“G.W. Hubacher, Dry Goods &c., Clarington Ohio,” eight-gallon crock stenciled with a shield-breasted, spread-winged eagle and having freehand cobalt lines, $5170. It previously sold at auction for $9000 hammer.
Two-piece birdbath with embossed birds at the bottom, diffused blue and white, unmarked, 9¾" high, $3080.
“From W. H. Mallory, Clarington, Ohio,” six-gallon churn with freehand flowers and lines, $2530.
“G. Hyer Dealer in Dry Good Groceries &c., Baresville Ohio” pint canning jar, $907.50, previously sold at auction for $1200 hammer; “I. McCurdy, Newcastle Ohio” pint canning jar, badly cracked, $143, previously sold at auction for $350 hammer; “Habermehl Urpman & Co., Clarington Ohio” pint canning jar, $440.
“G. Hyer & Co. Dealers in Dry Goods Groceries &c., Baresville Ohio” three-gallon crock with freehand decoration, $660; “Amos & Morris Bros., Wholesale Dealers in Groceries & Produce, Woodsfield, Ohio,” three-gallon crock with freehand decoration, $1320.
Pitchers: “Compliments of Chleboun Bros. Clarkson, Nebr,” diffused blue and white, 7" high, $209; “John Schoepf Meats, 3433 Butler St., Pittsburg Pa.,” blue and white, spongeware with flowers highlighted in cobalt, 9" high, $852.50; bark motif, cobalt highlights include crane, blue and gray, 8¼" high, $99; Dutch Windmill and Bush design, diffused blue and white, 7" high, $22; “McGrath’s The Hardware Store of Hastings,” Scroll and Leaf design, diffused blue and white, 6½" high, $308.
Three-piece water cooler (container, lid, and base) with embossed polar bears and North Wind design at the bunghole, blue and gray, unmarked, attributed to Whites Pottery, Utica, New York, 19" high, some chips, $1155.
Mike Clum, Inc., Rushville, Ohio
Photos courtesy Mike Clum, Inc.
More than 50 pieces of salt-glazed stoneware, most with stenciled advertising for merchants in southeastern Ohio, were the main draw during the August 1 sale conducted by Mike Clum at his auction barn near Rushville, Ohio. The single-owner collection also included another 325 lots of blue-and-white pottery, blue-and-gray pottery, and miniature jugs.
The material was part of a larger, multi-auctioneer sale, but the stoneware and pottery drew the most attention. The items had been collected by Paul (d. 2011) and Barbara (d. 2008) Conner of Woodsfield, Ohio, a small town about 30 miles from the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania, a prime region for stoneware manufacturing. Teachers in the Monroe County school system, the Conners started collecting blue-and-white stoneware 25 to 30 years ago, according to Clum. Cobalt-decorated stoneware promoting 19th-century merchants in their area became an added focus later on. “They loved anything Ohio and with a town name or grocer,” Clum said.
Jerry Tebbano of Dutch Hollow Antiques, Aurora, Ohio, specializes in stoneware and pottery. The Conners became clients of his in the late 1970’s. Tebbano handled many pieces in the collection. “It's a little heartbreaking to see it sold in its entirety,” he said.
Paul Conner was a fierce competitor on the stoneware market. “He was one of the top buyers,” Clum noted, “and if he didn't have it, he bought it.”
It wasn't surprising that the stoneware and pottery drew a crowd. What might have raised a few eyebrows, however, were the prices paid. For the most part, it was a buyer’s market.
At least ten pieces of merchants’ stoneware were accompanied by auction tickets from when Paul Conner acquired them. Returning to the market, all of those pieces brought less money, including the top lot, an impressive eight-gallon salt-glazed crock stenciled with a shield-breasted eagle and “G.W. Hubacher, Dry Goods &c., Clarington Ohio.” It realized $5170 (including buyer’s premium), compared to the $9000 hammer price it brought in March 2010 at Kiko Auctions in Ohio.
Also drawing considerable interest was a six-gallon churn stenciled “From W. H. Mallory, Clarington, Ohio” and having freehand flowers and lines. It sold for $2530, and a one-gallon crock stenciled “Louis Hoeffler, Woodsfield, Ohio” went at $1705.
Merchants’ stoneware having a sales history included:
Among the blue-and-white pottery, there was more supply than demand. Hard-to-find examples often saw competitive bidding, while common pieces drew limited interest. The best of the bunch was a small, unmarked two-piece birdbath with embossed birds on the base, 9¾" high, that sold for $3080.
Pitchers included a Grape Cluster variation in an unusual coloration, a white glaze with blue highlights to the embossed design, at $880; a spongeware example with ink-stamped advertising for John Schoepf Meats of Pittsburgh, the embossed flowers highlighted in blue, at $852.50; and a Pine Cone example, an unusual pattern, at $605. A 6¾" long foot warmer in diffused blue and white by the Logan Pottery Company, Logan, Ohio, realized $550.
Other pieces of blue-and-white pottery merely limped along. A 17" high umbrella holder in diffused blue and white sold late in the day for $66, while a 7" high Dutch Windmill and Bush pitcher, a common pattern, brought only $22.
Of the blue-and-gray pottery, most pieces were made by, or attributed to, Whites Pottery, Utica, New York. Attracting the most interest was an 11" high canteen jug lettered “Chili Sauce, The Lippincott & Cree Co., Cincinnati, O.” and “Chili Sauce Is The Sauce For Me, Made by Lippincott & Cree”; it brought $1980.
From the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, a 5½" diameter globe bank having the design of a train and lettered “My Expenses To Chicago World’s Fair” sold for $1485. A 19" high three-piece water cooler (container, lid, and base) embossed with polar bears and with a North Wind design at the bunghole, unmarked but attributed to Whites Pottery, made $1155.
Umbrella holders included a 21½" high example embossed with a man and woman, which brought $880, and a 20'' high example with an embossed crocodile and cattails, which sold for $852.50. Each was unmarked but attributed to Whites Pottery.
A six-gallon “Ice Water” water cooler embossed with flowers, unmarked but attributed to Whites Pottery, sold for $715, while a one-gallon water cooler in the same design went at $632.50.
A printed catalog that lists and illustrates the 378 lots of stoneware and pottery, with prices realized, was made available after the auction. For more information, contact Clum at (740) 536-9220; Web site (www.clumauctions.com).
Umbrella holder with crocodile and cattails, blue and gray, unmarked, attributed to Whites Pottery, Utica, New York, 20" high, $852.50.
Originally published in the November 2013 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2013 Maine Antique Digest