A fine and scarce 19th century barber’s basin probably manufactured in Puebla, Mexico in the second half of the 19th century. The bowl is fired in an off white tin oxide slip over a clay body, and is decorated in polychrome in shades of blue, green, brown and yellow. There are two holes pierced through the clay on the upper part of the rim to hold a leather strap for hanging.
Diameter of the rim; 11.0”/28.0cm, Diameter of the base: 4.2”, 10.4cm, Depth: 3.4"/8.7cm.
Condition is museum quality antique. There are several scattered losses to the rim, but no cracks or repairs.
Mexico declared independence from Spain in 1821. This act affected the pottery industry, and led directly to the closing of many of the majolica workshops in Puebla. With the end of colonial restrictions on style and manufacture, the remaining shops were now free to experiment with different styles of decoration and color combinations. Some painters covered the surface of plates and vessels with loosely rendered floral motifs which expressed a new and vigorous folk aesthetic. This whimsically decorated barber’s basin is a scarce survivor from this exciting period of Mexican art.
See: Ceramica y Cultura, The Story of Spanish and Mexican Mayolica, Robin Farwell Gavin, Donna Pierce, Alfonso Pleguezuelo, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 2003.,pgs. 241-242.
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