Gravy (or sauce) boats from the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad in its old "Indian Tree" pattern are hard to find and are missing from most railway passenger car items. If you need one -- here is a beauty! It would have been used for serving sauce or gravy to an individual diner, or in a pinch, filling in as a cream pitcher on a table for two.
This is the Indian Tree pattern, with a black graphic rim band and a floral decoration on each side. Size is approximately 6 inches long from the tip of the spout to the outside edge of the handle.
On the bottom is a complete railroad marking including the Shenango China full-color brave, which according to our restaurant ware guide by Conroy was used between about 1912 and the 1920s. The New Haven furnished its dining cars with this pattern from the 1920s to the 1940s -- so this particular little gravy boat dates from before 1930 -- not quite an antique!
CONDITION is wonderful. It is beautifully clean, bright white ware with strongly colored, crisp decorations. There are NO cracks, chips, flakes or repairs. There is no age spotting, and even the tip of the spout is perfect.
We could not find any surface marks from use, despite turning this piece in bright light and looking hard. The glaze is strong and beautiful.
The only flaws we can find are the way it was made: there are several tiny stray specks of glaze color on the inside and on the very bottom, and possibly another place or two; and on the handle, there are two places where the decoration transfer that was applied before firing was not perfect. See our last two pictures, please!
This would be a terrific addition to any good collection of rail passenger dining items!