A Masterpiece, second to none, The best; Therefore, I am!
The grammatical structure is not correct: Magnus should be Magnum, secundus should be secundum and optimus should be optimum.
This was a hand-lettered sign in George E. Ohr's pottery shop (BILOLXI ART POTTERY) in Biloxi, Mississippi (1895-1905).
Ohr made pottery that featured rims that had been crumpled like the edges of a burlap bag and pitchers that seemed deliberately twisted and vases warped as if melted in the kiln.
The colors of his works exploded with color; vivid reds juxtaposed with gunmetal grays, olive greens splattered across bright oranges, and royal blues mottled on mustard yellows and he created fantastic shapes glazed with wild colors in his "Pot-Ohr-E".
Ohr once said, "I am the apostle of individuality, the brother of the human race, but I must be myself and I want every vase of mine to be itself."
In 1909, claiming he hadn't sold even one of his mud babies in more than 25 years, Ohr closed his shop.
Although he was just 52, he never threw another pot. When he inherited a comfortable sum after his parents died, he devoted the rest of his life to enhancing his reputation as a "looney".
Still confident that the time would come when his work would be recognized, Ohr died of throat cancer at the age of 60 in 1918. Now, the same pots scorned a century ago sell from $20,000 to $60,000 each. Today, Ohr is hailed as a "clay prophet" and "the Picasso of art pottery."