Not many people are familiar with the name Isaac Lefevers, but in pottery circles, he's known as the James Dean of N.C. pottery.
Like the actor known for “Rebel Without a Cause,” Lefevers was talented and died young. The Lincoln County potter died in 1864 at age 33 from an injury suffered in the Civil War. Because he was so young, few of his pots survive.
But on Sept. 28, a pot that Lefevers may have thrown will be one of about 200 pots auctioned at a benefit for the N.C. Pottery Center in Seagrove. Supporters believe the auction could raise as much as $20,000.
Potter Mark Hewitt of Pittsboro, co-author of the book “The Potter's Eye: Art & Tradition in North Carolina Pottery” said he believes Lefevers threw the 3-gallon, unsigned jug with a badly repaired handle.
“Even with no stamp and with a damaged handle, it's an iconic piece of North Carolina pottery,” said Hewitt, who is organizing the auction.
Lefevers didn't sign all his work, and the pot's firing is very similar to one that's in “The Potter's Eye” that Lefevers did sign, Hewitt said. “It's very well made, it's light, it's extremely well-thrown,” Hewitt said. He couldn't say for sure it is a Lefevers, but said, “it has all the characteristics.”
The jug belongs to Dr. Everette James of Chapel Hill, who began collecting pottery in the mid-1990s when he was researching his book “North Carolina Art Pottery 1900 to 1960,” published in 2003. He has donated more than 180 pieces to the auction.
Find more information at www.ncpotterycenter.com