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Artist Name:

David Drake

Nationality & Life Dates:

Edgefield district, SC, 1800–ca.1870

Title:

Jug

Date:

1836

Medium:

Alkaline-glazed stoneware

Dimensions:

17 1/4 x 13 x 13 inches

Credit Line:

Purchase with funds from the Decorative Arts Endowment

Accession Number:

1997.193

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.”



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