Thomas Commereau Stoneware Jug
Appraised Value: $3,000 - $5,000 (1999)
$3,000 - $5,000 (2013)
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (1:51)
Decorative Arts, Folk Art, Furniture, Paintings & Drawings, Silver
APPRAISER: Tell us how you found this stoneware piece.
GUEST: I dig old bottle dumps.
APPRAISER: What is a bottle dump?
GUEST: It's where the old wagons used to turn and make a turn and get rid of their garbage. Instead of feeding the rats near their house, they'd rather feed the critters, and they'd throw their bottles and everything out of the way there. They didn't use their land for it. So it was sort of a dump. I used a pick and I drove it into the ground real slow and I hit something and I pulled it out and I turned the pick over and I dug it out and then I hit the crock, and I didn't know what it was. I couldn't find the end of it.
APPRAISER: Did you ever have it appraised or have someone look at it?
GUEST: Yes, I had someone look at it and he offered me $400 for it.
APPRAISER: Well, it is in fact a stoneware jug. Do you know who made it?
GUEST: Corlears Hook, I believe.
APPRAISER: It's a great old ceramic body, salt-glazed stoneware. They threw salt in a kiln to get this wonderful mottled surface, and in fact, it does say Corlears Hook, but that is not the guy who made it. That's the place in which it was made. This is the mark of Thomas Commereau, who is a stoneware potter from the Lower East Side of New York City. He made these jugs at the end of the 18th century, and he's known for these early ovoid shapes. And if you smell it, there's even a linseed oil smell that's coming out of it, and that's what we think these jugs were used for. You had it appraised for $400, and its actual worth is $3,000 to $5,000.
GUEST: Wow, that's beautiful.
APPRAISER: Isn't that great?
GUEST: It's a ten-minute dig. (laughing)
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