|Christopher Haun Goes to the Gallows|
|Isaac Lefevers Jar, Antique Bottles|
|Possible Clemer jar, Brunk Auctions|
The above jar here was likely made by Jeremiah Clemer who died in 1862 in a Richmond hospital following the battle of Seven Pines, during the Civil War. Clemer was also from Lincoln County in North Carolina. Two early alkaline glaze stoneware potters making beautiful, ovoid jars and utilitarian pieces. I love the early graceful jars from this area of North Carolina. Both potters had strong skills and I cannot imagine what their production would have been like if they returned and continued the work they began.
|Swank jar, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Crocker Farm|
James H. Hamilton from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and James Donley from West Chester, Pennsylvania, were both were lost in the Civil War. I've not been able to find any pieces associated with their work, but the above jar was made in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1857 and by a potter who took over the pottery James H. Hamilton established. James H. Hamilton may not have returned to be a potter since it seems that in the late 1850s James H. Hamilton took up the trade of a tinner, rather than a potter. He had married into the Black family of potters, though, and helped establish pottery firms with elaborately decorated pots. If you want a heartbreaking story, pick up Phil Schaltenbrand's Big Ware Turners to see pictures of his wife and the notes about the "greatest love story" that they shared.
|Haun Jar, Knoxille News|
|Haun jar, Case Antiques|
|Haun jar, Case Antiques|
|Lowe piece, MESDA collection|
I work part time at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, and when I walk past the above piece made by John Alexander Lowe, who worked with Haun, see the rouletted words along the top, I think, "What if Haun survived?" Before Haun was hanged, he instructed his wife to allow Lowe to continue the operation of his pottery and finish the work he had there, then sell his tools and discontinue the operation. Haun may not have served during the Civil War, but he was lost to war, and in some respects that stands at a similar level to the reflection we are to have on Memorial Day.
So, what would the crafts world have been like if we did not loose some of the great representatives their field?
Final thought for the day- Idumea is one of my favorite haunting shape note hymns that never ceases to send shivers down my spine when I hear it. If you ever have a chance to hear a group sing this in person, it's amazing. Seems appropriate for the topic.