English Lustreware Pink Lidded Tea Waste Bowl

Item number: 4939

Waste bowl is a seemingly derogatory name for such a gorgeous piece of early English pink lustreware. It was part of an elaborate tea service; cold tea was poured into the bowl before one's cup was filled with fresh hot tea. This waste bowl from the 1830-1850 period is unusual in that it retains its original high domed lid with its raised flower-shaped knob handle. Given the size of the bowl itself without the lid, its diameter 7 1/2 inches and its height 3 1/2 inches, it might be mistaken for a small salad or vegetable bowl.

The body of this piece is soft paste porcelain, completely opaque and off-white in color. The metallic pink in the hand painted floral design was created by applying gold oxide over the glaze before firing. Characteristically for this 175+ year old soft paste piece, blue in the glaze has pooled in the impressed marks on the bottom, difficult to photograph but easier to see in person, especially in strong light and/or under magnification. It's a good indication that this is an early piece. The pattern, reminiscent of stick spatter ones, has large pink dahlia-style flowers with green and blue-grey foliage.

Staffordshire potteries produced this immensely popular ware beginning around 1790. Since most pink lustreware was made at a time when potters did not legally have to mark their wares, it's nice to see a maker's mark. The crowned oval shape contains a fouled anchor and letters around the edge, which, even after looking at every single mark in Godden's monumental book*, we were unable to identify. The Staffordshire firm of Allerton's made a similar, though simplified, version of this pattern. It may be that this one was made by Allerton's predecessor, Allerton, Brough & Green, which was in business from 1831 to 1858, and this mark is one of theirs that is undocumented.

The bowl weighs 1 1/2 pounds, with its lid on 2 pounds 11 ounces. Its height with the lid--to the top of the knob--is 7 inches. The lip on the inside of the lid has a few tiny nicks and there is one small oval chip on the underside of the foot, along with two small nicks. On the inside of the bowl, near the rim, is a smear of blue-grey glaze, possibly made by a thumb. On the lid knob, there are areas that did not get glazed. (Remember, at this period in British history, children were doing much of the work). The top glaze is bumpy and granular, as is typical; there is some wear to the pink luster trim and crazing on the bottom, along with a Y-shaped firing hairline (glazed over). While documenting the production flaws and wear on this outstanding piece of lustreware, we give it high marks for its very good condition and its classic beauty.

* Encyclopedia of British Pottery and Porcelain Marks, Geoffrey A. Godden, 1991, 765 pages

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PYH 4939