Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lowe Jar Holds Auction Record

Photo courtesy of Case Antiques

A jar by potter John Alexander Lowe (1833-1902) set a record for Tennessee pottery at a Case Antiques Auction on Sept. 27, 2008. Estimated at $12,000-$18,000, the redware jar soared to $63,000, selling to a collector.

John Case said at the time that state archaeologists dug up pottery shards bearing Lowe’s name at a site in Greene County, TN, several years ago. The pottery site attributed to Lowe was located and excavated near the Harmon Cemetery near Blue Springs in the 1990s, with thousands of shards recovered. However, the circa 1860 jar, with extruded handles, incised decoration at the handle attachments and stamped name circling its shoulders, is the only known intact piece of Lowe’s pottery to ever surface.

I found an informative article about Great Road Pottery on the Blue Ridge Institute site. Please be sure to read this article and click "next pages" on the right side because the article is several page long and there are lots of great photos and information about the pottery of that region. I was reminded of present day potter's work such as Peter Gregory, Mark and Meredith Heywood, and Michael Kline, while looking at the photos in this article. How about you, are you reminded of potters of today while looking at pottery of yesterday?

Well I'm off to do more research on new places to live, like the Tri-Cities area of East Tennessee, which is what led me to learn about Great Road Pottery in the first place.


  1. Hi Linda- yes! i would not be here or do what I do without the potters who were here before me.
    I think of many of them everyday as I am working.
    I miss some of them so much.
    The Auman's Dot and Walter, who helped us so much.
    If you have tiem go read my brother's blog

  2. HOw fun to be exploring new places to live!

  3. Happy researching! I used to live in Knoxville, TN...

  4. Wow, and you only have to be dead 100 years to reach such value. It is sad that artists don't realize their peak value till they are long gone.

  5. Nice post, Linda. It is always interesting to learn about past potters and to see their work - the pot has a very pleasing shape to it. Are you looking for a place with land?

  6. it's a beautie... do you think any of our work will go for 63,000 some day. maybe after we're long dead but it seems unlikely unless we consider that 63,000 in the far future will be more like 630 in today's money

  7. Hi Jim, more like .00063 right now. Ha! check out the article, really great photos of other pots too; hope your feet are doing better.

  8. Linda, very interesting post and link to a fascinating article. Thanks for sharing.

    Meredith, read your brother's blog - also very interesting.

    It is so true that we are touched, inspired and taught by the potters that went before us. Even if we never meet them, studying their work impacts all we do. I find it very interesting that pottery, unlike so many other arts, cannot be created in a vacuum. We NEED each other!

  9. Hi Julie, thanks, I am finding we need each other too. Previously working with plants I was content to be alone, but now I find I want to be near other potters. Not sure if it is the pottery or if it my increasing years or both, but things have changed for me that's for sure. Thanks for that thought.

  10. Hi Linda,
    Thanks for the kind mention. Actually rather a lot to live up to.... I've really enjoyed having a good look at all the photos of pots on the Great Road Pottery site that you linked to. So nice to see beautiful, honest, functional earthenware, simply decorated and obviously valued! I am going to have a good read of the information on that site too, it looks most interesting.

    Sorry not to have been in touch as much as I would normally be, I rather over did things with all the long hours and events that we have had here, and have been trying to get back on top of things again. Happy to report that I am much better today, and did manage my turn today looking after the potter's co-operative of which I am a member.

    Have a happy time researching somewhere to live. It is quite a significant time for you both having this choice. Hope that it stays fun and opens up new horizons!

    Best wishes to you and Gary,
    Peter, Laura, and Ginger

  11. Hi Peter, thanks, no problem, I know you are busy. I just coudn't help but think of your pots when I saw that article. As soon as I get my new studio, ya'll (practicing my southern speak) probably won't hear from me for eons because I'll be so busy making all the things I didn't have time to make while taking care of my property and couldn't make while traveling around. Last thing we have to do is get a broken spring fixed on the trailer we will be towing and then find the least expensive healthcare which is no easy feat since there are so many choices, then we are off to the wild blue yonder. More soon, happy potting to you and take time to smell the roses.

  12. I stumbled upon your blog not too long ago and admire your resilience and insight into life as it is. I really enjoy reading your adventures on the road and ability to continue working with clay while on the move.

  13. Hi Sue, I think I came across your blog in the past too, I added you to my blog roll. Thanks so much for your kind words of encouragement. I really do appreciate that. It's nice to hear folks find my writing worthwhile.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment