A lovely antique pitcher by Royal Doulton, this earthenware piece commemorates the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882). Commissioned by Burbank Douglass & Company to be sold in their Portland Maine store*, it's marked on the bottom with the Crown and Lion printed mark that Royal Doulton used from 1902 to 1922 to introduce the grant of the Royal Warrant by King Edward VII.
About 6 1/4 inches tall to the top of the spout and about 7 inches across from spout to handle, the piece weighs about 1 pound. It's pure white with black and gray transfers; the fluted spout and arched handle are trimmed in gold. On the front is a wreathed portrait of Longfellow; beneath it is a facsimile of his signature. The reverse side has a handwritten copy of the first five lines of his wistful poem "My Lost Youth," which Longfellow wrote about Portland, where he was born:
Often I think of the beautiful town
That is seated by the sea;
Often in thought go up and down
The pleasant streets of that dear old town,
And my youth comes back to me.
While the transfers are in good shape and the glaze has no crazing, there are chips on the pitcher, all of them shown in our photos. One is on the spout, a large one is on the underside of the foot rim (but it does show a bit on the outside of the rim) and there is a small circular chip on the foot rim under the poem. Placed up on a shelf with the handle turned to the right, the pitcher displays beautifully, but we have priced it accordingly. It's an appealing, uncommon piece of 100 year old Royal Doulton transferware.
*Burbank, Douglass & Co. advertised themselves as "Importers, Jobbers and Retailers of China, Crockery and Glassware."
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