An outstanding set of signed Manning Bowman Graniteware consisting of two tea or coffee pots, sugar & creamer, and an extremely rare slop or waste bowl.
It is marvelous and extraordinary to find such a complete suite of pieces in the same pattern, all signed and numbered, and all featuring additional extra fancy bands of 'pewter' decoration. This was a very special set when it was produced, and is even more remarkable today after 100+ years
This type of graniteware is referred to in Manning Bowman's 1885 catalogue as "Patent Decorated Pearl Agateware with White Metal Mountings and Protection Bands." These "white metal mountings" are commonly called 'pewter' today, and the mountings on this particular set include a rare band with extra fancy floral decoration featuring daisies or asters.
Each piece is signed "MANNING BOWMAN & CO.", and each piece is numbered with the style number "9300". Additionally, the two pots are marked with a size or capacity number, the smaller pot "3", the larger "5", probably referring to the number of pints it will hold. The larger of the two pots has an anomalous error in the stamping of the style number; the "9300" first being stamped as "9320", and then stamped over to correct it, likely rendering it truly unique, an unheard of rarity.
The enamel pattern features lily of the valley and ferns, and also includes little pink roses and violets or forget-me-nots, a beautiful design, still bright and glossy.
I would say these pieces are all near mint to mint, with the waste bowl, probably the rarest shape, being as close to mint as you're ever likely to find. In addition, signed and numbered pieces, as well as sets, are highly desirable, and fetch a premium. I have provided a complete and exhaustive condition report below, but take it with a grain of salt... each and every one of these individual pieces displays well on all sides, period. This is a fantastic set. Really.
It's likely that all the pieces of this set were originally purchased at the same time, and have been together ever since.You could search for a lifetime and never be able to assemble matching pieces like these, particularly with the extra fancy pewter trim, and the Manning Bowman signature, style, and capacity marks. It is quite simply, fantastic, remarkable, the best.
Helen Greguire's books list her grading standard as follows:
"Mint condition - No chips and a good shine to the finish, also all metal and wooden parts should be mint.
Near Mint - Limited tiny chips and a good shine to the finish. Also, all metal and wooden parts should be near mint.
Good Plus Condition - All sides should be quite presentable with minor chipping and a good shine to the finish. Also, all metal and wooden parts should be in good plus condition. A pinhole in the bottom could be permissible."
Waste or Slop Bowl: Measures 4 1/8" tall, with the mouth measuring 3 1/4" in diameter. One clean line inside around the bottom ring, so clean I believe this was a manufacturing event when the ring was applied.
Sugar: Measures 7 1/2" tall. Interior flange of the lid that sits down inside the bowl when closed is very slightly out of round, normal wear to bottom ring w/ some copper visible, and one small dent on bottom of bottom ring.
Creamer: Measures 5 3/8" tall. Minor crazing near the bottom inside only, with a line in the enamel around the bottom ring on the inside probably from the original manufacturing application of the bottom ring. Normal wear to the bottom ring with a bit of corrosion partially over the mark.
Large Pot: Measures 11" tall. Same line around the inside where the bottom ring attaches. Very minor crazing and staining inside only. There are also a few lines on the inside only, starting from what looks like two concussions with one small chip also on the Inside only, there is no evidence of this at all on the outside of this gorgeous pot. A few areas toward the bottom where the shine has worn and the enamel is slightly darker (looks like minor abrasion). Normal wear to the bottom ring with copper showing, this piece looks to have had the most use.
Small Pot: Measures 10" tall. One clean line around bottom ring, as with the other pieces, this looks as if it might have happened in the manufacture. One area inside where there are a few lines extending down from the upper metal ring, these are on the inside only. The hinge is attached to a ring on the lid which sits down in the pot when closed. This design put stress from the hinge on this ring when the lid was opened until the finial met the handle (probably the first time this piece was used). As a result, this inner ring acquired two minor stress lines which are stable, do not compromise anything, and cannot grow since once the finial touches the handle there is no more stress on this point. Normal wear to the ring on the bottom with copper showing.
The outsides of these wonderful pieces are nearly pristine, a truly jaw dropping display.
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