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Lanier Meaders Big Head Face Jug, one of six face jugs by the late Georgia folk potter in the sale lineup, estimated at $800-$1,200

Slotin’s Folk Pottery Extravaganza expands to second day, Feb. 11-12

Lanier Meaders Big Head Face Jug, one of six face jugs by the late Georgia folk potter in the sale lineup, estimated at $800-$1,200
Lanier Meaders Big Head Face Jug, one of six face jugs by the late Georgia folk potter in the sale lineup, estimated at $800-$1,200

BUFORD, Ga. Slotin Folk Art Auction’s first stand-alone pottery sale in 2020 was a trial balloon to determine if collectors would respond, and they most assuredly did. Now, with its fourth edition taking place February 11-12, this dedicated auction is expanding in more ways than one. Slotin’s single-day Pottery Extravaganza is bigger for 2023 and is joined by a second-day sale dedicated to Native American art, quilts and Americana. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

Day 1, scheduled for Saturday, February 11, features 461 pottery lots that cover a wide geography and timespan; Day 2, taking place Sunday, February 12, boasts 301 lots ranging from Cherokee baskets and Native American ceramics to quilts and antique weathervanes.

Steve Slotin said staying open to new possibilities and keeping definitions fluid has well served the auction house he operates with wife Amy. “Slotin Auction continues to broaden the horizon and umbrella of folk and self-taught, and this sale really showcases original art that is not mass produced but is personal and some of it utilitarian and some of it historic and historical,” Steve said.

It doesn’t hurt that the auction house is in the heart of the Southeast, where “we have a huge wealth of art to be discovered,” Steve added. “So, if it’s Southern folk pottery or Cherokee baskets or African American quilts, the Southeast is rich with art and artisans, and we won’t pigeonhole anybody. We will let the art stand for what it is, which is amazing American art.”

Circa mid-1800s stoneware jug by Isaac Lefevers, estimated at $3,000-$5,000.
Circa mid-1800s stoneware jug by Isaac Lefevers, estimated at $3,000-$5,000.

The pottery offerings again center on Southern folk pieces, with an especially strong showing of work from 1850s to 1950s trailblazers. Noteworthy names include Thomas Chandler, Columbus Jackson Becham (a.k.a. CJB), Thomas Ritchie, and Daniel Seagle and his son James Franklin Seagle. There are many tempting early anonymous pieces, as well. Southern folk potters from the mid-20th century forward include Lanier Meaders, Michael and Melvin Crocker, Billy Ray Hussey and Clint Alderman. Of particular note is a signed, mint condition Lanier Meaders piece known as Big Head Face Jug, estimated at $800-$1,200. It is one of six Lanier Meaders face jugs in the lineup.

Pottery traditions from other areas of the country – including salt-glazed and cobalt-decorated wares from New England and redware from Pennsylvania – add to the mix.

Contemporary studio pottery is featured as well, including much sought-after makers Mark Hewitt of North Carolina and University of Georgia emeritus pottery professor Ron Meyers.

The sale’s second day brings a heavy focus on Native American art. The selection of Cherokee baskets included work by one of the best-known proponents, Rowena Bradley. Queen of the double-woven rivercane technique, Bradley dyed her creations with native roots and bark such as butternut, black walnut and bloodroot. A circa-1970s Cherokee double weave basket by Bradley carries an estimate of $400-$600.

Circa-1970s Cherokee double-weave basket by Rowena Bradley, estimated at $400-$600
Cherokee double-weave basket by Rowena Bradley, estimated at $400-$600

Most of the sale’s Native American lots are drawn from the collections of the long-shuttered Museum of the American Indian in Cherokee, North Carolina, and from Atlantan Jet Lacoss.

The quilts that conclude the two-day sale include contemporary works from the Hunter collection, as well as traditional and African American quilts drawn from other collections. A standout among the latter is a circa-1920s-1940s abstract blocks quilt of hand-stitched cotton by an anonymous maker, possibly African American. Its estimate is $200-$300.

Circa-1920s-1940s abstract block quilt by an anonymous maker, possibly African-American, estimated at $200-$300
Circa-1920s-1940s abstract block quilt by an anonymous maker, possibly African American, estimated at $200-$300

This year’s expanded February auction builds on Slotin’s 2022 Pottery Extravaganza, which realized nearly $250,000 in sales. Even though a large number of the 371 lots were Southern-made, the buyers hailed from many different locations, ranging from Florida to Montana and even Canada and Germany. The auction house shipped the biggest sales to New York, North Carolina, California, Kentucky, Louisiana and Oregon.

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