Black People : Couple sells $12 junk store find to a museum for $100,000

Clyde C Coger Jr

going above and beyond
Nov 17, 2006
In the Spirit of Sankofa,

... :facepalm:

They took the large 5-gallon jug home for just $12 and kept it the corner of the den. The jug was not treated delicately and according to The Daily Home, was dropped countless times over the years. “We kicked it around for years. I kept change in it. The kids played with it,” said Robert. “At first they were afraid of it so we started dressing him up,” said Janice. The pottery depicted a man from head to waist and the family would replace the everyday straw hat they placed on him around holidays, and swap it for themed attire.

Couple sells $12 junk store find to a museum for $100,000


The John Lehman ash-glazed jug (Emily McLain/The Daily Home)

Recently, Robert decided to pass the jug down to his granddaughter. He also let her know that he always suspected the pottery was valuable. The grandfather said, “It’s folk art and it just, it just had the look to me like it might be worth something.” His granddaughter did some digging online and discovered that Robert was right. The ash-glazed jug from the 1800s was one of only three created by John Lehman, a German-born artist who lived in Alabama’s Randolph County. The Daily Home reported that the jug was made after the Civil War and depicts an African American man in formal dress and hoop earrings. The artist’s initials, 'J.L.' are stamped on the lapel of the figure.

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