy Dutch coffee pot in Photo 9 is adapted from John A. Shuman III, ibid. 1991). Only the Gaudy Blue coffee pot shown in the first eight Photos is for sale in this listing.
Photo 9 helps demonstrate the close tie between Gaudy Blue and Gaudy Dutch wares from the 1815 to 1830 period. Although the handles and spouts are different on each coffee pot due to the stock parts on hand at the time each was produced, the main body blank and its cover blank are nearly identical. The term blank refers to the undecorated vessel parts prior to painting and glazing. Coffee pot shapes and styles change over time as dictated by fashion and the individual whims of various potteries. In fact, dome topped pearlware coffee pots where the cover sits down in a well opening deep enough to fully hide the cover’s outer flange were fashionably popular between about 1810 and about 1830 (e.g., John P. Cushion’s ‘Pottery & Porcelain Tablewares’ published in 1976 by William Morrow & Company, Inc., New York, pages 214-215). Subsequent Coffee pot shapes among American consumers changed again as transfer printed whiteware pots in a greater range of underglaze colors fashionably replaced pearlware pots in the late 1820s and early 1830s. These whiteware pots were subsequently replaced by molded and paneled thick ironstone coffee pots in the 1840s and 1850s especially among American middle class households.
More about this Gaudy Blue Coffee Pot’s Special Features
The rim at the top of this coffee pot exhibits a fine horizontal ridge and groove pattern that is cleanly turned, lathe cut and precisely painted dark blue (Photo 4). And from rim to base, there are seven total delicately painted bands or expertly lathe cut horizontal bands on the pot. An eighth band occurs on the cover that is also lathe cut and defines the cap portion of the acorn finial. And as note previously, the pedestal base also has several lathe cut concentric accents that are better seen up close. The handle has a moulded leaf as the thumb rest and a faux-bamboo joint added farther down below (see Photos 4 and 5).
The hand painted details on this pot add to its antique charm. The bi-tonal cobalt blue main motif is a stylized sunflower surrounded by large serrated leaves reminiscent of tobacco leaf patterns on British wares of the early 1800s (see Spode’s Leaf pattern, also see Chinese tobacco leaf pattern of mid 1700s in Jean McClure Mudge’s ‘Chinese Export Porcelain in North America’ published by Riverside Book Company, Inc., NY in 2000, pp 162). The sunflower pattern is duplicated on both sides of this pot (Photos 1 and 5). Comparatively large and often isolated serrated leaves are also found on traditional Gaudy Dutch patterns such as the Double Rose pattern and Leaf pattern, and these patterns provide interesting parallels (see John A. Shuman III’s ‘The Collector’s Encyclopedia of Gaudy Dutch and Welsh’, published in 1991, pp 25-28, 36-37, and 54-56). And these parallels underscore the continuing exchange of motifs among Staffordshire potteries in the late 1700s and early to mid 1800s.
The same sunflower motif along with all the same surrounding serrated leaves is duplicated twice on the tall dome cover on this coffee pot (Photo 1). The spout and handle are also decorated with blue brush flourishes, leaves, dashes, dots and rosette-like pin wheels (Photos 2, 3, 4). In all, it took about 420 individual brush strokes to decorate this coffee pot and cover. The many flowing and fluid strokes indicate that the decorator was both experienced and efficient at completing the designs with agility and adeptness (see all Photos). Under the base, there is a decorator’s mark that looks like ‘1 x’ without any associated pottery names or impressed makers marks (Photo 7).
A review of other Gaudy Blue pearlware vessels sold by Docs Antiques over the years revealed that a pearlware sugar box decorated with a serrated leaf and sunflower-like motif had ‘16 x’ painted under its base along with a clearly impressed William Adams pottery mark from the 1820s (impressed version of the American Eagle printed ADAMS mark shown in Godden 1964: pp.21, Mark 19). These marks suggest that this Coffee Pot may also be a product of William Adams pottery since both the sugar box and pot are good quality pearlware with strong greenish blue tinted glaze that puddles along foot rings and in crevices.
Provenance and Family Information associated with this Coffee Pot
There are family records associated with this teapot that link it to a specific owner and state that the teapot dates from 1824. The 1824 date in the title is based on these family records and they also give provenance for when the coffee pot was first acquired by a member in Pennsylvania back in 1824 (Norristown or vicinity). Its original owner, Mrs. Detwiler was born in c1802 and acquired the coffee pot in 1824, possibly as a wedding present (she died at age 94 in about 1896).
Family information also states that this coffee pot was given to Catherine Detwiler on April 26, 1892 and this was noted in writing from 1923 and also 1960. One of the older notes spells her name as Catharyn and based on the age of the elderly Mrs. Detwiler, Catherine/Catharyn is either a great granddaughter or grandaughter of the original owner of this pot. The family records also included a photographic visitation card with a print of a portrait of the original owner sitting in a chair when she was probably in her 80s. This print therefore likely dates from the 1880s or so. The card indicates that the print was made from an original photograph taken by N. Bechlar while working for the Union Gallery located at 202 1/2 Main St., Norristown, Pennsylvania.
