The Zipps of Crocker Farm, a Maryland-based auction company specializing in American stoneware and redware, sold a unique five-gallon stoneware churn decorated with four marching Civil War soldiers for $402,500 on July 19.
The buyer was New York City collector Jerry Lauren bidding by phone. The underbidder was also a collector bidding on the phone.
The hammer price of $350,000 was the highest hammer price for American stoneware at auction (Crocker Farm charges a 15% buyer’s premium). The Absalom Stedman ovoid jug with spread-wing eagle decoration that sold for $402,900 on May 5, 2012, at Pook & Pook is still the highest-priced piece of stoneware sold at auction including buyer’s premium.
Probably from Fort Edward, New York, the circa 1865 churn, sold as Lot #1A on an addendum, was 15½" tall and estimated at $25,000/35,000. It was consigned by a small East Coast museum that “wishes to remain anonymous,” according to Tony Zipp. According to Zipp it was purchased in the 1930s and donated to the institution sometime in the 1960s. The museum is undergoing a building project, which was the reason given to him why it was consigned to be sold.
A full report on this sale will appear in a future issue.