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    Artist Name:

    David Drake

    Nationality & Life Dates:

    Edgefield district, SC, 1800–ca.1870






    Alkaline-glazed stoneware


    17 1/4 x 13 x 13 inches

    Credit Line:

    Purchase with funds from the Decorative Arts Endowment

    Accession Number:


    On View - Stent Family Wing, Third Level, Gallery 304
    David Drake is the most widely recognized antebellum African American artisan. This example is one of only two known poem jugs, and is the second earliest known dated work by the artist. The attenuated pear shape of the jug is characteristic of Edgefield, South Carolina, wares, as are the loop-top handles on either side of the characteristic double-collared neck and spout. The jug’s beautiful alkaline glaze and shape as well as its monumentality and charming poem give it great historical and aesthetic value. The rhyming couplets on this jar read, “Better thing I never saw / when I shot off the Lion’s jaw.”

    Reproduction of digital images, including downloading, is governed by copyright laws and international conventions. Please contact the Images and Rights Coordinator for information concerning permissions or to request digital photography of works in the High's collection.

    Please Note: Not all permanent collection works are currently on view. Please contact the Museum concerning the on view status for a specific work if required.

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