A piece illustrated (along with others by Wilbur A. Baker) illustrated in the landmark book on Ohio Sewer Pipe Folk Art by Jack E. Adamson 1973 page. Adamson includes a photograph of the artist, and calls him a man who was "...most of all interested in pleasing other people with clay surprises." Adamson also claims "of all sewer pipe artists, he was the best."
Additional documentation appears as signed by the artist on the base. "Made by Wilbur Baker April 12 1941 Gnaudenhutten, Ohio.
Baker used light, fine clay for this piece which resulted in a smooth sculpture much refined over most rough and primitive "end of day" pieces. Gnadenhutten is Ohio's oldest settlement. Native Americans made pottery there first!
Sewer Tile Pottery Holder by Wilbur A. Baker 1941 Collection Jim Linderman
Massive Sewer Tile (actually BUILT on sewer tile) match safe. Considerable age, with some embedded pebbles. Used. Unsigned, said to be from Pennsylvania. Nearly 7 inches long and heavy. A most primitive, fashioned by hand sculpture.
COLLECTION JIM LINDERMAN
Pottery Folk Art Salesman Sample Presentation Piece Eagle National Sewer Pipe Company of Barberton, Ohio 1895
Salesman Sample Presentation Piece Eagle National Sewer Pipe Company of Barberton, Ohio.
The town of Barberton Ohio was founded by O. C. Barber, the man who owned the Diamond Match company. The town was created in 1891. The National Sewer Pipe Company was founded in 1888. Fifteen years later, the National Sewer Pipe company was up and running in the town with 325 employees. Woked by, yes, immigants.
Barberton is shown here around the same time. It doesn't look like a happening place, but it was. Numerous chemical and clay operations were soon booming and the town attracted loads of hard-working folks from Europe to do the work.
The remarkable salesman sample (or more likely, a presentation piece?) can be dated circa 1895, as an advertisement they ran that year show the eagle on sewer pipe was a logo as well as a physical object. I do not know how many of these pieces were produced, but certainly few exist today. There is a nub on the left which would indicate the eagle's wings on both sides reached to the pipe. Note minute detail on the claws.
At the same time, they won an award showing the strength of their product and indication pipes went to Michigan. The ad also suggests writing for a paperweight. This piece seems a bit more substantial than a paperweight, but quite possible.
N. S. P. also produced small sewer tile toothpick holders. Hand signed piece also seen include a miniature ladies shoe whimsy.
Thanks to Curley's Antiques
Books and ebooks by the author of Sewer Pipe Folk Art Pottery are available HERE
Frankly, a quite remarkable small hand-sculpted Abe Lincoln made of unfired clay. It's OLD...certainly not as old as the president's life or death, but it could have been made during a celebration or anniversary. Small but powerful. Little over three inches tall with nice aged color.
Collection Jim Linderman
Hand-formed, free hand Sewer Tile Pottery Bust Head of a Man Folk Art Sculpture.
Collection Jim Linderman BOOKS and EBOOKS by Jim Linderman available HERE