Historic Stoneware Jar By African American Maker Highlights Steidel Collection Auction

MOUNT CRAWFORD, VA. — On February 9 and 10, Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates conducted an auction of items from the Alexandria, Virginia-based Steidel Collection. Despite offering more than 1,050 lots in a variety of categories, the majority that rose to the top of the sale were notable pieces of stoneware. Claiming the highest price spot was a 10-gallon ovoid-form jar attributed to David Jarbour, circa 1830, and stamped “H. Smith & Co.” An important note from the auction catalog reads, “Combined with its stellar provenance and publication history, the appearance of the present jar on the market offers a rare opportunity to acquire a significant example of American folk art by a noted African American artisan.” The Alexandria-decorated vessel was sold above its estimates for $144,000, including the buyer’s premium ($8/120,000). A complete review of the two-day sale will be in a forthcoming issue.

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