Baltimore Stoneware Cooler Sets Record

Multiple Records Broken At Crocker Farm Sale

July 30, 2013

The Zipps of Crocker Farm, Inc. established multiple new auction records at their recent stoneware and redware sale held on July 20 at their facility in Sparks, Maryland.
The top lot and new record for Maryland stoneware at auction, second highest price for any stoneware at auction, was the William Morgan cooler. An elaborately decorated 17-inch-tall six-gallon water cooler signed "Morgan/Maker/Balt," by Baltimore potter William Morgan, it was made circa 1822-1827. The artfully rendered incised birds perched on flowering tree branches were well-executed and decorated with vivid deep-blue cobalt. The consensus among the pottery cognoscenti was that this recently discovered cooler was a masterwork.
The son of Thomas Morgan, William was a second generation stoneware potter in Baltimore. In 1822, William was sole owner of his shop. A trademark of his pottery is the pure gray clay coloration of his work. It is believed the incised bird and flowering vine/tree decoration on this piece was influenced by Manhattan-trained potter Henry Remmey. Remmey arrived in Baltimore at the beginning of the War of 1812. There is a small group of surviving examples with incised bird decoration done during this period by Remmey or his son Henry Harrison in Baltimore.
The object served as a water fountain in the lobby of the historic Maryland Inn in Annapolis for over 60 years and was acquired by the consignor's grandfather from the Maryland Inn in the late 19th century. It had been in Florida since 1935, according to Tony Zipp of Crocker Farm.
The rare piece sold as the first lot in the 603-lot sale, selling for $230,000 (est. $30,000-$50,000) to a Pennsylvania dealer bidding by phone. It was underbid by a private collector in the salesroom.
Go to for more information on this and upcoming sales.


More Articles