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Fireman Jug
Nathan Clark Jr. 1819–1891

Location: Athens, New York, United States

Date: 1850–1880

Materials: Stoneware with cobalt decoration

Dimensions: 15 × 10" diam.

Credit: Gift of Richard S. Trump in memory of his wife, Helene D. Trump

Accession Number: 2006.13.1

Photo credit: Gavin Ashworth

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Description

The name “William MaGivney” prominently incised into the stoneware body of this three-gallon jug does not refer to the pottery that produced the vessel but rather to the business owner for whom it was made. The jug was likely manufactured at the Nathan Clark Pottery in Athens, New York, while under the direction of Nathan Clark Jr. William MaGivney (d. 1897) was for many years a dealer in dry goods, groceries, crockery, and hardware in Rensselaerville Hamlet, New York. The gestural depiction of a fireman—recognizable because of the typical hat and fire horn, which were part of firefighting gear in the nineteenth century—is rare. Until the late nineteenth century, firefighters were, for the most part, volunteers. The image, which was certainly commissioned, may suggest that MaGivney served in this capacity.

Stacy C. Hollander, "Fireman Jug," exhibition label for Jubilation|Rumination: Life, Real and Imagined. Stacy C. Hollander, curator. New York: American Folk Art Museum, 2012.


Fireman Jug
Date: 1850–1880
Artist:
Dimensions: 15 × 10" diam.
Materials: Stoneware with cobalt decoration
Credit Line: Gift of Richard S. Trump in memory of his wife, Helene D. Trump
Place/Region: United States, Athens
Accession Number: 2006.13.1
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