Bid Smart: Pisgah Forest pottery: The pride of North Carolina

A Westward Ho scene is painted on this Pisgah Forest cameo vase, which sports a color scheme of matte blue-green with chocolate brown. The vase earned $1,000 plus the buyer’s premium in August 2021. Image courtesy of Leland Little and LiveAuctioneers.
A Westward Ho scene is painted on this Pisgah Forest cameo vase, which sports a color scheme of matte blue-green with chocolate brown. The vase earned $1,000 plus the buyer’s premium in August 2021. Image courtesy of Leland Little and LiveAuctioneers.
A Westward Ho scene is painted on this Pisgah Forest cameo vase, which sports a color scheme of matte blue-green with chocolate brown. The vase earned $1,000 plus the buyer’s premium in August 2021. Image courtesy of Leland Little and LiveAuctioneers.

NEW YORK — Walter Benjamin Stephen (1876-1961) first proved himself in the pottery industry with Nonconnah Pottery, which he and his parents opened near Memphis, Tenn., in 1904 and made fine slip-decorated vessels that typically had floral decoration on simple matte backgrounds. The pottery was named for a creek that wound around Memphis and is an Native American word meaning “long stream.” After his parents died in 1910, Stephen searched the country for a region with clay and material that would be better for pottery-making. He decided on North Carolina, near the Pisgah Forest, after meeting C.P. Ryman from Skyland, N.C., with whom he formed a partnership to set up a kiln and studio in the state. Both believed the mountain feldspar and the clays in this region, which came in a variety of colors, would make for superior pottery.

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Almost 60 works by famed Meaders clan lead Slotin’s Feb. 12 auction

Left: Lanier Meaders circa-1960s Rock Tooth Politician jug, est. $3,000-$5,000; Right: Edwin Meaders 1998 rooster decorated with green drips on a cobalt blue-painted form, est. $800-$1,200
Left: Lanier Meaders circa-1960s Rock Tooth Politician jug, est. $3,000-$5,000; Right: Edwin Meaders 1998 rooster decorated with green drips on a cobalt blue-painted form, est. $800-$1,200

BUFORD, GA. – Slotin Folk Art Auction will hold its third stand-alone pottery sale on Saturday, February 12. The 371 lots range from traditional tobacco-spit-glazed pots by extended families of makers such as the Meaders and Hewells, who handed down the craft tradition through multiple generations, to works by emerging and established studio potters. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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