Doulton Company Pitcher & Bowl, ca. 1900
As you may know, pitcher and bowl sets were an essential part of every home all through the 19th century until we started getting indoor plumbing. Most bedrooms in most homes would have a pitcher and bowl set so people could wash up. It would sit on the nightstand or on a washstand and they used it every day. Tell me how you got hold of this washbowl.
Actually, it was almost 30 years ago. It was a friend of a friend. She was selling some personal items, trying to put the funds together and get an airplane ticket to go back to England. I paid $25 for it.
If we take out the pitcher and set it aside, we can turn up the bowl so that we can get a closer look at the design. This has a really elaborate cobalt blue under glaze design of iris. On top of that is a really elaborate gold work. The gold is actually raised up, which is a more expensive process than flat gold. On the bottom, we can turn it over and take a look at the mark. It is made by the Royal Doulton Company. This is before it was Royal. This mark was used from about 1891 to about 1902. Pitcher-and-bowl sets are not a very popular collectible. If you had collected 20 pitcher-and-bowl sets, where would you put them? They take up so much space. And most pitcher-and-bowl sets are very utilitarian-looking. They were not expensive because people used them all the time and they broke them. This one, however, has this incredible cobalt and gold design and this really elaborate dolphin handle. Most pitcher-and-bowl sets are only worth $100, $200 at the most, and even the really great ones, $500. This one, however, is the best one I have ever seen. I mean, it's very elaborate, it's very high quality, it's made by a major company, it's rectangular-- I mean, what else could you ask for? I would think that a dealer in this sort of thing-- in porcelains and ceramics-- would probably sell this for as much as $1,500, maybe even $2,500. This is a really great one and I'm really excited to see it.
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