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Baltimore & Ohio RR "Centenary" Blue Line China Cream Pitcher
This lovely pitcher resembling flow blue is from the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, in their "Centenary" pattern ware that debuted in 1927 and ran through the end of passenger service on the railway.
The bottom marking Scammell's Lamberton / Design Patented identifies it as being made in the late 1920s-1930s -- before the contract went to the Sterling Company in the 1940s. A medium size approximately 3-1/2 inches tall at the tip of its spout, it would have been used to serve cream on a table for four diners; or milk on a table for two.
PLEASE IGNORE THE WHITE FLASHES AND SPOTS - THIS IS ALL LIGHT REFLECTION!!
We are especially pleased that this creamer has the sought-after blue "fill line" inside the rim, which is "a distinguishing feature of the early and more desirable versions," according to author Doug McIntyre in "The Official Guide to Railway Dining Car China."
We are also delighted that the artwork designs are so extremely clear and detailed. On each side in a large "cameo," there is a view of the Potomac Valley; and below the spout is a "Horse Drawn Car 1830" . Several shades of intense cobalt blue cover the sides in flowers, swirls and scrolls, completing an intricate picture.
CONDITION: Near mint with no more than a very few, very light surface scratches that cannot be seen unless you tilt it in bright light and look hard. Brilliant, hard, shiny glaze and crisp detail in the art work add to its beauty. Absolutely NO chips, cracks, flakes, spider cracks or repairs. A lovely addition to any collection of rail passenger dining car items.
COLLECTOR ALERT: According to "The Official Guide to Railroad Dining Car China" by McIntyre, beginning in 1968, "the Shenango mark was overstamped with the black Indian. Pieces so marked never saw dining car service and were made strictly for gift shop* sale . . . . In 1977, the museum gift shop offered a commemorative plate as well as a full range of pieces in the service, all of which were made by Shenango and carry the dates 1927-1977 on the backmark. Needless to say, this ware never saw any type of dining car service." [*In the Baltimore & Ohio RR Museum, Baltimore, Maryland] Many collectors enjoy using these later pieces perfect to use on the dining table while the rare pieces sit safely in a display cabinet -- but be aware they are not "rail passenger" pieces, and should be priced accordingly.
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