Brunk Auctions
Live Auction

Premier Auction

Sat, Aug 1, 2020 09:00AM EDT
Lot 1183

Edgefield Dave Drake Stoneware Jug

Estimate: $15,000 - $25,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$100 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $200
$3,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000
(Dave Drake, Edgefield, South Carolina, b. circa 1800's d. after 1873) this rare inscribed, dated, and signed jug form has a history of ownership in an African American family, purchased by consignor in Walterboro area in the 60's from an owner with other pieces of "Dave" stoneware for around $50.00, made at Lewis Miles's Stony Bluff Manufactory, dark brown runny alkaline glaze on bulbous tapered body with circular spout and applied strap handle, "Lm Sept 6 1859 Dave" inscribed on shoulder, three inscribed slash marks adjacent to inscription below spout, written in black script on underside "Dady(sic) Gibs/ Maum(sic) Hannah Stephens/ By Tim" (probably Timothy Stephens, born around 1894 in S.C.) 13-3/4 in. x 10 ¼ inches, lot accompanied by extensive documentation regarding the Stephens family and a 1984 receipt for repairs to the mouth and handle of a "lg brown jug" - Note: The names of the people inscribed on this jug, "Dady Gibs, Maum Hannah Stephens and Tim” are listed as Gibbs, Hannah and Timothy Stephens, residing in Warren Township, (later named Williams) Colleton County, South Carolina in the 1910 Federal Census. Both Gibbs and Hannah were born as enslaved people; Gibbs was born in 1854 and Hannah in 1861 in South Carolina. They are shown as owning their own farm, mortgage free. The census lists Tim as 16 years old, one of nine children and able to read and write. The inscription on the bottom of the jug indicates it is a gift from Tim to his parents Gibbs and Hannah in the early 1900s. There is no indication how Tim acquired the jug or if he knew anything about Dave. The pottery manufacturers in Edgefield including the Lewis Miles pottery where Dave worked, were able to load their wares onto the trains in nearby Hamburg for distribution to coastal towns. Tim likely found the jug in Warren and acquired it for utilitarian use. He may have also thought it was a novelty since it was signed and dated. Although he writes "by Tim", it is thought that he meant “from Tim”. The 1940 census indicates that he had completed the fifth grade but his education may have been rudimentary at best. In July 1918, Timothy was drafted to serve in WWI and by 1920 he was again living with his parents in Warren, South Carolina. The 1940 census indicates that Timothy still resides in Warren where he is married and works as a manager. According to Hancock family members, Aubrey Hancock purchased the jug in the 1960’s from a lady who resided in Walterboro, Colleton County, South Carolina approximately 25 miles from where the Stephens family resided. Few if any Dave wares have been documented as being owned by African Americans in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. Tim’s inscription to his parents provide us with a rare glimpse to how Dave Drake’s work may have been valued within the African American community., Provenance: Estate of Aubrey Hancock, Charleston, South Carolina


glaze voids and anomalies as made, minor chips and abrasions to glaze at body, several chips to glaze around base edge, repairs to entire handle and spout, associated 4 in. stabilized hairline down through the L in inscription, large associated stabilized hairline from spout, down through body and back up to handle, small hairlines under handle