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Object Name: Spouted pitcher
Date: 1798
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Medium: Salt-glazed stoneware, cobalt oxide
Dimensions: Overall: 11 in. × 8 1/2 in. (27.9 × 21.6 cm)
Place made: North America, United States, New York
Description: Salt-glazed stoneware spouted pitcher with stamped flowers, incised leaves decorated with cobalt blue, and maker's name and date hand inscribed across belly; inside, rough piercing at junction of body and spout; single pierced hole in either ceramic handle probably for attaching a metal handle.
Credit Line: Purchased from Elie Nadelman
Object Number: 1937.587
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Inscribed: Inscribed by hand around belly: "New York Feby 17th. 1798 / Flowered by Clarkson Crolius / Blue"

Gallery Label:

This object was once part of the folk art collection of Elie Nadelman (1882-1946), the avant-garde sculptor. From 1924 to 1934, Nadelman's collection was displayed in his Museum of Folk Arts, located in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. The Historical Society purchased Nadelman's entire collection in 1937.

This decorated stoneware vessel is the work of Clarkson Crolius, Sr., whose grandfather emigrated to New York from Germany in 1718 and established the city’s first stoneware pottery. Although numerous pieces of Crolius stoneware bear the pottery’s stamp, this is the only vessel that survives with Clarkson’s signature. The pitcher is profusely and exuberantly ornamented with incised and punched flowers and vines. The vessel was a favorite of Nadelman, who described it to fellow collector Henry Francis du Pont in 1951 as “magnificent” and “a constant delight.”

Because of its large cylindrical spout, the vessel has frequently been called a batter pitcher, but the tiny, rough piercing at the junction of the body and spout were clearly not intended for the passage of a thick liquid. The form may in fact be a “spout pitcher," one of the products cited in the 1809 price list issued by the Crolius pottery.

Provenance:

Dodge family, Middleton, NY, early nineteenth century; Mrs. L. B. Caswell, Jr. (Eliza Moak), Fort Atkinson, WI, 1904; Matthew Holden, Rye or Jamaica, NY, by 1927; The Folk Art Collection of Elie and Viola Nadelman, Riverdale, NY

Exhibitions:

"Making It Modern: The Folk Art Collection of Elie and Viola Nadelman," Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, NM, September 6–November 29, 2015; New-York Historical Society, May 20–August 21, 2016; Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA, September 17–December 31, 2016.