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Rare African American Cane Rack- C. 1900-
This wonderful carved and polychromed rack
is the best that we have seen in the folk-art
field. It attaches to the wall and the base sits
on the floor. There are eight holes in the
base for the canes, but would hold more.
Near mint condition. D- 24"W x 13"H
sold $become a member to see prices
Kimball M. Sterling Inc.
Johnson City, TN
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Rare Moravian Turtle Flask c. 1803-
One of only 3 known to exist this fine example
shocked the collecting world when it
surfaced after being in a private collection for
more than 100 years.
sold $ become a member to see pirces
Mebane Antique Auction
Mebane, NC
2/07/08 Edgefield Face Jug Sales at Auction
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Sand Art by Andre Clemens

Folk Artist Elijah Pierce

Edgefield Potter - Dave the Slave


9/13/10 Dave Drake - Slave Potter from Edgefield SC
Dave Drake better known as "Dave the Slave" produced pottery in the
Edgefield district of South Carolina from 1830 - 1870.  Dave was an
enslaved African American who not only possessed a skill that was
unmatched for his time but he also could read and write.  Dave
would sign his wares different ways with the most common being a
Date consisting of Month, Day, Year... His name... "Dave" and
sometimes his masters initials... LM for Lewis Miles.  On a very rare
occasion Dave would inscribe a poem on the side of a jar... Usually 2
verses of this caliber... "I made this jar all of cross, if you dont repent
you will be lost."  All his wares to date have been found inscribed
with cursive writing.  
What we know about Dave's Life
Dave was born around 1800 and learned his pottery skills from either
3 people... Dr. Abner Landrum or his brother Amos, or Harvey Drake.  
It is believed that Dave learned to read and write while working at the
Edgefield Hive, where publisher Abner Landrum may have taught
him how to read and write... something that was illegal at the time.  
Dave was sold several times and worked at many of the different
Edgefield potteries that were connected through marriage.  He made
very large pots, sometimes 20 - 30 gallons.  His larger pots are the
ones that were special to him... most of these will bare a poem as if
they were a presentation piece.  Oral history speculates that Dave
was a very large man as one would have to be to turn a 30 gallon
pot.  It is also thought that Dave lost a leg.  Again, stories say "he got
drunk and lay on the railroad track"  Dave is thought to have died
around 1870. Most of this verbage was taken from the book "The
Potters Eye" by Mark Hewitt and Nancy Sweezy.  One of their last
lines on his information page states this...
David Drake is his name...
the regrettable moniker, "Dave the Slave" should be abandoned
One of the broadest collecting markets
Dave's pottery touches so many different collector basis.  Of course
pottery collectors but also black americana, civil war, and folk art
collectors would love to own a piece of Dave.  Some of Daves
discovered poems:

Dave belongs to Mr. Miles
Wher the oven bakes & the pot biles
(July 31, 1840)

Another trick is worse than this
Dearest Miss, spare me a kiss
(August 26, 1840)

i wonder where is all my relations
Friendship to all - and every Nation
(August 16, 1857)

A Pretty little girl on a virge
volcalnic mountain, how they burge
(August 24, 1857)

I made this jar for cash
Though is called lucre trash
(August 27, 1857)

David Drakes pottery wares are some of the most sought after items on
the open market today.  3-4 will surface per year and offered at
public auction.  The poem jars are very rare and scarce... when they
surface they get into 6 figures very quickly whle most of his Signed
wares stay around 30k -40k.
Monkey Jugs
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Over 5,00 page views per day
1200 + active folk art collectors are members of this site

Advertise your Folk Art business here!

document size: width 400  height 200 pixels

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Private Collection
Charlton Hall Galleries
$$$ become a member to see price
Private Collection
Private Collection
Charleston Museum
Sold: Charlton Hall Galleries
$$$ become a member to see price
Andrew Clemmons
Sand Art
Wythe County Pie Safes
Wilhelm Schimmel
Wood Carver
Sold: Dec. 11, 2004     
Charlton Hall Galleries
$$$ become a member to see price
Old Folk Art documents a rare Edgefield face jug and other
rare southern pottery at auction.  Become a member to see the
entire video.    
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