Slotin plans back-to-back sales of folk pottery face jugs, quilts and African American memorabilia Feb. 10-11

Lanier Meaders face jug with double row of teeth, estimated at $1,000-$2,000 at Slotin.

BUFORD, Ga. — Folk art specialists Slotin kicks off its 2024 season with back-to-back online sales featuring folk pottery, jugs and handmade quilts on Saturday, February 10, followed by the Richard Harris African American Experience collection liquidation on Sunday, February 11. Both catalogs are now open for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

Collectors of Lanier Meaders (1917-1998) have a whopping 20 lots from which to choose in the sale. Best known for his face jugs, Meaders inherited the Georgia pottery works his grandfather founded in 1893, which was later operated by his father Cheever. The alkaline-glazed stoneware he produced is coveted today. The top-estimated Lanier Meaders face jug, at $1,000-$2,000, features a double row of teeth in the finish, something rarely found in Meaders’ collected works.

Lanier’s brother Edwin also checks in with seven lots featuring his trademark blue rooster designs. Standing out from the blue glaze is this early ash-glaze green rooster in mint condition. Undated, the rooster is estimated at $1,000-$2,000.

Rounding out Day One is a fine selection of handmade quilts. Affairs of the Heart by Aie Rossman won first place at the AQS International Quilt Show in Nashville, Tennessee and measures 102in square. It is estimated at $800-$1,200. Elizabeth Spannring won second place at the AQS International Quilt Show and first in the Road to California Quilt Show in 2005 with Temperamental Tulips?, an 85in square machine-appliqued and -assembled design. It is similarly estimated at $800-$1,200.

At 293 lots, the African American Experience sale on February 11 is a moving historical review of Black history from slavery days to the civil rights era of the 1960s and beyond. Runaway slaves were a constant problem for their owners, as seen in this 1854 broadside offering $100 for the capture and return of a man called Henry to his owner, Alexander Spottswood Grigsby, who was a prominent Fairfax County, Virginia, businessman and slave dealer. The broadside is further distinguished by its mention of the fact that Henry escaped from the county jail along with a white inmate, a 25-year-old man named James Henry Beach, who was being held on a felony charge. It is uncommon to see broadsides from this era about black and white individuals who escaped together or at the same time. The historical artifact carries a $6,000-$8,000 estimate.

Enemies of the slave trade were known as abolitionists, and they used common imagery of a kneeling, chained slave begging for mercy as a way of identifying their organizations and eliciting sympathy for their cause. This trade sign for the Anglo American Abolitionist Society is undated but certainly from the 19th century. Made of carved wood, the 57in figural sign is estimated at $2,000-$4,000.

Also featured in the February 11 sale is a collection of 21 lots of Black Panther-related materials, with an emphasis on numerous editions of the group’s Intercommunal News Service newspapers. The highest-estimated lot, at $1,500-$2,000, is The Black Panther Manifesto, a 1970 poster issued by the Panthers during chairman Bobby Seale’s imprisonment for contempt of court as he was facing prosecution for inciting riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Featuring excellent artwork by Black Panther Emory Douglas, it focuses on an illustration of Seale strapped into an electric chair next to a lengthy statement made by Black Panther Minister of Information Eldridge Cleaver.

Swann’s African Americana auction launches March 25

Frederick Douglass, photograph by Samuel M. Fassett, 1878. $15,000-$25,000. Image courtesy Swann’s Auction Galleries
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., early draft, 'Letter from Birmingham Jail,' 1963, $15,000-25,000. Image courtesy Swann's Auction Galleries
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., early draft, ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail,’ 1963, $15,000-$25,000. Image courtesy Swann’s Auction Galleries

NEW YORK — Printed and manuscript African Americana is featured in Swann Galleries upcoming auction, launching Thursday, March 25 at 10:30 a.m. Eastern. The sale includes an exceptional offering of material with highlights from important figures and historical movements, including Frederick Douglass; slavery and abolition; the civil rights movement, with items relating to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and Black Panthers. Online bidding will be provided by LiveAuctioneers.com.Continue reading