So if you are looking for a wonderful antique Gaudy Blue pearlware coffee pot first acquired in 1824 by the Detwiler family in southeastern Pennsylvania, then make sure you seriously consider this one while it is still available. And as always, this coffee pot also comes with my Docs Antiques 100% satisfaction guarantee or you may return it using my return policy (see complete Return Policy details farther below). You also have the option to ask for a customized lay-away plan for purchasing this item (and others when combining orders) by simply requesting the terms you wish to use and then let Doc take care of setting it up and combining any items together as desired (payment installments may be modified at any time should the unexpected ever arise, just let me know by email and I’ll change the due dates).
SIZE: This coffee pot with cover in place is about 10 1/2 inches tall (Photo 8) and becomes 8 5/8 inches tall maximum when the cover is off (tallest point when cover is off is to the top of the thumb rest, see Photo 1). As such, it is much taller than contemporary teapots of the same era or from any previous period. This coffee pot also measures a maximum 10 inches across from outer most spout tip across to outermost handle edge, and it has a upper rim diameter of 4 3/8 inches before narrowing to better secure the cover. The top opening allows the cover to sit lower down on a recessed inner ledge (Photos 3 and 4). The cover all by itself is about 3 1/2 inches tall and has a maximum outer edge diameter of by 4 inches across. The coffee pot sits on a footrim that measures about 4 1/4 inches across (Photo 7). The pot weighs about 2.5 lbs empty and when packed all will weigh about 4 lbs.
CONDITION: This Coffee Pot’s main body and handle are in excellent condition with just two tiny glaze chips along the underside at the end of the spout (see all Photos). Beyond the spout, the remainder of the coffee pot’s main body has no chips, hairlines, cracks, major stains, deep scratches, repairs or restoration. The pot’s cover is in good condition with its finial in perfect shape and the only chips limited to the outer rim of the cover that sits well below view when the cover is set in place (see Photos 1 and 8). The cover itself has no hairlines, cracks, major stains, deep scratches, repairs or restoration, and its outer edge has about a half dozen small chips that again are not visible when the cover is set in place (Photo 8). The edge chips on the cover are shown in Photo 6 where the cover is shown upside down.
SHIPPING: This coffee pot weighs about 2.5 lbs empty and, after packing, the box and all will weigh about 4 lbs. All US mainland buyers pay $16.70 for well packed USPS Standard Post and this is an estimated savings of $2 to $6 since insurance and tracking are INCLUDED in this amount. A faster domestic shipping option using Priority Mail is also available for $24.60 (an estimated savings of $3 to $7 because insurance and tracking are INCLUDED in Priority mail, see Shipping menu). In any event, the insured postage you pay for delivery in the US is always less than our actual costs or we refund the difference back to you, and there are never any handling or packing fees added to any of your Docs Antiques purchases, ever. All international buyers will also pay less than the actual shipping costs for all verifiable locations outside the Continental US mainland. Send us your address and we will email you up to four options for sending this item to your country. We only use the USPS for International shipping to reduce broker fees and certain Custom’s charges when an item is over 100 years old and the option you select allows for enclosing a special waiver. Please note that international import duties, taxes and other special charges are not included in the item price or our shipping costs and these additional charges are the Buyer's responsibility. We do offer a petition waiver for VAT relief on the behalf of the buyer which may help reduce certain import taxes when your country grants such petitions for items over 100 years old and the shipping option you select allows a waiver request to be included. Please check with your country's Customs Office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to purchasing this item -- thanks.
RETURN POLICY: Satisfaction and peace of mind are guaranteed for all Docs Antiques listings here on Ruby Lane. And this means that if the buyer is unhappy with a purchase, then she/he may return it by sending the item back undamaged and post marked within fourteen days of the original receipt of the item at your address for a refund (certain shipping costs are non-refundable, please insure the item upon return and add tracking). Items damaged by shipping in the US are covered by insurance and while this rarely happens because we pack professionally, we will gladly help you file your insurance claim should it ever be necessary. Of course, never send an item back that has been damaged by shipping since that will void the original insurance. Instead, contact us for help if you have any questions and we will gladly assist.
PAYMENT OPTIONS: Checks on US Banks (no temporary checks, all checks must have 9 digit routing code; item ships after check fully clears), USPS money orders, PayPal, or contact us with your verified address for more options. If you wish to use a credit card by way of PayPal, then that option becomes available after you submit a Ruby Lane purchase order. Once submitted, a PayPal icon will appear at the bottom of this listing and then you may proceed from there if you wish to pay via PayPal by way of a credit card. Or see our Terms of Sale for additional information should you wish to ask for a customized layaway plan customized to your own needs and situation (email me a request for a customized layaway). Thanks for looking and we invite you back again when you have more time.
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